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Naumkeag 1906-2006

Former owner:
Choate, Mabel 1870-1958
Choate, Joseph Hodges 1832-1917
Architect:
White, Stanford 1853-1906
Landscape architect:
Steele, Fletcher
Barrett, Nathan Franklin
Gallagher, Percival
Coffin, Marian Cruger 1876-1957
Provenance:
Lenox Garden Club
Physical description:
3 folders+ 96 35 mm. slides; 6 glass lantern slides
Type:
Mixed archival materials
Place:
United States of America, Massachusetts, Berkshire County, Stockbridge
Massachusetts
Stockbridge
Naumkeag (Stockbridge, Massachusetts)
Date:
1906
1906-2006
Notes:
Naumkeag was built in 1885 for Joseph Hodges Choate by Stanford White of McKim, Mead & White fame. The initial landscape plan was carried out by Nathaniel Barrett in the 1880s. Barrett fitted the house and gardens to the steep site by creating two broad lawn terraces. Beginning in 1926, Mabel Choate, daughter of Joseph Choate, engaged landscape architect Fletcher Steele to update the gardens. The Afternoon Garden and Chinese-style garden were created. They completed the work in 1956. The resulting landscape is widely viewed to have some of the most interesting residential design elements of the 20th Century, epitomized by Steele's well-known "Blue Steps" from 1938, a series of cascading Renaissance stairs with distinctive railings and water features set against a birch-planted hillside. The gardens are continually under restoration. The Evergreen Garden from 1948 was restored beginning in 2002 (its marble steps were rebuilt and the pea gravel allee planted with new arborvitae). Restoration of the Afternoon Garden occured in 2007. The property was given to the Trustees of Reservations in 1959, was made a National Historic Landmark in 2007, and is open to the public.
Persons associated with the garden include: Joseph Hodges Choate (former owner, 1885); Mabel Choate (former owner); the Trustees of Reservations (owners, 1959-present); Stanford White (architect, 1885); Nathan Franklin Barrett (landscape architect, 1880s); Fletcher Steele (landscape architect, 1926-1956); Marian Cruger Coffin (landscape architect); and Percival Gallagher (landscape architect).
Summary:
The folders include worksheets, garden plans, brochures, and photocopies of articles about the garden.
Publications:
Garden has been featured in Robin Karson, Fletcher Steele: Landscape Architect (Univ. of Massachusetts Press: Amherst, 2003)
Topic:
Gardens
Formal gardens
Chinese gardens
Local number:
MA015000
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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