Celebrate Spring with Attingham Alumni and Friends in
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA & WASHINGTON, D.C.
May 4-7, 2023
It’s finally happening! Join us this spring for the long-awaited return of the annual American Friends of Attingham Study Trip. This year we will explore over two hundred years of history, art, architecture and culture in the cities of Alexandria, Virginia, and Washington, D.C..
Our trip begins Thursday evening with a tour, welcome reception and dinner at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, a Federal-era tavern and hotel that played a central role in the early American republic’s mercantile economy with a business model enabled by a large enslaved workforce. Preserved by the Office of Historic Alexandria and overseen by Director Gretchen Bulova ’12, the ca. 1785 and 1792 structures feature notable examples of Georgian architecture and provide the perfect setting for an introduction to the upper Chesapeake region.
Friday morning, the group crosses the Potomac River into the District of Columbia, beginning with a rare opportunity to explore the neoclassical architecture and collections at the United States Department of the Treasury with Curatorial Branch Chief Jon Frederick ’12. As one of the oldest and most intact collections in the Executive branch, the Treasury collections includes prints, furniture, portraiture and sculpture.
That afternoon, architect Robert Bentley Adams ’15 will host the group for lunch and a tour at the private Cosmos Club, a jewel among the stately mansions of Massachusetts Avenue’s Embassy Row that was renovated by Carrère and Hastings in 1899. Nearby, the group will admire the lavish Beaux Arts style Perry Belmont mansion, now the international headquarters for the Order of the Eastern Star, and relish the gilded entertaining halls designed by the French architect Eugene Sanson in 1909.
Crossing Rock Creek Park into historic Georgetown, the group will visit the National Historic Landmark mansion Tudor Place Historic House and Gardens, designed by the architect of the first U.S. capitol William Thornton for Martha Washington’s granddaughter Martha Peter. Participants will learn about a collection encompassing three centuries of fine and decorative arts, with particular strengths in 19th-century ceramics and silver, 20th-century fashion, enjoy spring blossoms amidst the 5.5-acre gardens.
That evening, after the museum has closed to the public, the group will sip cocktails in the garden at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, the fabulous estate of collector Marjorie Merriweather Post. After touring the mansion and exhibition “Determined Women: Collectors, Artists and Designers at Hillwood” with curators Wilfried Zeisler, Ph.D. ’15 and Megan Martinelli ’22, the night culminates in a festive dinner party of which Post herself would have approved.
Saturday begins on foot in historic Old Town, Alexandria, with a behind-the-scenes tour of the on-going restoration of the Murray Dick Fawcett House, a 1770s timber-frame and masonry dwelling acquired by the Office of Historic Alexandria in 2017. As one of the few buildings surviving from the Revolutionary era, the property offers a microcosm of middling domestic life and architectural practices found in the 18th-century Chesapeake, and the site is poised to redefine the parameters of a historic house and garden.
In the late morning and early afternoon, the group will visit five amazing private homes that showcase the fine late 18th-century brickwork and plasterwork that defines Alexandria’s National Historic Landmark District. Each distinct property situates notable examples of American furniture, ceramics and fine art within original architectural interiors. Of note are the ca. 1795 Bernard Chequire House as well as the Fairfax-Moore House on Prince Street, the latter listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
That afternoon, Mr. Adams welcomes the group to his home nearby for a tour and a classic backyard southern BBQ. After dinner, participants can can gather at the hotel to celebrate the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III. Or, guests can enjoy a free evening to explore a myriad of shops and boutiques on King Street, Old Town Alexandria’s main thoroughfare with abundant high-street charm and waterfront views.
The trip culminates Sunday morning with an exclusive look at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the founding father’s beloved plantation situated high above the Potomac. Several Attingham alumni, including Curator of Fine and Decorative Arts Adam Erby ’16; Associate Curator Amanda Isaac ’19, Conservator of Collections Linda Landry ’18, Director of Preservation Thomas Reinhart ’18, among others, will lead private tours of the exhibition galleries, mansion and behind-the-scenes visits to collections and conservation facilities. Our trip concludes with a buffet lunch at the famous Mount Vernon Inn, where you can savor the flavors of early Virginia and bid farewell to the Chesapeake.
