Dumbarton Oaks Park is an exceptionally significant historic landscape, where the naturalistic gardens and built features offer a very special experience to those who visit. The park is a striking example of one of the most important designs by landscape architect Beatrix Farrand. Mrs. Farrand is considered the “finest woman landscape architect of her generation.” The owners of the Dumbarton Oaks estate, Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss, wanted Mrs. Farrand to create for them an illusion of country life within the city. And, working closely with Mildred Bliss, Mrs. Farrand made the vision a reality.
Today, there are two main divisions to the gardens at Dumbarton Oaks: the formal gardens owned and maintained by Harvard University; and the naturalistic garden that is Dumbarton Oaks Park. Mrs. Farrand intended for these two parts to be connected, a unified design where one can view the woodland of the park from the upper gardens. Over the past three years of close collaboration, the National Park Service and Dumbarton Oaks Gardens have come to share a commitment to revealing, once again, the vision of Mildred and Robert Bliss and Beatrix Farrand for the gardens of Dumbarton Oaks.