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Rochambeau House 1952-2000

Landscape designer:
Sharpe, Mary Elizabeth 1884-1985
Former owner:
Sharpe, Henry Dexter
Architect:
Rice, Arthur
Landscape architect:
Coffin, Marian Cruger 1876-1957
Cautley, Marjorie Sewell
Restoration architect:
Dinneen, Ralph E.
Gardener:
Brannon, Kevin
Grounds superintendent:
Vetere, Pat
Architects:
Parker, Thomas & Rice
Restoration architects:
R. E. Dinneen Architects & Planners, Inc.
Provenance:
Garden Club of New Haven
Physical description:
3 folders+ 33 35 mm. slides
Type:
Mixed archival materials
Place:
United States of America, Rhode Island, Providence County, Providence
Rhode Island
Providence
Rochambeau House (Providence, Rhode Island)
Date:
1952
1952-2000
Notes:
Situated on an irregular two-thirds acre lot, this garden's development began in 1929 under the supervision of its owner, Mary Elizabeth Sharpe, and continued over a period of 55 years. It is now in full maturity. Following Mrs. Sharpe's death in 1985, the property passed to Brown University, where it is now the home of the French Studies and Hispanic Studies departments. It was renamed Rochambeau House for Jean de Vimeu, Comte de Rochambeau, MareĢchal de France and commandant of French forces encamped at Providence during the American Revolution. Although some features have changed and trees have been replaced, the design concept still remains one of a French-style garden composed of plants chosen for year-round green interest. Features include a formal, boxwood-edged lawn, paved teraces, stone-paved courts, stone steps and ornaments, paths of diamond pavers, espaliers on house walls, and spring flowering trees surrounding a handsome house. The long, narrow sequence of the west garden descending from formal to naturalized areas and woodland is a highlight.
Persons and firms associated with the property include: Mary Elizabeth Sharpe (former owner and landscape designer, 1929-1985); Henry Dexter Sharpe (former owner, 1929-?); Arthur Rice (architect, 1929); Marian Cruger Coffin (landscape architect, 1934); Marjorie Sewell Cautley (landscape architect, 1937); Ralph E. Dinneen (restoration architect, 1985-1987); Kevin Brannon (gardener, 1980 to date); Pat Vetere (Brown University grounds superintendent, current); Parker, Thomas & Rice (architects, 1929); and R. E. Dinneen Architects & Planners, Inc. (restoration architects, 1985-1987).
Summary:
The folders include worksheets, copies of garden designs with planting plans, black and white photographs of the garden, black and white and color photocopies of images of the garden and Mary Elizabeth Sharpe, photocopies of articles about the house and garden, an unpublished 1990 paper by Lisa Hartjen entitled "The Gardens of 84 Prospect Street," notes on the garden by Mary Elizabeth Sharpe, a photocopy of Marjorie Sewell Cautley's 1937 consultant report, and correspondence and other information relating to the garden and Mary Elizabeth Sharpe.
Publications:
Garden has been featured in the Providence Sunday Journal, May 25, 1941
Garden has been featured in the Providence Preservation Society News, January-March 1987, p. 4
Garden has been featured in "Madame Sharpe's Chateau," Commercial Renovation, n.d
Garden has been featured in Donald D. Breed, "A Legacy of Green for Generations," Providence Journal-Bulletin, June 2, 1994
Topic:
Gardens
Local number:
RI073000
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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