Rudy J. Favretti, a landscape architect and professor noted for his extensive work in historical restoration of landscaped gardens, parks, homes, and more, was born in Mystic, Connecticut in 1932. He obtained degrees from the University of Connecticut, Cornell University, and the University of Massachusetts. Favretti holds Bachelor's degrees in horticulture, landscape design, and landscape architecture, as well as Master's degrees in ornamental horticulture, landscape architecture, and regional planning. From 1955 to 1980, Favretti was an Extension Garden Specialist and Extension Landscape Architect at the University of Connecticut working with towns on programs ranging from general gardening to community beautification including the development of street tree initiatives. Professor Favretti taught landscape architecture at the University of Connecticut from 1970 to 1988 and developed the accredited landscape architecture program there. Since 1988 he has been Professor Emeritus at the University of Connecticut specializing in landscape history and preservation. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Virginia, Columbia University, and a Visiting Faculty Fellow at Yale University. In his professional career, Rudy Favretti worked on over 700 commissioned individual and collaborative design, master planning, and preservation projects. These works include notable sites such as Monticello and Mount Vernon in Virginia, Bartram's Garden in Philadelphia, the Emily Dickinson House in Massachusetts, and the Vanderbilt Estate in New York. Favretti has authored more than 20 books and monographs and over 60 journal and magazine articles on a vast range of topics, though most notably on historic landscape restoration and colonial gardens. He co-authored For Every House a Garden (1977) and Landscapes and Garden for Historic Buildings (1978) with his wife Joy P. Favretti. His most recent work, Jacob Weidenmann: Pioneer Landscape Architect (2007), is a biography of the nineteenth century landscape architect. Professor Favretti is a member of several professional and academic societies including the American Society of Landscape Architects, the National Association for Olmsted Parks, and Phi Kappa Phi. He has been awarded honors in landscape preservation by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Garden Club of America, and several other organizations. He is currently a member of the National Register Review Board for Connecticut. He served as the consulting landscape architect for the Garden Club of Virginia from 1978 to 1998. The Garden Club of Virginia established the Rudy J. Favretti Fellowship in his honor to support the research and documentation of historic Virginia gardens.
The collection contains the records of landscape architect Rudy J. Favretti and includes research notes, reports, contracts, correspondence, drawings, plans (some from other engineering or design firms), copies of historic documents, pamphlets, photographic images, invoices, newspaper clippings and other items relating to Professor Favretti's projects. The projects range from small private gardens to extensive garden restorations of eighteenth and nineteenth century properties. Professor Favretti also worked on a number of civic improvement and land use projects like parks and roadways. The majority of projects are located in New England (particularly Connecticut), the mid-Atlantic states and the southeastern United States. While most of the records relate to design projects that Professor Favretti was directly involved with, several 35mm slide images were photographed and numerous brochures and pamphlets were acquired during trips to sites where he had no design involvement. These 35mm slides as well as others that were copied from books and other published sources were used by Professor Favretti to illustrate his academic lectures. Administrative files were generated for projects having no direct design involvement by Rudy Favretti or for various writing projects.
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, Rudy J. Favretti collection