United States of America, Texas, Smith County, Tyler
Ravenwood (Tyler, Texas)
This 4.5-acre garden site dates to 1935, and for more than 50 years was the home of the late Senator Tomas G. Pollard and his wife, Edna. Tom Pollard served as a member of the Texas State Legislature and was one of East Texas's most influential citizens. Designated as a Tyler Historic Landmark in 1998, Ravenwood represents possibly the largest private, secured, and continuing garden in the Tyler, Texas, area. From their inception in the mid-1930s, the gardens have highlighted the Georgian Colonial style home, which in turn is highlighted by majestic columns. The result is a series of six gardens, correlated into an overall garden whose beauty may be viewed from any point in the two-story home, aided by the use of different ground levels and walls of varied heights. Each of the areas is complemented with the same type of landscape architecture, beginning with the large trees--including crape myrtle, dogwood, pecan, and live oak--sculptured to give a cathedral effect. Approximately 1,500 azaleas serve as the major lower plants and provide a showcase of rich pink and white color each spring. Varieties include 'Pride of Mobile', 'Hinode-giri', 'Pink Elegans', 'Snow White', and 'Formosa'. Additional focal points of the gardens include its cleyeras and other shrubs, magnificent flower beds with seasonal color, the estate's gated entrance and circular drive, small garden houses, fountains, reflecting pools, statuary, and sundials. Of special note is the fountain in front of the main entrance, carved of Italian stone and ordered from the Erkins Studios of New York. Throughout the years--from different times of day to different seasons--Ravenwood's gardens have stood the test of time and brought delight to countless visitors.
Persons associated with the property include: Tomas G. and Edna Pollard (former owners, 1935-1987); Robert Tracy and Damon Leard (former owners, 1987-1993); Shirley Simons (architect, 1930s); Maurice Shamburger (landscape architect, 1930s); Gerald T. Shamburger (landscape architect, 1960s); Fritz von Osthoff (architect and landscape designer, 1987-1989); and Selena Short (landscape designer and horticulturist, 1990s).
The folder includes a worksheet, garden and site plans, three photocopies of perspective sketches of the garden, and three photocopies of newspaper articles about the garden.
Garden has been featured in the Tyler Courier-Times, April 3, 1969
Garden has been featured in the Tyler Courier-Times-Telegraph, April 19, 1970
Garden has been featured in the Tyler Morning Telegraph, March 27, 1990