Press Contact:
Heather Bartlow, hbartlow@tudorplace.org
202.965.0400 ext. 104
Website: www.tudorplace.org
Tudor Place Historic House and Garden
1644 31st Street NW
Washington, DC 2007

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November 12, 2009

Washington, DC – November 12, 2009 — Tudor Place Historic House and Garden received a special exception at a Board of Zoning Adjustments (BZA) hearing Tuesday morning to permanently operate as a museum in a residential neighborhood. Multiple unsolicited letters of approval from community members were sent to the BZA in support of Tudor Place’s 2009 application for permanent exception; however a preliminary hearing only granted Tudor Place an exception for 10 years. Executive Director, Leslie Buhler and Board Member/Strategic Planning Committee Chair Geoffrey Baker among other supporters, were not satisfied and appealed to the BZA for the full permanent exception.

Tudor Place is one of the only museums located in a DC residential area that has had to operate with this limited exception. Other museums such as Dumbarton House and the Textile Museum have operated in residential areas without restriction for years. In 2004, Tudor Place’s application for a permanent exception was met with widespread community disapproval. The hearing resulted in the requirement that Tudor Place re-apply for zoning permissions every 5 years. Now, five years later, Tudor Place has dramatically improved its standing in the community. Ms. Buhler notes, “Tudor Place takes great efforts to work with the community and to listen and respond positively to concerns.” The importance of a permanent exception to Tudor Place was stated by Mr. Baker, “Putting a time limit on the permission to use the property as a museum ties Tudor Place’s hands and makes its future uncertain. It does not make sense for Tudor Place to invest the millions of dollars required for improvements without any assurance that it can continue to operate beyond ten years.”

Located in Georgetown’s Historic District, this National Historic Landmark is a house museum distinguished for its neoclassical architecture, decorative arts collection, and five-and-a-half acre garden. Built in 1816, it was home to Thomas Peter and his wife, Martha Custis Peter, granddaughter of Martha Washington. It housed six generations of the Peter family over the course of 180 years. Now, open to the public, the historic home is one of our nation’s hidden gems. For details visit www.tudorplace.org

Sugar Shakers and Handkerchief Holders: A Collection of Unusual Silver

We have a new exhibition in the visitor center! Tudor Place has one of the finest domestic silver collections in the country.  Within that collection are 24-piece sets of flatware, impressive tureens and serving dishes, tea and coffee services and bonbon dishes galore!

The collection also contains many unusual and rare objects that are little used, if even recognized today. The new exhibition in the Visitor Center highlights a selection of these fascinating items. Whether you wish to hold your handkerchief,  lift sardines from a can or fasten your button in style, this exhibition has the perfect instrument for the task.

The exibition will be up through December 31, 2009.  Below are some highlights:

1. Bonbon Server
Silver; Gorham, Providence, RI; c.1900
This ‘giant spoon’ form was inspired by the
heavily ornamented ‘Dutch’ silver of the
turn-of-the-century. The intricate scenic decoration
was stamped of thin sheets of silver making
‘Dutch’ silver very inexpensive.

17. Candlesnuffer
Silver Plate; French; 1826-1850
The open scissors are placed either side of a
candle wick and then closed.
The flat section pushes the wick into the box,
extinguishing the flame.


24. Angel food cake cutter or breaker
Silver and base metal; American; c. 1910