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A very special thanks to the planning committee, including: architect Robert Bentley Adams ’15; Gretchen Bulova ’12, Director of the Office of Historic Alexandria; Adam Erby ’16‘, LHC ’19, RCS ’22, the Martha Washington Chief Curator and Director, Fine and Decorative Arts at George Washington’s Mount Vernon; and Jon Frederick ’12, Curatorial Branch Head at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, for hosting the 2023 Study Trip!
REGISTRATION AND TRAVEL INFORMATION
TRIP DATES Registration and check-in begins at the hotel at at 4:30pm, Thursday, May 4, before a welcome reception and tour at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum at 5:30p. Our program ends with a final lunch at the Mount Vernon Inn on Sunday, May 7, finishing at 1:00pm before departing by bus back to the hotel.
COST The cost of the Study Trip is $1,300 per person (and a suggested $300 donation to AFA, tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law) which includes all tours, meals and transportation during the trip.
REGISTRATION To register, please download and complete the “American Friends of Attingham Study Trip 2023 Registration Form” (click here). Please submit your registration form via email to or send by mail to the American Friends of Attingham, 205 Lexington Avenue, Suite 1600, New York, NY 10016.
Registration is capped at 35 people and we fully expect this trip to sell out. If you’re not able to register, we will gladly add your name to a wait-list should a place become available. The deadline to register is March 19, 2023.
PAYMENT A minimum deposit of $400 per person is required upon return of this registration form. The final balance will be due by April 1, 2023. Payments can be made online by credit card – click here – or by mailing a check to the American Friends of Attingham, 205 Lexington Avenue, Suite 1600, New York, NY 10016. Your place on the trip will be confirmed once your deposit is received.
HOTEL Kindly note that participants are responsible for making their own hotel reservations. There is a room block reserved at The Alexandrian Hotel, Old Town, Autograph Collection, located at 480 King Street, for a nightly rate starting at $345 + tax. To book a room, please call the hotel directly at (703) 549-6080 and mention American Friends of Attingham to receive this discounted rate. The group rates expire on April 4, 2023, and the rate can be used from Thursday, May 4, 2023 – Sunday, May 7, 2023.
Participants may wish to consider alternate accommodations nearby, such as the Hilton Garden Inn Alexandria Old Town National Harbor (1620 Prince Street), the Hampton Inn Alexandria Old Town (1616 King Street), the Hilton Alexandria Old Town (1767 King Street), the Hyatt Centric Old Town (1625 King Street) or the Sheraton Suites Old Town (801 N. St. Asaph Street). These hotels are about a 15-minute walk to The Alexandrian or less for those who prefer to ride the free King Street trolley.
Please note that all activities will depart by bus from The Alexandrian Hotel.
For directions by air, train or car to The Alexandrian, please consult the hotel’s website (click here).
GETTING THERE The Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) is located in Arlington, Virginia, about 4-miles north, or 10 to 15-min away by car, from The Alexandrian Hotel. Other regional airports include Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) located about 30-miles west in Loudon County, Virginia. Travel on the newly opened Silver Line Metrorail station at Dulles takes about 55-minutes to Rosslyn metro station, where you can transfer to the Blue Line and head south to King Street. The Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) is located about an hour north in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, just outside of Baltimore, with public transportation options including a free airport shuttle to the MARC train Penn Line terminating at Union Station in D.C., or other trains running on Amtrak’s northeastern line which connect directly to Alexandria station.
Old Town Alexandria is also accessible by WMTA Metrorail station King St./Old Town, a stop on both the Blue and Yellow Lines. Guests travelling by Amtrak can take a number of trains to the Alexandria Station (ALX), located at 110 Callahan Drive, directly opposite and facing the King St. metro station.
A free King Street trolley runs every 15-minutes, seven days a week, from 11am to 11pm, stopping every two to three blocks from City Hall/Market Square to the metro station.
The Alexandrian Hotel has self-parking for guests ($33/night) for those wishing to drive or rent cars.
Participants will be responsible for their own travel transfers to and from their accommodations. Several hotels offer free shuttle service for guests arriving from/departing for DCA, so please ask when making your reservation.
CANCELLATION POLICY In the event that you must cancel your trip with us, the amount of your refund depends on the date of cancellation and on whether a replacement attendee is found. Cancellation within 15 days of the trip without a replacement attendee will result in a forfeiture of 100% of the fees. Cancellation of the trip within 30 days without a replacement will result in a forfeiture of 50% of the full fee. If we are able to find a replacement attendee for your place on the trip, then you may receive a full refund of the trip fees; however the suggested donation is non-refundable.
Itinerary information and subject to change.