Lise's Local Lore and Landmarks - Tudor Place in Georgetown

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties DC AB15253

Tudor Place is a historic house and garden located in Georgetown, known for its historical significance, architectural beauty, and lush gardens.  It is well worth a trip to visit when you are in Georgetown, particularly in the spring when the gardens are in full flower.   The property was home to the Peter family for six generations from 1806 to 1983. 

Tudor Place was originally the home of Martha Custis Peter, the granddaughter of Martha Washington (the wife of George Washington, the first President of the United States), and her husband Thomas Peter.  Martha used her $8,000 inheritance from George Washington to purchase property in Georgetown in 1805.  The land, comprising one city block on the crest of Georgetown Heights had  an excellent view of the Potomac River.   Thomas and Martha Peter hired Dr. William Thornton, the first architect of the U.S. Capital, to design their home, which was completed in 1816.  The house is an excellent example of neoclassical architecture and includes Federal-style features and English Regency elements and sits now on 5.5 acres of landscaped grounds in the heart of Georgetown.

The estate boasts beautiful gardens with various plantings, including trees, shrubs, flowers, and walking paths. The gardens have been designed and redesigned over the years to reflect different gardening styles and historical periods.  Some notable features of the Tudor Place gardens include:

Boxwood Parterre: This formal garden area features neatly trimmed boxwood hedges and paths arranged in geometric patterns.

Rose Garden: The rose garden is a highlight, showcasing a variety of roses and a peaceful, fragrant setting.

South Lawn: This open lawn area provides a place for visitors to relax and enjoy the outdoors, with beautiful views of the gardens and the historic house.

Orchard: Tudor Place has a lovely orchard with fruit trees, adding to the bucolic charm of the estate.

Historical Plantings: The gardens at Tudor Place include plants and trees that were popular during the time when the Peter family lived there, giving visitors a glimpse into the past.

Tudor Place continues to be a popular destination for visitors interested in history, horticulture, and the arts, offering guided tours of both the historic house and the gardens, as well as various educational programs and events. It's a great place to explore the intersection of history and nature in the heart of Washington, D.C.

Collections and Artifacts: Tudor Place houses an extensive collection of art, furniture, and other historical artifacts, showcasing the lifestyle and tastes of the Peter family over several generations. The collection includes pieces from the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Washington Collection, second only to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum and Gardens’ in size, contains both finely crafted goods and humble domestic items. In materials, production techniques, and design, these objects provide excellent examples of 18th-century craftsmanship. Their mix of European-, Chinese-, and American-made elements also speaks to the nature of circum-Atlantic commerce in the 18th century and the emergence of a self-consciously “republican” aesthetic on American shores.

The collection includes 40 pieces of a Sèvres porcelain dinner and dessert service used in the first Presidential household; a Chinese export porcelain soup plate from the ca. 1784 Society of Cincinnati service; Martha Washington’s English Gothic-style china table, ca. 1750 – 75; one of two surviving American-made camp stools Washington commissioned in 1776 for use during the Revolutionary War; fragments of silk clothing, lace, and personal accessories; a 1734 silver porringer owned by Martha Washington’s son (Martha Peter’s father), John Parke Custis; and a rare wax-and-shellwork tableau presented to Martha Washington in 1783 by New York entrepreneur and tavern-keeper Samuel Fraunces.

Guided Tours: Visitors can take guided tours of Tudor Place to learn about its history, architecture, and the lives of the Peter family. The tours often cover various rooms in the house and the gardens.  An example of a seasonal tour that Tudor Place is offering now is Death Comes to Tudor Place, a speciality exhibition and guded tour examinging how funeral customs and burial practices evolved at Tudor Place across nearly two centuries.  The Death tour begins October 3 and runs through November 5. 

Educational Programs: Tudor Place offers educational programs and events for visitors of all ages, including lectures, workshops, family programs, and special events.

Public Access: Tudor Place is open to the public for tours, educational programs, and events. It serves as both a historic site and a museum. Overall, Tudor Place is a significant historical site in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., and offers visitors a glimpse into the lives and times of an influential family in American history.

If this all makes you curious about which homes are avvailable in Georgetown right now, just click here! 

Comments (13)

Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Lise- I wish we'd known about Tudor Place when we lived in Leesburg, VA. We went into DC every weekend and often ended up in Georgetown!!!

Sep 28, 2023 06:35 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The RIGHT CHARLOTTE REALTOR!

Oh, how cool is that, Lise? I love the history and my jaw is agape - $8K for a city block? In Georgetown AND with a view of the Potomac? I would absolutely love to tour the grounds of Tudor Place. This is right up my alley!

Sep 28, 2023 06:51 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Debe Maxwell, CRS - I said the same thing to my husband this evening when I finished my post! 

Sep 28, 2023 07:00 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS

Great minds, Lise Howe!

Sep 28, 2023 07:13 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Kathy Streib - I wish you were still here in the DC area!  I would love to hang out with you

Sep 28, 2023 07:00 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Tudor place sounds amazing Lise. The history and beauty abounds. Thank you and hope to visit someday. Jeff

Sep 28, 2023 09:57 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Lise Howe  I love history and especially history of local communities, I have about four posts in my head that need to be put in writing, thank you for the reminder, Endre

Sep 28, 2023 10:11 PM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I am pretty sure that I visited Tudor Place as a kid with my family during a vacation.  I remember it being a beautiful place.

Sep 29, 2023 04:51 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Lise... sadly, Tudor Place was not what it is today when I lived in DC in the 1960's... or I'd have been all over it.

Sep 29, 2023 05:41 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Lise,

Love your post and so much research and history you found! I would love to tour the grounds of Tudor Place, its absolutely amazing!

Sep 29, 2023 06:46 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Lise, I should have known about this place when I lived in Arlington, but too young to probably care about anything important.   Beautiful place.

Sep 29, 2023 10:41 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Thank you Joan Cox - Maybe you can put DC on your buc ket list and come to visit us here

Sep 29, 2023 07:11 PM
Joan Cox

That sounds like a good idea.

Sep 30, 2023 12:38 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Endre Barath, Jr. - I hope you write your posts - I would love to read them!  I am sure they will be fascinating.  (No pressure!) 

Sep 29, 2023 07:11 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is good information to share with area residents and visitors.

Have a productive week.

Oct 01, 2023 10:52 AM