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Smithsonian Secy Responds to the GCA Appeal to Preserve Haupt Garden


October 26, 2017

In a letter to Smithsonian Institution Secretary David J. Skorton, The Garden Club of America recently renewed its opposition to the Smithsonian’s “misguided and costly” plans to destroy the beloved Enid A. Haupt Garden in the heart of the nation’s capital.  The garden is threatened by the Smithsonian’s South Mall Campus Master Plan, which would raze the four-acre public garden in the Smithsonian Castle quadrangle and implement a new design.

Completed in 1987, the Haupt Garden is one of several “outdoor museums” in the Smithsonian complex.  Its parterre and changing colorful flower displays offer an iconic resting spot for hundreds of thousands of visitors to Washington, D.C.  

Joining a wide array of opponents including the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Garden Conservancy, the DC Preservation League, and The Committee of 100 on the Federal City, the GCA urged the Smithsonian to abide by donor intent, to reject its current plans, and instead to pursue reasonable measures that would retain both the historic garden and allow for necessary repair.  

“We fail to understand why – in the face of substantial opposition – the Smithsonian continues to dig in its heels, ignoring the opportunity to provide assurance to scholars and the public that it will respect the historic and culturally significant quadrangle and remain true to the documented intent and vision of donor Enid Haupt and former Smithsonian Secretaries S. Dillon Ripley II and Robert McC. Adams Jr.,” the GCA said in a letter signed by President Anne Neal Petri.

Click to read the GCA's letter to Smithsonian Institution Secretary David J. Skorton

Click to read the response from Secretary Skorton.

This article was amended from an earlier version which was posted prior to receipt of the response from Secretary Skorton. 


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