About Tudor Place
Tudor Place was home to the Peter family from 1805 until 1983. The estate’s first owners were Martha Custis Peter and Thomas Peter. Martha Custis was born at Mount Vernon, the granddaughter of Martha Washington and step-granddaughter of George Washington. Thomas Peter was the son of a prominent tobacco merchant who was Georgetown’s first mayor. Tudor Place has close ties to the legacy of America’s first First Family and is the only property in the District of Columbia connected to George and Martha Washington.
The original tract of land occupied by Tudor Place was part of the “Rock of Dumbarton” (originally, “Dunbarton”) tract in George Beall’s Second Addition to Georgetown, an area also known as Georgetown Heights. In 1794, Beall’s grandson Thomas Beall sold a portion of his land to Francis Lowndes, a merchant and importer from Bladensburg, Maryland. Lowndes owned the property for eleven years during which he constructed the two wings of the present historic house. Lowndes intended to complete the house but never did, instead selling the property in 1805 to Martha and Thomas Peter (1769-1834). Learn about the enslaved workers and domestic servants who worked and lived on site.
The six generations of Peters who lived here were witnesses to a ceaseless parade of events that shaped the nation, including the burning of Washington in 1814, slavery, the Civil War, both World Wars and the Cold War. As an historic site that bears the scars of slavery, Tudor Place seeks to look this injustice in the eye. Read Executive Director Mark Hudson’s comment on standing in solidarity with those whose voices cry out for justice here.
During the 178 years of the family’s residence, Tudor Place had only four private owners, each of whom demonstrated a loving respect for this landmark and a commitment to its preservation. The final private owner, Armistead Peter 3rd had a bold vision that Tudor Place should become a historic house museum for the enjoyment and enrichment of the public. During the 1960s he put into motion plans for accomplishing this vision. He established the site’s designation as one of the nation’s first National Historic Landmarks in 1960, he created the Carostead Foundation (today Tudor Place Foundation) in 1966, and established a conveyance of the first historic preservation easement to the U.S. Department of the Interior in that same year. His will describes his plan for the operation of Tudor Place as a public museum and was the instrument by which the property and its historic contents were conveyed to the Foundation following his death in 1983.
Tudor Place opened to the public in October 1988, fulfilling Armistead Peter 3rd’s wishes. Although the programs and activities of the museum have expanded beyond his wildest dreams, Tudor Place has remained true to his directive, “that it be considered not as a period museum but as a house lived in and loved by generations of our family and in which they found great happiness.”