The captions of similar Bubley photos indicate that the image was taken on a Sunday afternoon as she was following sightseeing servicemen around The Mall taking pictures for the Office of War Information Service.
Ca. 1922, by Harris & Ewing, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
Built ca. 1796 for James Powell Cocke, Edgemont is significant as a very early example of a country residence in the combination Palladian and French manner promulgated by Thomas Jefferson. Although the design of the house has been credited to Jefferson for several decades, precise documentation of the authorship remains yet to be established. The character* of the compact and sophisticated dwelling is uniquely Jeffersonian, however, and exhibits the influence he had on the architecture of his region. . . .
— from the 1980 nomination to the National Register of Historic Places
At the time of the photo, only two porticoes of the probable original four still existed. The house was restored and renovated in the late 1930s and 1940s. There are more F.B.J. photos here and 1996 photos here.
* “a formality and classical correctness devoid of monumentality. . .”
Encyclopedia Britannica defines ‘portico’ as a “colonnaded porch or entrance to a structure, or a covered walkway supported by regularly spaced columns. Porticoes formed the entrances to ancient Greek temples.”
The south portico of the White House was built in 1824, principally from an 1807 design by architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, then Surveyor of Public Buildings. Latrobe was appointed and supervised by Thomas Jefferson, who loved neoclassical design and called Palladio’s books “the bible.”
The South of France
“simple and sublime”
on his mind
On abandon, uncalled for but called forth. . . .*
I think this is the loveliest wisteria I have ever seen. It grew on the porch columns of “Wisteria House,” at Massachusetts Avenue and Eleventh Street, N.W., in Washington, D.C. The photo was taken in 1919, by Martin A. Gruber.**
The house was torn down in 1924 to make room for the Wisteria Mansion apartment building.
A naval officer brought the vine from China and gave it to the owner of the house, probably during the 1860s, according to the blog Greater Greater Washington.
The Harris & Ewing** photo above, taken between 1910 and 1920, shows the trunks of the (one?) plant emerging through openings at the base of the porch. The house was built in 1863, and the two-story portico was added in 1869 — so it looks like the wisteria was planted between those years and protected during the construction.
**Top and second (a detail of the first) photos via the Smithsonian Institution Archives Commons on flickr. Third and fourth photos via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.