Biographical / Historical
Boris Timchenko (1898-1975) was a modernist landscape architect based in the Washington, D.C. area. Boris Vladimir Timchenko, who occasionally spelled his last name "Timtchenko" early in his life, was born in Tambov, Russia on October 1, 1898 to Vladimir Peter Timchenko and Nataly Nazarewsky. He lived in Lipetsk, Russia until he attended Moscow University from 1916-1918. From 1918-1920, he served in the White Russian Army but fled to France when Communist Bolsheviks defeated his army. He studied landscape architecture at what he termed a "Horticulture School" (possibly the École Nationale Supérieure d'Horticulture) in Versailles until 1924, and earned a degree in Agricultural Engineering at the École Nationale de Agriculture de Grignon in Grignon, France in 1926. A year later, he emigrated to the United States and worked for a landscape contractor, A. Gude Sons & Company, in Washington, D.C.
Timchenko started his own landscape architecture firm, Boris Timchenko and Associates, in Washington in 1938. Along with his colleague Leonard Bartlett, Jr., Timchenko designed outdoor spaces in the D.C. metropolitan area, Pennsylvania, and coastal Florida. He is perhaps best known as being the landscape architect for The Watergate Development in Washington, D.C. and the consulting designer for the National Capital Flower and Garden Show from 1950 to 1967. He also created private gardens for notable clients such as former First Lady Mamie Eisenhower and the Auchincloss family, owners of Hammersmith Farm in Newport, Rhode Island. Organizations and businesses, such as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in D.C. and the historic Gadsby's Tavern in Alexandria, Virginia, hired him as well. Timchenko was a member of professional organizations including the American Institute of Landscape Architects (later American Society of Landscape Architects) and the Texas Association of Nurserymen, and he was a founding member of the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas in D.C. By the time he died in 1975, Timchenko had contributed significantly to the design of D.C.'s urban landscape.