3850 and 3900 Tunlaw Road

 

In 1922, “Four years before [Myron] Walker became the first settler of the suburb under its name of Glover Park, two families had bought and built homes at 3850 and 3900 Tunlaw road and were developing a joint sunken garden that is the delight of all passers-by. They are the families of Benedicta Regenstein and Dr. D.B. Moffett. The latter moved first, into a house that was already erected. Mrs. Regenstein, who already had started work on the garden, moved later, when her rambling home was completed.”

(Christine Sadler, “Our Town”, Washington Post, October 31, 1939, p.17)

 

 

3900 Tunlaw Road

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the house at 3900 Tunlaw Road first appeared on the market in 1921, its unusual appearance was ascribed to its having been intended by the architect as his own home. “The grounds are consistent with the house––a 240-foot front, with shade trees and a very high quality of landscape gardening.” (Washington Post, November 13, 1921, p.51)

For three decades 3900 Tunlaw Road was the home of Dr. Daniel B. Moffett. Circa 1955, Moffett sold, and moved to the new apartment building at 4114 Davis Place. 3900 Tunlaw Road was razed to make way for construction of the Walton House apartment building, which opened in 1959.

(Washington Post, October 17, 1959, p.C11; October 23, 1959, p.C13; “Daniel B. Moffett, Medical Specialist, Professor”, Washington Post, April 15, 1976, p.C9)

 

 

 

 

 3850 Tunlaw Road

 

Spacious Washington Garden Gains Effectiveness Through Touches of Informality and Cosiness––Mrs. Benedicta Registein has found room for both broad vistas and informal nooks in the garden of her home on Tunlaw road. The view across the pool in the top picture, for example, gives the impression of spaciousness, while overhanging foliage combines with the aquatic plants beneath to produce a scene of woodland splendor. Mrs. Registein, in the center picture, is shown beside an old tree along one of the garden paths, and below, she enjoys the shaded seclusion of the rock garden.

(Washington Post, July 4, 1937, p.A3)

 

 

Advertising cover, Transo Paper Company, manufacturer of Transo window envelopes and business stationery, 1915.  (PostalHistoryStore.com)

 

Benedicta Regenstein (1868-1949) was the widow of Julius Regenstein of Chicago, who made his fortune by inventing the window envelope, introduced in 1903.   “Mr. Julius Regenstein, president of both the Regenstein-Veeder Company and Transo Envelope Company, died at his home in Chicago on June 13th [1920] from heart failure. He had been ailing for the past two or three years. The funeral was held on June 15th and was very largly attended, many lithographers and men from the paper trade being present.”

(The National Lithographer, Vol. 28, January 1921, p.43)

 

 

Between 1933 and 1943 Mrs. Regenstein’s garden figured in numerous garden tours, and were opened for the benefit of charities.  (“Public To See Wesley Heights Gardens”, Washington Post, April 28, 1938, p.12)

 

 

 

(Washington Post, July 4, 1937, p.A3)

 

“Mrs. Benedicta Regenstein, 3850 Tunlaw road, opened her gardens for a silver tea yesterday from 4 to 7, sponsored by the Altar Society of St. Anne’s Catholic Church, of which she is a member. Her home is located back of Mount Alto Hospital. Proceeds of the affair will go to the building fund of the church. Guests had the opportunity to view the rose arbor rock garden, lily pond and terraced gardens.”

(“Garden Exhibition To Aid Church Fund”, Washington Post, June 10, 1940, p.10; “Party to Honor Catholic Radio Hour”, Washington Post, October 17, 1942, p.B5)

 

“The Trowel Club of Washington plans an unusual rose festival for Saturday, June 1, from 3 to 9 p.m., in behalf of the American Horticultural Society. Other garden clubs affiliated with the national society will assist in the festival which is to be held on the grounds of the home of Mrs. Benedicta Regenstein, 3850 Tunlaw road. The chief display will be the rose gardens in which are massed 1,200 roses. The grounds will be illuminated for the evening.”

(“Flower Shows Continue, Rose Festival Is Planned”, Washington Post, May 26, 1940 p.L13)

 

In 1943 Regenstein moved to 3800 Harrison Street NW (where she died in 1949). From 1943 to 1946 Regenstein’s tenant was Beatrice Patton Waters, whose husband was a prisoner of war in Germany. Mrs. Waters was not entirely a stranger to the area. “General Patton, when I grew up he was the chief man over at Fort Myer in Virginia. His daughter [went] to Western High and she was in my class in Latin class. Miss Mary Patton.”

(Washington Post, September 26, 1943, p.S3; “Regenstein, Benedicta”, March 30, 1949, p.B2; “Toddy” Lyddane: Oral History)

 

The Tunlaw Park apartment building replaced Mrs. Regenstein’s Tunlaw Road house in 1953. In the interval of years between Mrs. Regenstein’s departure, and construction of the Tunlaw Park, Mrs. Regenstein’s garden was discovered by children. “Directly across the street from the [Nurses] home was a very large home that had a huge round pond in the rear. It was about three feet deep and fifty feet or more in diameter. It was the home to bull frogs and large snails. In back, where apartment houses exist today, was a small creek that was filled with tadpoles. Children would spend hours there trying to capture these amphibians and watch them in captivity in bathtubs at home.”

(Washington Post, September 27, 1953, p.S16; Francis McKinley: Remembering Glover Park in the Forties)

 

The Tunlaw Park (now the Archstone Glover Park) apartment building “was built on a hillside site that was once a formal garden and the builders have gone to considerable expense to preserve for the apartment dwellers the beauty of the shrubbery and trees that once graced the original estate.”

(“Tunlaw Park Holds Open House”, Washington Post, July 26, 1953, p.R10)

 

 

 

 

___________________________________________________________

Carlton Fletcher

 The citation and acknowledgement of my research is greatly appreciated.

All rights reserved.

 

 Questions and corrections may be directed to

carlton@gloverparkhistory.com

 

The support of the Advisory Neighborhood Council (3B) is gratefully acknowledged.