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Dumbarton Oaks to get new greenhouses in campus improvement project

The project is intended to make the estate more energy-efficient and accessible

The Dumbarton Oaks estate in Georgetown, an elaborate mansion made of brick. Large windows line a wing of the estate.
Dumbarton Oaks

The historic Dumbarton Oaks estate in Georgetown will receive greenhouse improvements meant to boost the campus’s sustainability, accessibility, and programming, the institution announced Wednesday. The project, to be led by New York-based Selldorf Architects, will entail the construction of a new greenhouse and the renovation of an existing greenhouse.

“The new greenhouse will benefit from solar panels, improved irrigation, and state-of-the-art climate control, saving energy and reducing our ecological footprint,” Dumbarton Oaks said in a release, adding that the new greenhouse will provide additional capacity for horticulture. Meanwhile, the existing greenhouse, designed by McKim, Mead, & White Architects in 1925, “will be renovated to accommodate our active educational, scholarly, and arts programming while maintaining the aesthetic character of the original design,” Dumbarton Oaks explained.

Selldorf has worked on the Frick Collection and the Neue Galerie in New York, among other cultural projects. Reed Hilderbrand, which is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based landscape architecture firm, is partnering with Selldorf on the work. Dumbarton Oaks said the project, part of a three-year plan to increase access to the site’s offerings, will facilitate more school visits and create space for educational activities to benefit from the institution’s collections.

The estate’s garden was originally designed by Beatrix Farrand over the course of decades. The grounds of Dumbarton Oaks, whose main building is Federal-style, span over 50 acres.

Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

1703 32nd Street, Washington, DC 20007 202 339 6409