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Friday, September 24, 2010

Smithsonian Gardens: Among Washington's Iconic Landscapes

Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Castle
Smithsonian Gardens Image Library
The Archives of American Gardens, in addition to collecting documentation on America’s private and semi-public gardens and landscapes, also photo-documents the gardens and landscapes of the Smithsonian Institution. The history of these cultural landscapes is richly intertwined with the history of the National Mall and the history of the Smithsonian itself. 

Secretary S. Dillon Ripley overlooking the
Enid A. Haupt Garden
Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Archives
The Smithsonian Gardens were the unique vision of eighth Secretary S. Dillon Ripley (1913-2001) who sought to extend the museum experience beyond the halls of the museum's buildings. The largest of several gardens, the Enid A. Haupt Garden was constructed in 1987, replacing an existing Victorian Garden built in celebration of America’s Bicentennial in 1976.

The Moongate Garden in the Enid A. Haupt Garden
Smithsonian Gardens Image Library
The Enid A. Haupt Garden was designed to complement the buildings of the underground Quadrangle complex and is comprised of a Victorian parterre, the Moongate Garden and the Fountain Garden.

This Saturday and Sunday (September 25-26, 2010) The Cultural Landscape Foundation is hosting a What's Out There Weekend, providing residents and visitors an opportunity to discover and explore 25 of Washington’s iconic cultural landscapes, including the Smithsonian’s own Enid A Haupt Garden, Mary Livingston Ripley Garden and Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden.

What’s Out There Weekend tours of the Smithsonian Gardens are scheduled for 10am and 1pm on September 25 and 26. Further information can be found on The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s website.


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