Preserving the historic police and fire callboxes of McLean Gardens

News and Updates

COMING SOON — A NEW WEBSITE!  Our new online home will feature a fresh design in honor of the 75th anniversary of McLean Gardens in 2017. Stay tuned!



Dining with the Hope Diamond — The Friendship Estate Cookbook is available for purchase. If interested in purchasing a cookbook, please contact the Art on Call Committee at  Proceeds benefit the historic call boxes for the McLean Gardens neighborhood.

Residents of McLean Gardens have contributed their tastiest tried-and-true recipes into a keepsake book that will be treasured for generations to come. Printed by Morris Press Cookbooks of Kearney, Nebraska, this cookbook contains 400 mouth-watering recipes — everything you need from appetizers to desserts — and it costs $29.95 and $4.50 for domestic shipping and handling per book. If two or more cookbooks are purchased, a $5 discount per book is applied after the first book is purchased at full price.

Special features include:

• A Friendship Era historic section, which includes recipes of the McLean and Walsh families, as well as recipes of former Friendship Estate guests and neighbors;
• Friendship Estate art by artists Richard Haas (, John Bailey, Margaret Huddy (, Philip Alexius de Laszlo (, and Maggie Austin (;
• A reproduction of a Friendship Estate note card;
• Excerpts from newspapers, books, and personal letters describing Friendship Estate events; and
• A section devoted to recipes to make treats for your beloved pets.

We would like to express our appreciation to the Smithsonian Institution, The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., the Library of Congress, The White House Historical Association, and the DC Public Library for their support of our cookbook.



1.  Which holidays were usually major annual events at the Friendship Estate:
a.  Easter
b. Thanksgiving
c.  New Year’s Eve
d.  All of the above

2.  Mr. and Mrs. Edward B. McLean and Mr. and Mrs. John R. McLean each had a set of custom-made china with a Friendship Estate theme.  What was the theme?

3.   When Evalyn Walsh McLean entertained at the Friendship Estate, she was known for wearing the:
a.  Tiffany opal necklace
b.  Blue Heart Diamond
c.  Hope Diamond
d.  Star of India

4.  Which McLean dog is believed to have worn the Hope Diamond at the Friendship Estate on special occasions?
a.  “Sarto” — a Standard Poodle
b.  “Mike” — a Great Dane
c.  “Monkey” — an Affenpinscher
d.  All of the above

5.  How many McLean Friendship Estates were there, and where were they located?

[Answers to the above questions are in Dining with the Hope Diamond — The Friendship Estate Cookbook — available now!]


Cookbook Artists

For a flavor of the artists’ work that is in Dining with the Hope Diamond —
The Friendship Estate Cookbook,
please check out these websites:

  1. Richard Haas —
  2. Margaret Huddy —
  3. Philip de Laszlo —
  4. Maggie Austin —


Hope Diamond Cake by Maggie Austin


DID YOU KNOW that a McLean Gardens neighborhood keepsake cookbook is available RIGHT NOW?  Residents have contributed hundreds of recipes to Dining With the Hope Diamond.

In addition to recipes from residents, “Dining With the Hope Diamond” will include recipes from notable figures associated with the Friendship Estate and its era, historic photographs, and original art inspired by our neighborhood’s colorful past.  The Hope Diamond cake (photo above) — created especially for the book by internationally-renowned cake artist Maggie Austin LaBaugh ( — is just one example.  Maggie has also donated her amazing recipe for Apricot-Glazed Almond Cake with Honeyed Mascarpone Cream, available here: Maggie Austin Cake Recipe.  Deepest gratitude to Maggie and Jessica, her Managing Director, for their generosity and kindness in donating high art, beauty, and a great cake recipe to our project!


Exciting news: Artist John Bailey, who painted the beloved Marilyn Monroe mural on Connecticut Avenue, has created a portrait of Evalyn Walsh McLean and the Hope Diamond for our neighborhood cookbook! We snapped this photo of him holding it in the folder on our “close-up of Marilyn adventure” we had with him. Other artists have contributed to our keepsake cookbook, too. To purchase a copy now — just e-mail us at The recipes that we have tested from our collection of 400 thus far have been fantastic!


Jay Leno owns one of Evalyn Walsh McLean’s Cars!

Jay Leno owns a number of classic cars – including Evalyn’s 1931 Murphy Beverly! You can see a video about this car and some more info about Evalyn at Jay Leno’s Garage website here.


New Photos of the Hope Diamond and Art drawn by W.B. King from a Harper’s Weekly issue from 1912.

We found the images below in a 1912 issue of Harper’s Weekly. Hope you enjoy them!


Artwork drawn by W. B. King in Harper’s Weekly