Dear Friends of Untermyer Gardens:
Having finally completed the reconstruction of the canals in the Walled Garden, we are about to begin another capital project: the reconstruction of the Rock Garden.
Samuel Untermyer kept adding features to the garden in the years after the original 1916 Welles Bosworth design. He did it as a result of his ambition to create the "finest garden in the world", and also to attract ever-growing crowds on his weekly public open days. Sometime in the late 20s or early 30s, Untermyer built the long Rock Garden north of the Temple of Love.
It consisted of a manmade brook that descended the slope, forming small pools and waterfalls and traversed by several stone bridges. Rocks were piled around, and a sitting area was anchored by a strange stone column. After 1940, this garden disappeared from view and memory until I visited the Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens in 2011, where I saw beautiful pictures of a rock garden somewhere on the Untermyer property. Where could it have been?
Looking ahead to September, let me remind you of our annual celebration of Mehregan, the Persian thanksgiving, on Sunday, September 16 at 5 pm. Christiane Amanpour will be presented with the inaugural Samuel Untermyer Award by Vartan Gregorian. In addition to delicious Persian food, there will be Persian music, dance, esphand, and poetry. It will be a memorable evening for all!
Stephen F. Byrns
President, Untermyer Gardens Conservancy