- The Washington Times - Monday, May 27, 2002

Everything was in perfect order at the annual garden party at Tudor Place Wednesday night.
The fabulously restored 1919 Pierce Arrow roadster once owned by Armistead Peter III was parked near the entrance so guests could sit behind the wheel before a stroll in the gardens, where, as usual, the sounds of classical and jazz music thoughtfully provided by the Levine School floated over the magnificent oaks and copper beeches from opposite ends of the expansive, eight-and-one-half-acre Georgetown estate.
A marquee attached to the neoclassical mansion's facade took the place of the usual tent at the far end of the south lawn this year, affording a spectacular, unobstructed view of Tudor Place's magnificent 100-foot-tall tulip poplar, now in full bloom, which was recently designated the District's Millennium Landmark Tree.
Guests traditionally adhere to the classic English garden-party look for the affair (or "haute WASP," as one wag put it), and this year was no exception. The women looked splendid in picture hats and spring frocks in a variety of colors (no black for once) as they circulated among buffet and dessert tables set with massive seasonal flower arrangements. Gents congregated near the bars, sipping gin and tonics in natty blazers or seersucker suits worn with ties bearing Ivy League or clubby insignia.
The tradition of recognizing Georgetown's most venerable grandes dames continued, with honors going to Mrs. Thomas Edward Crocker (known as Mimi to her friends), who operated a well-remembered lamp shop and interior-design business on Wisconsin Avenue for many years.
"A doyenne of superb taste and culture, and a Georgetown institution," as Carrie Queenan, her N Street NW neighbor, pointed out.
Tudor Place Chairman Emeritus Austin H. Kiplinger spoke of the difficulties of maintaining an ancient edifice that always requires major work.
"You don't own an historic house, it owns you," he said after recalling the various projects all expensive completed in the past year: protective windows, roof repairs and downspouts, to name a few.
Sally Chapoton and her daughter, Clare Chapoton Anderson, served as co-chairmen of the benefit, which raised about $83,000 for Tudor Place. Others sighted included: Ellen MacNeille Charles, David and Janet Bruce, Outerbridge Horsey, Marcia McGhee Carter (who this week is closing Booked Up, the shop she and partner Larry McMurtry operated on 31st Street NW for 31 years), Huntington Block, Michael Sullivan, Niente and Robert Smith, George and Christine Hill, and Abigail Adams Greenway.


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