D.C. September 20, 2016
This Hidden Destination In Washington DC Is A Secret Only Locals Know About
There are 20 acres of gardens, meadows, and ponds that are completely hidden in Washington DC. This hidden oasis features an amazing history that includes famous architecture, 20th century design, years of legal battles and a new resurgence. Tregaron Conservancy is a hidden destination in the district that many locals don’t even know about it. But it’s an urban oasis ripe with history that is truly worth a trip this fall.
Tregaron Conservancy spans 20 acres between Cleveland Park and Woodley Park in Northwest DC. 13 acres of its land which includes gardens, meadows, ponds, trails and streams are managed by the non-profit Tregaron Conservancy and are free and open to the public.
The estate on Tregaron Conservancy was formerly known as The Causeway. It was built in 1912 by famous architect Charles Adam Platt for the owner James Parmalee. Platt worked with Ellen Biddle Shipman to design the intricate and unique 13 acres of gardens to resemble a natural woodland forest. The three story neo-Georgian mansion is now a part of the Washington International School.
After James Parmalee passed away, the home and ground were purchased by Ambassador Joseph Davies and his wife, Marjorie Merriweather Post in 1940. Davies renamed the property Tregaron.
After Ambassador Davies passed away, the home was owned by his heirs and in 1979, the house was designated a Historic Landmark of Washington DC. In 1980, the estate was split into two lots. The Washington International School purchased the six acres that encompassed all of the buildings, including the mansion, the greenhouse, the gardener’s cottage, the carriage house and the farmhouse.
The other piece of the estate was purchased by The Tregaron Limited Partnership, Israeli corporation who tried unsuccessfully for decades to build housing divisions on the property. Because of the historic designation, the housing divisions and redevelopment plans by TLP never succeeded. Eventually, the Tregaron Limited Partnership, agreed to donate 13 acres of the estate to the Tregaron Conservancy, a non-profit organization that had been formed to protect and renovate the estate.
The Tregaron Conservancy began restoring the property to its former beauty. In 2009, the property opened up to the pubic once again.
The Tregaron Conservancy continues to work to improve and maintain the property. Visitors can come to walk the grounds, enjoy the beauty and explore all for free.
The Conservancy runs on donations but the property is open to the public. This secret garden in the city is a beautiful testament to the architecture and design of the turn of the 20th century and to the commitment to preserving the history of DC.
For another super secret Washington DC spot,
visit this one incredible forest in Washington DC.