At one time, Dumbarton Oaks Park was part of the larger Dumbarton Oaks estate, designed by Beatrix Jones Farrand. In 1940, its 27 acres were donated to the federal government in 1940, separating it from the estate. The park is now part of Rock Creek Park, which is maintained by the National Park Service. The park was designed to be the "wild" counterpart of the highly-ordered, manicured gardens around the house.
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However, one might say that designing the illusion of wildness makes the park's artifice even more evident and admirable as a work of art. Farrand's design puts a very human stamp on the woodland, showing that landscape architecture, when boldly conceived and carefully executed, can make "wild nature" more beautiful than it would be if left without human stewardship.