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17

MONDAY

If you live in D.C. but don’t have a country house, remember, you do have Meridian Hill Park, aka Malcolm X Park, which is the next-best thing. The split-level park, which runs along 16th Street NW was (at least in part) designed by Ferruccio Vitale (1875-1933), who, if you believe a ravishing new monograph about him by R. Terry Schnadelbach, is “America’s greatest forgotten landscape architect.” Vitale ran in the same leagues as the ubiquitous Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. but had a harder touch: He was the most rational and architectural and the least picturesque of the leading early-20th-century landscape architects. As clients, Vitale had the Guggenheims, the Duponts, the Conde Nasts, and us, a bunch of soccer-playing, marimba-pounding, beer-drinking, stroller-pushing nobodies, to whom he gave his exquisite best. Schnadelbach will talk about Vitale’s career of making sublime outdoor spaces and sign copies of his book at 6:30 p.m. at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. $15. For reservations call (202) 272-2448. (Bradford McKee)