Kenilworth Park in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Beauty and Business
Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
"Beauty cannot be purchased, it must be created."
— Helen Shaw Fowler
Welcome to these aquatic gardens—transcend the busy streets and embrace the unique beauty, pease and natural rhythm to be found here.
The pond area today looks much as it did during the early 20th century when it was operating as one of the largest aquatic plant business in the nation.
Shaw Gardens was started in the 1880s by Civil War veteran Walter B. Shaw. The water gardens blended plant sailes with aesthetic beauty. After 1912, Shaw's daughter Helen led the company. Together, family members and hired laborers dug ponds, planted, nurtured, and harvested aquatic plants.
Along with being available for purchase by local residents, plants shipments were sent every week to New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago.
A Floral Experience in Washington, D.C.
Thousands of blooming flowers drew hundreds of Washingtonians to these aquatic gardens on summer weekends during the early 1900s.
Visitors came from all walks
President Woodrow Wilson and his wife, as well as First Ladies Florence Harding and Grace Coolidge frequented the gardens and became friends with the Shaw family.
In 1938, as Washington Post reporter wrote:
"The ponds are separated by dikes with grassy paths, shaded by large trees making a picture of satisfying beauty.
Acres of blooms reach away in all directions, the surface of the water almost entirely with foliage and blossoms of white, pink, rose, crimson and blue. . ."
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Location. 38° 54.798′ N, 76° 56.585′ W. Marker is in Kenilworth Park, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on River Trail just west of Anacostia Avenue Northeast. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1550 Anacostia Avenue Northeast, Washington DC 20019, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Aquatic Greenhouse #3 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Preserve and Protect (about 400 feet away); Helen Shaw Fowler (about 400 feet away); Aquatic Greenhouse #1 (about 400 feet away); Victoria amazonica (about 500 feet away); Display Pools (about 500 feet away); Under the Boardwalk (approx. 0.2 miles away); Birds, Wetlands and... Conservation (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kenilworth Park.
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Credits. This page was last revised on October 27, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 27, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 42 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 27, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.