Robert Beverley, who purchased “The Oaks” from William Hammond Dorsey on April 19, 1805, most likely added the detached brick Orangery ca. 1805-1812. Beverley's brother-in-law, Edward Lloyd, owned the Wye House on the eastern shore of Maryland, where an older Orangery with similar arched windows, built sometime between 1750 and 1770, still stands. At some date, possibly in the 1860s or 1870s, Edward Linthicum, who had purchased the property in 1846, or Edward Linthicum Dent, who owned the property between 1869 and 1890, added a monitor roof to the Orangery and a “hyphen extension” between the new east wing and the Orangery. After Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss acquired the estate in 1920, remodeling of the Orangery was begun in 1922-1923 under the direction of the Washington, D.C. architect Frederick H. Brooke (1876-1960). After Brooke left the project, the remodeling of the Orangery was taken up in 1924 by Beatrix Farrand (1872-1959), the Blisses’ landscape architect, and Lawrence Grant White (1887-1956) of the New York City architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White. The undated application for Permit to Build (“Erect new roof on Orangery”) was recommended on August 17, 1927 and approved on August 20, 1927. At first an all-glass roofing was proposed; however, the final 1927 construction employed slanted-glass ventilating panels on the bottom third perimeter of the hipped roof line. Beatrix Farrand added a canvas canopy that projected from the north face to provide sun protection. In 1983 the insect-damaged rafter beams of the 1927 roof were removed and a new stationary aluminum-framed skylight was installed in the roof area by Falkner Design Partnership of Washington, D.C.
Renovation of the existing nineteenth-century structure with additions commissioned in 1921 by Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss from Frederick H. Brooke, Washington, DC. The renovation was completed in 1923.
Further renovations commissioned in 1927 from Lawrence Grant White, New York, NY.
Collection of Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss, Washington, DC, 1920-11/29/1940.
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, House Collection, Washington, DC.