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Allen Garden, 1916-1978

Landscape architect:
Steele, Fletcher
Former owner:
Allen, Charlotte Whitney
Allen, Atkinson
Physical description:
1 folder+ 6 slides (photographs)
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, New York, Monroe County, Rochester
New York
Allen Garden (Rochester, New York)
Beginning around 1915, Fletcher Steele worked over a period of years designing and re-designing a garden for Atkinson and Charlotte Whitney Allen (and for Charlotte alone after the Allens' 1934 divorce). Incorporating European elements, especially from the Munich School, the garden featured evergreens and other greenery (Charlotte Allen detested flowers) as well as a long lawn leading away from the house toward a pool at the far end. During the 1920s a sculpture by Gaston Lachaise was added as a focal point, while later accents include an Alexander Calder mobile and a "Saracen" tent. Although Charlotte Allen no longer owned the property In 1978 when it was documented by the University of Rochester, the owners at that time were committed to retaining and maintaining the garden's historic design and features. The property was last sold in April 2009; the current status of the garden is unknown. With the exception of one image, the slides were all taken from published sources, although those sources reproduced original documentation.
Persons and firms associated with the garden include Fletcher Steele (landscape architect, 1915-1967); Charlotte Whitney Allen (former owner, 1915-1978?); and Atkinson Allen (former owner, 1915-1934).
The folder includes worksheets, photocopies of publications mentioning the garden, and additional information.
Garden has been featured in Robin Karson, Fletcher Steele, Landscape Architect: An Account of the Gardenmaker's Life (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc./Sagapress, Inc., 1989) and revised ed. (Amherst: Library of American Landscape History, 2003)
Garden has been featured in Stanley Schuler, America's Great Private Gardens (New York: Macmillan, 1967)
Garden has been featured in Christina Jean Selvek, The Historic Designed Landscapes of Fletcher Steele in Rochester, New York: An Intensive Level Survey [master's thesis] (Syracuse: State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 2004)
Local number:
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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