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The Dumbarton House, Georgetown, DC •Dumbarton House is fine example of Federal period architecture(1790-1830) •Inside Dumbarton House, rooms of the same dimensions face the street from either side of the central passage, and this symmetry is repeated in the two rooms facing the garden at the rear of the house. •designed by Dr. William Thornton (1759-1828)
In 1915, the Dumbarton House was moved 100 feet to its present site, to allow for the extension of Q Street into Georgetown. From Streets of Washington: "It took three weeks and 200 jacks to raise the old house a half-inch off the ground and probably several months after that to drag it into its new resting place, a spot that had been dug out of the hillside some 60 feet to the north. Regretfully, no pictures have been located that show how this complicated engineering feat was accomplished."
A highlight of the permanent collection of early American paintings on display at Dumbarton House is a portrait of the children of Benjamin Stoddert, first Secretary of the U.S. Navy. The portrait was painted by Charles Willson Peale in 1791. The background scene depicts Georgetown as an early tobacco port, only 40 years after it was incorporated as a city.