About the Lovers’ Lane Pool

Located between the terraced gardens to the west and Lovers’ Lane to the east, the Lovers’ Lane pool and amphitheater marks the southern end of a vista that extends into Mélisande’s Allée.  Built in 1927-28 on the site of a natural pond, Beatrix Farrand’s pool and theater designs drew inspiration from the Baroque Italian garden style. She based the amphitheater on the Accademia degli Arcadi Bosco Parrasio in Rome, although she noted that her turf-and-brick theater was steeper and smaller in scale. Both aspects were dictated by the landscape of Dumbarton Oaks.

Farrand carried Italianate details around the perimeter of the garden room by building a screen of split-wood lattice interspersed with cast-stone columns. She planted the lattice with creeping vines like honeysuckle, ivy, jasmine, and kudzu to enclose the amphitheater and pool, emphasizing a buffer between the garden and Lovers’ Lane.

In 1936, Beatrix Farrand’s office designed a little niche and tablet to mark the southern entrance to the amphitheater. A bronze statue of pipe-playing Pan was placed on the tablet, as a reference to the Arcadians who met at Accademia degli Arcadi Bosco Parrasio. The original statue was stolen, but it was replaced with a replica in 1995.

Planting plan for Lovers' Lane Pool with plant list, 1960 Planting plan and plant list for Lovers' Lane Pool in the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens, Washington, D.C.