Tudor Place

Tudor Place Blog

  • October 20, 2016

    Who were they, the founders of Tudor Place? Martha Parke Custis Peter and Thomas Peter, civic leaders in Georgetown and the capital city, helped shape our national life but few Americans today know their names. That anonymity belies the tangible legacy they left, thanks to the constancy of their descendants and an almost genetic devotion to preservation in the lasting family line.

    A businessman, landowner, and slaveholder, Thomas began life with great wealth accumulated by his father, a Scottish immigrant. Active in the business of Georgetown and the new city of Washington, he pursued personal interests extending to farming, horse racing, playing his flute (now in the ... (continue reading)

  • September 12, 2016

    In the state of Maryland, every September 12 is Defenders Day, commemorating a crucial American victory in the War of 1812. The Battle of Fort McHenry helped reverse American losses and also inspired a British prisoner’s poem that became our national anthem. It also recalls a hero with ties to Tudor Place who, less than a month before, had defied U.S. Army superiors to fight the calamitous British attack on Washington.

    Tudor Place founder Thomas Peter had no fancy for a military life, but his brother George Peter (1779-1861) did. On August 24, 1814, Major Peter commanded a light artillery company that was one of the few to return ... (continue reading)

  • August 25, 2016

    Nora Pehrson explains the origins of her essay on Britannia, written while interning here during her senior at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C. Nora now attends Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

    I was drawn to Britannia’s story because of an abiding interest in women’s history. I wanted to situate  Britannia in the broader context of her time. Around the time that Britannia was on the marriage market, the abolitionist and advocate for women’s rights Sarah Grimké wrote “Letters on the Equality of the Sexes,” in which she asserted that the American woman was “a cipher in the nation” because marriage rendered her ... (continue reading)

  • June 1, 2016

    Visit us free all summer! We invite active-duty members of the U.S. military, including National Guard and Reserve, and their family members traveling with or without them, to tour free from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Like about 2,000 other U.S. institutions, we are a Blue Star Museum, part of a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense. Tudor Place also honors service families with free admission on Veterans Day, November 11.

    Up to six members of one family at a time (including children, spouse, and other kin) may join any regular house tour or self-guided garden visit free of ... (continue reading)

  • April 2, 2016

    early 1800s news clippings + map

    Though grand by city standards even when the Peters first purchased it in 1805, the original eight and a half acres of Tudor Place was by no means their largest property. Most affluent urban families of the time owned large farms, and the Peters were no exception. Among the lands Thomas Peter inherited from his father Robert was a tract in Montgomery County that the family called Oakland, part of a coveted royal land grant once known as Conclusion. On it they husbanded not just Peter’s cherished race horses, but also crops, lumber, cows and hogs, ... (continue reading)

  • April 1, 2016 child couple in Smokehouse Cafe

    To meet Americans’ growing fascination with land use, ecology, and food sources, and to mark the site’s bicentennial, the Tudor Place Foundation has reassessed the National Historic Landmark’s interpretive focus. As of today, April 1, 2016, in a nod to its semi-agrarian origins, the site has been converted to a working farm.

    Executive Director Mark Hudson, who came to Tudor Place in October, spearheaded the redirection. “Tudor Place was just too many things to too many people,” he explained. “It has a vast archive and more than 15,000 artifacts and tells stories of American domestic and political life over more than 200 years. Imagine trying to cover all that in a 55-minute ... (continue reading)

  • March 26, 2016

    2016 Garden Party Honors Tudor Place on Its Bicentennial

    Add Your Gift!



    Mary Michael Wachur Invitations have been mailed.
    Director of Development Please register online.
    202.580.7323 | mwachur@tudorplace.org

    Purchase Tickets

    The 24th Annual Garden Party to support Tudor Place will take place on May 25, 2016, celebrating a rare American milestone, the National Historic Landmark’s year-long Bicentennial, with a party for 500 under an elegant lawn tent in the estate’s 5½-acre garden. Chaired by Ms. Marcia V. Mayo, the event recognizes the 200th anniversary by naming as honoree Tudor Place itself. Now a historic house museum ... (continue reading)

  • January 14, 2016

    Cleaning, counting, and assessing conditions are all part of the drill when the museum closes each year for what we call the “January Clean.” Rugs are rolled up, paintings removed from walls for examination, and the walls themselves examined. In the garden, bricks are relaid and trees trimmed amid the usual plant care and preparations for spring. The Museum Shop undergoes a careful inventory (14,000 postcards!), while in offices and workspaces elsewhere on the property, closets and cabinets are straightened, files sorted, and other year-long accumulations dealt with.

    For collections staff especially, close examinations of objects left quietly undisturbed the other 11 months of the ... (continue reading)

  • November 23, 2015
    November 23, 2015 Mandy Katz
      Director of Communications
      ph: 202.580.7329

    This is a charmed place. It just raises your spirits whenever you’re here. And I feel that way and I have felt that way for many years and I’m continuously reminded that there is a continuity in life, and the more we know about it, the better we can cope with changes that are coming… 

    — Austin Kiplinger, Honoree, 20th Annual Tudor Place
    Spring Garden ... (continue reading)

  • November 12, 2015
    By Kellie Cox, Director of Gardens and Grounds

    With the season upon us for nutty treats like stuffing and candied pecans, our thoughts turn to an arboreal star at Tudor Place, its widely admired pecan tree. (If this makes your thoughts turn to nutty treats, try our Candied Pecans recipe!)

    In our historic gardens, we are fortunate to have a magnificent pecan tree (Carya illinoensis), Washington, D.C.’s, oldest and largest living specimen, according to the Casey Trees Living Legacy Campaign. This 80-foot-plus tree was planted from a seed nut ca. 1875, when Britannia Peter Kennon (Thomas and Martha Peter’s daughter) owned Tudor ... (continue reading)