William Lyman Phillips photograph collection, circa 1920s-1940s
Phillips, William Lyman d. 1966
.1 cubic ft
30 negatives : glass, b&w ; 3 x 4 inches
2 autochromes : glass, col. ; 3 x 4 inches
William Lyman Phillips (d. 1966) was a landscape architect credited with popularizing the use of tropical and subtropical plants in landscape design. His most famous project was the design of the Fairchild Tropical Garden in Coral Gables, Florida. Phillips studied at Harvard, graduating cum laude in 1910, and the next year joined the Olmsted Brothers firm. He worked in Canada and New York, and laid out the townships of Balboa and San Miguel Ellende in the Panama Canal Zone. He designed many estates and parks for the Olmsted firm and traveled to Europe to study villas and gardens. During World War I, Phillips built cantonments in the United States for the U. S. Army Quartermaster Corps. He was later in charge of landscaping American military cemeteries in France, after which he returned to the United States to work once again with the Olmsted firm.
In 1923 Phillips took charge of the Olmsted Brothers' projects of Bok Tower Gardens and the adjacent Mountain Lake Colony in Lake Wales, Florida. In 1929 he was hired to site the house and gardens for Charles Austin Buck, the president of Bethlehem Steel. The estate, "El Retiro," now called Pinewood, was in the Mountain Lake Colony. Phillips collaborated with the architect, Charles Wait, on the Buck estate until 1932. Phillips worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps in Dade County, Florida, supervising the construction of several state parks, and he designed the Dade County parks. In 1936, while Phillips was working with the Civilian Conservation Corps, he was hired by Robert H. Montgomery to design the Fairchild Tropical Garden.
The William Lyman Phillips Collection includes thirty glass negatives and two glass autochromes showing a sampling of gardens presumably designed by landscape architect William Lyman Phillips. The gardens are located in Massachusetts, Florida and unidentified locations.
Pioneer of Tropical Landscape Architecture: William Lyman Phillips in Florida by Faith Reyher Jackson / Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1997
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, William Lyman Phillips photograph collection