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Vernon Court c. 1907-1984

Former owner:
Gambrill, Anna Van Nest
Carrère & Hastings
Landscape architects:
Wadley & Smythe
Physical description:
1 folder+ 2 lantern slides; 17 slides (photographs)
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Rhode Island, Newport County, Newport
Rhode Island
Vernon Court (Newport, Rhode Island)
c 1907-1984
Complementing a mansion designed around 1898 by Carrère & Hastings for Anna Van Nest Gambrill (Mrs. Richard Gambrill, Sr.), this garden was the work of Wadley & Smythe. A large sunken garden with a central fountain was a replica of Anne Boleyn's garden at Hampton Court. A terrace ran the length of the house, while the formal garden was enclosed on the north and south sides by towering privet hedges. Gravel paths framed the sunken garden and also divided it into four sections. North and south of the house were smaller intimate gardens. Highlighting the south garden was a domed summer house and a small fountain, while standard and floribunda roses amidst box borders were features of the north garden. Beginning in 1956 with its sale by the Gambrill family, the property passed through several owners, and the gardens and grounds were largely neglected until the early 1970s. The mansion currently houses the National Museum of American Illustration, under whose aegis extensive restoration work on the gardens has been undertaken. Many of the slides are images of periodical and book illustrations. Other gardens associated with the Gambrill family in the Archives of American Gardens include Vernon Manor I (NJ107) and Vernon Manor II (NJ227).
Persons and firms associated with the property include: Anna Van Nest Gambrill (former owner, c. 1898-1927); Carrère & Hastings (architects, c. 1898); and Wadley & Smythe (landscape architects, c. 1898).
The folder includes worksheets and photocopies of articles and periodical and book illustrations about the garden (the Indoors and Out article, cited below, includes a garden plan).
Garden has been featured in The Architectural Review, XV, No. V (May 1908)
Garden has been featured in Louise Shelton, Beautiful Gardens in America, (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1915 and 1924)
Garden has been featured in John Cordis Baker, ed., American Country Homes and Their Gardens (Philadelphia: House & Garden/John C. Winston, 1906), pp. 102-107
Garden has been featured in Harmon Van Veghton, "A Louis XVI House and its Gardens," Indoors and Out, Vol. IV, No. 1 (April 1907), pp. 1-6
Garden has been featured in Antoinette F. Downing and Vincent J. Scully, Jr., The Architectural Heritage of Newport Rhode Island 1640-1915, 2nd ed., rev. (New York: Clarson N. Potter, 1967)
Local number:
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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