May has been a month of happy and sad for Tudor Place, the historic Georgetown museum
house and garden that was built in the early 1800s for Martha Custis Peter, the granddaughter
of Martha Washington. The sad came a week ago, when one of the property’s 200-plus-year-old
trees, a white oak that was beginning to lean dangerously, had to be cut down. Wednesday
night, though, the mood was decidedly different, as 450 supporters in colorful and
festive fashions gathered on the lawn for the museum’s 21st annual spring garden party.
According to organizers, the party raised a record $250,000.
Each year the garden party honors an individual, and this year it was a descendent
of the Peter family,
Phillips S. Peter, a lawyer, former head of the board of trustees, and former executive with General
As it always is, the party was a draw for the so-called “cave dweller” set, who enjoy
the many bars and several buffet tables, as well as the chance to take a seat at a
table on the five and a half acres of sweeping lawn that still have some impressive
trees. There’s a lot of imbibing, merriment, and showing off of hats.
Throughout the year, Tudor Place hosts a range of events, including cultural tours,
history, garden and decorating lectures, school programs, and workshops, as well as
birthday parties and summer camps. As for the missing old oak, Tudor Place plans to
replant a new white oak in its place.