Washington, D.C. Embassy
Birthday Celebration for Sir Edwin Lutyens
Embassy porte cochere
Dinner to Celebrate 150th Anniversary of Lutyens’s Birth
Lutyens Trust America Board with Sir Kim and Lady Darroch
Entering the Residence from the Grand Staircase
Welcome Address from the Ambassador
Presentation to Ambassador
Imagine having dinner at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., Edwin Lutyens’s only major built work in the United States. And then imagine getting to do that on the 150th anniversary of his birth. This is the dream that came true for a group of members of The Lutyens Trust America. I have images in my head that I will never forget. Seeing everyone gathering at the security desk before our tour. Standing on the garden lawn looking towards the Residence. Getting to enter under the porte cochere and then walk up the elegant staircase into the Residence. Soaking in the ambiance of the Ambassador’s study with the beautiful wood paneling and carving. And then the elegant evening that started with wine in the drawing room, progressed to an intimate dinner in the dining room, and ended with coffee and petits fours in the drawing room.
Sir Kim and Lady Darroch were impeccable hosts during the event. Following Sir Kim’s welcome speech, Robin Prater presented the Ambassador with a framed print of Carl Laubin’s Metiendo Vivendum on behalf of The Lutyens Trust America. Clive Aslet entertained us with a lively talk on Lutyens that included a number of humorous anecdotes about the architect. The Lutyens Trust in the UK was represented by Ludovic de Walden and by Martin Lutyens, who serves on the board of The Lutyens Trust and The Lutyens Trust America. Candia Lutyens made the evening even more extraordinary by bringing Sir Edwin’s Gold Medals from the AIA and the RIBA, as well as his Order of Merit and Legion d’Honneur. (Lutyens was the first architect to receive the Order of Merit.)
A big thank you goes out to all the people at the British Embassy that helped to make the day so special. From the afternoon tour of the house and gardens to dinner in the evening, everything ran smoothly because of their work. At the end of our visit, each guest was presented with a model of The Cenotaph, specially engraved by Timothy Richards to commemorate the 150th birthday of Edwin Lutyens and the 100th anniversary of The Cenotaph.