The Causeway (Washington, D.C.)

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The Causeway
The Causeway (Washington, D.C.) is located in Washington, D.C.
The Causeway (Washington, D.C.)
Location 3029 Klingle Road, NW, Washington, D.C.
Coordinates 38°55′54″N 77°3′40″W / 38.93167°N 77.06111°W / 38.93167; -77.06111Coordinates: 38°55′54″N 77°3′40″W / 38.93167°N 77.06111°W / 38.93167; -77.06111
Built 1912
Architect Charles A. Platt
Architectural style Colonial Revival
Georgian Revival
NRHP Reference # 90000910
Added to NRHP June 28, 1990[1]

The Causeway, also known as the Tregaron, is a country house estate located in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Northwest, Washington, D.C.. The estate was designed by Charles A. Platt and constructed in 1912. The original occupants, the Parmelees, lived at the estate from its construction until 1940. From 1940 to 1958 it was occupied by Joseph E. Davies, who had served as the ambassador for the United States to Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Soviet Union and his second wife Post Cereal Company heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. Today the estate is occupied by a campus for the Washington International School [2] and the Tregaron Conservancy.


The entire estate totals 20.5 acres (83,000 m2). In addition to the mansion the estate includes a carriage house, greenhouse, gardener's residence, and a Russian-style dacha, added during Ambassador and Mrs. Davies' years at the estate. In addition to the different architectural styles present in the estate, it is also notable for its landscape architecture. Architect Charles A. Platt utilized the natural characteristics in designing the estate; the mansion sits at the highest point and provides views of the city to the south, and the affluent Cleveland Park suburb to the north.[3] The landscape features include bridges and retaining walls constructed of stone. Mostly notably, stone retaining walls line either side of the drive way as it enters the estate, and a large stone bridge which carries the driveway over a small stream, "The Causeway", from which the property derives its name.[4]


37 00055 xl.jpg
Front View of Tregaron (1961), watercolor by Lily Spandorf.
Location Washington, D.C.
Area 20 acres (8.1 ha)

Tregaron is a 20-acre (81,000 m2) estate in Washington, D. C. on the grounds of The Causeway.

The property, originally part of a larger estate, "Twin Oaks", was bought by Gardiner Greene Hubbard, founder of the National Geographic Society, in the 1880s, and named "The Causeway". His daughter Mabel married Alexander Graham Bell, and inherited the property, which she sold to James Parmelee, a Cleveland financier. He hired Charles Adams Platt to design a country house for the property. Platt employed Ellen Biddle Shipman as landscape architect for the project.

Tregaron Conservancy looking toward the upper meadow.

After Parmelee's death, the estate was purchased in 1940 by Joseph E. Davies and his wife, Marjorie Merriweather Post. Davies was First Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission; American Ambassador to the Soviet Union (1936-1938); Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg (1938-1939); a lawyer (1937 Law Firm: Davies, Richberg. Beebe, Busick and Richardson); and Special Advisor to President Harry Truman and Secretary of State James Byrnes, with Rank of Ambassador at the Potsdam Conference. Davies named the place "Tregaron" (the town of Saint Caron)[5] after the town where his father, Edward Davies, was born in Ceredigion, Wales.

After Davies's death in 1958, the Washington International School purchased 6 acres (24,000 m2) of the 20 acres (81,000 m2), and the Tregaron Limited Partnership, an Israeli corporation, purchased the remaining 14 acres (57,000 m2). Attempts to develop the space were opposed by the "Friends of Tregaron", a community group. Eventually, in 2006, an agreement was reached by which 13 acres (53,000 m2) of the estate have been conserved as open green space and are managed by Tregaron Conservatory.


The mansion is a two-story brick building in the Georgian style. In addition to the primary, central block of approximately 30 feet (9.1 m) by 170 feet (52 m), to the east is a one-story octagonal conservatory, and to the west is a two-story service wing, though not as tall as the central block.[6] Additions performed in 1941 by the Davies included small additions to the service wing and other aesthetic improvements. Further revisions in the early 1980s were undertaken to convert the estate into a school.[7] In 1945 the Davies added a dacha, a Russian country home, to the estate. The dacha provides a view of Washington National Cathedral.[6] A farmhouse dating to 1890 sits at the edge of the estate and was converted to office space for the International School. A schoolhouse building was constructed in 1988 and designed to complement the existing buildings.[8]

Filming location[edit]

The Tregaron estate mansion was extensively used for both interiors and exteriors in the 1962 film Advise and Consent. Interiors and exteriors were also used in the 1993 film The Pelican Brief.


  1. ^ "Causeway, The". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Archived from the original on February 20, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2010. 
  2. ^ Registration Form, pg. 3
  3. ^ Registration Form, pgs. 2–3
  4. ^ Registration Form, pg. 6
  5. ^ Morgan, Thomas The Place Names of Wales (1912) p. 96
  6. ^ a b Registration Form, pg. 15
  7. ^ Registration Form, pg. 7
  8. ^ Registration Form, pg. 16


National Register of Historic Places Registration Form - The Causeway (pdf), National Park Service. Retrieved September 10, 2010.

External links[edit]