Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A stroll through Smithsonian's Mary Livingston Ripley Garden

The Mary Livingston Ripley Garden is located between the National Mall and Independence Avenue. It’s not a large garden and won’t take more than a few minutes, whether you’re touring the District or taking a walk on your lunch hour.

When walking downtown I often stumble across places I wasn’t familiar with. A few years ago, for me that was the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden. I was walking along the mall and between the Arts and Industries Building and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and noticed some beautiful flowers and paths.

The garden’s background

The Smithsonian website shares the garden was the inspiration of Mrs. S. Dillon Ripley, a "lifelong plant scholar-collector, active gardener, and wife of the Smithsonian Institution's eighth Secretary".

Originally, the garden was slated to become a parking lot, however, in 1978 Mrs. Ripley was able to win support for the garden space. Architect Architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen of Washington D.C. designed the garden. There is a fountain within the garden with a plaque that states, "Large Acanthus Fountain, ca 1850 - 1900, cast iron, manufacturer unknown".  

The garden is about a half-acre in size, according to the The Cultural Landscape Foundation.

Run by the Smithsonian, the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden is open daily. It’s a nice quiet place to eat lunch or stop and take a breather while hitting the pavement when visiting downtown. 

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