United States of America -- District of Columbia -- Washington
Victorian Garden, formerly known as.
The Enid A. Haupt Garden was dedicated on May 22, 1987. It is located between the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arts and Industries Building, and south of the Smithsonian Institution Building, commonly referred to as the Castle. This 4.3 acre area actually sits atop the Quadrangle complex - an underground facility made up of three Smithsonian museum spaces: the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the National Museum of African Art, and the S. Dillon Ripley Center. Above-ground kiosk entrances to the Sackler and African Art museums are located in the Haupt Garden itself. The Haupt Garden contains three discrete gardens within it: the Parterre, the Moongate Garden, and the Fountain Garden.
After the Castle's construction was completed in 1855, the area to its south became known as the South Yard. In 1887, it functioned as a zoo for bison to promote the conservation of their over-hunted population. The bison were moved to the newly-established National Zoological Park in 1889, and for nearly a century, the South Yard was home to a number of different buildings including the Aerodrome Shop, a solar radiation lab, a bug house (where beetles cleaned skeletal remains of animal specimens), temporary storage and collection buildings, a U.S. Army hangar, and a greenhouse and Quonset hut for the Office of Horticulture. In 1976, the Smithsonian's Office of Horticulture (now Smithsonian Gardens) planted the Victorian Garden parterre on the South Yard, in celebration of America's Bicentennial and to complement a Victoriana exhibition on horticulture in the adjacent Arts and Industries Building. This garden was inspired by a similar parterre made for the 1876 Centennial celebration in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter authorized $500,000 for the planning and construction of the Quadrangle - an underground complex built in the South Yard - to house the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the National Museum of African Art, and the S. Dillon Ripley Center. In 1982, the Victorian Garden was removed. Construction on the Quadrangle spanned from June 21, 1983 to 1987. Architect Jean Paul Carlhian of the firm Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson and Abbot was in charge of designing the Quadrangle complex which incorporated an initial design concept by Japanese architect Junzo Yoshimura.
Once basic construction was complete and soil returned to the ground-level (i.e. roof) of the Quadrangle, it was clear that there was more room for gardens beyond the reincorporated parterre. Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley invited philanthropist Enid A. Haupt to tour the garden site, hoping Mrs. Haupt would finance a Zen garden west of the parterre. In fact, she financed the entire design and construction of the new garden with a $3 million endowment, stipulating that the garden be mature when it opened in 1987. With funds in place, work on the garden began, with the primary goal being to harmonize the stylistically varied buildings in and around the Quadrangle (the three entrance pavilions to the underground museums, the Smithsonian Castle, Freer Gallery of Art, and the Arts and Industries Building). The design of the garden was a collaborative effort between principal architect Jean Paul Carlhian, the landscape architectural firm Sasaki Associates, Inc., landscape architect Lester Collins, and James R. Buckler, Director of the Smithsonian's Office of Horticulture. Together they designed the three gardens described below.
Enid A. Haupt (1906-2005) was a publishing heiress and philanthropist who especially supported American horticulture. In addition to this garden, Mrs. Haupt's horticultural philanthropy created and/or preserved several renowned garden spaces including The Enid A. Haupt Glass Garden at the Howard A. Rusk Institute, NYU Medical Center in New York City; the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, New York; The Haupt Fountains on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C.; River Farm in Alexandria, Virginia; and The Cloisters in New York City. In 1994, the American Horticultural Society awarded her the Liberty Hyde Bailey award for her philanthropy.
The Parterre is the Victorian-style centerpiece of the Haupt Garden. It is a carefully manicured garden with a changing palette of colors and textures, laid out in symmetrical patterns that are redesigned every few seasons. Designs incorporate such motifs as diamonds, fleurs-de-lis, and scallops. While parterre is a French term meaning "on the ground," parterres as an ornamental garden style originated in 16th century Renaissance Italy.
The Moongate Garden is next to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, and was inspired by the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China. The Temple of Heaven was designed using a geometrical, axial layout, centered on the cardinal points of the compass. The Moongate Garden's dominant features are stone and water, which symbolize the body and spirit of the earth in Chinese culture. Two 9-foot-tall pink granite moon gates stand on the southwest and northeast corners of the garden; two more lie as benches in the opposite corners. A circular platform lies in the center of a granite-paved square pool, connected by bridges to each side of the square.
The Fountain Garden is next to the National Museum of African Art, and was modeled after the Court of the Lions at Alhambra, a 13th-century Moorish palace in Granada, Spain. As with most Islamic gardens, the Fountain Garden is symmetrical and includes a central fountain with four water channels. Respectively, these channels represent paradise itself, and the four rivers of paradise described in the Koran: water, milk, honey, and wine. At the garden's north end is a chadar - a patterned, sloping stone ramp that has water running down it.
The Renwick Gates are cast iron carriage gates at the garden's entrance on Independence Avenue. The gates were erected in 1979, based on an 1849 drawing by James Renwick, Jr., architect of the Castle. The design includes piers made of the same sandstone that went into the Castle's great reddish walls from a quarry in Seneca, Maryland.
A European linden tree once stood in the northeast corner of the South Yard. When construction on the Quadrangle began, Secretary Ripley directed that the tree remain unharmed. Construction personnel and arborists minded the tree, helping it live through the end of construction. However, it died of old age two years later, in 1989.
The Downing Urn was originally erected on the National Mall in 1856 in memory of landscape designer and horticulturist Andrew Jackson Downing (1815-1852). The urn was restored in 1972. In 1989, it was moved to where the linden tree had stood in the Haupt Garden.
Plantings include saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana), Wollemi pine (Wollemia nobilis), weeping Higan cherry (Prunus pendula 'Pendula Rosea'), golden shrimp plant (Pachystachys lutea), coneflower (Echinacea), dusty miller (Senecio cineraria), and pansy (Viola x wittrockiana).
Persons associated with the garden include: Enid A. Haupt (donor, 1987). Jean Paul Carlhian (principal architect, 1987). Lester Collins (landscape architect consultant, 1987). Constantine Seferlis (stonecarver, 1979). James Renwick Jr. (architect, 1849). James Goode (SI Castle keeper, design and construction supervisor, 1979-1987). S. Dillon Ripley (Smithsonian Secretary, 1964-1984). Michael Riordan (horticulturist, 1995- ).
Enid A. Haupt Garden related holdings consist of 3,124 35mm slides (photographs), 979 photographic prints, 15 contact sheets, 12 transparencies, and digital images
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