December 10, 2015
Dear Friends of Untermyer Gardens,
This is unlike any other Annual Appeal you have ever received.
It is with a lump in my throat that I send along this 1933 newsreel of our hero, Samuel Untermyer, urging the nation to resist Hitler and boycott Germany. Untermyer was called "Hitler's Bitterest Foe" by the English press at the time. It shows him working his way through a dress rehearsal of a roughly four-minute speech that is compelling, with talk of "the army of civilization" and "the solemn cause of humanity."
What does this have to do with Untermyer Gardens? We believe in the totality of what Samuel Untermyer achieved. As a figure in history, he loomed large as a progressive -- in economic reform, women's suffrage, Zionism, and anti-Nazism. As a horticulturist, he sought to create the finest garden in the world and, after his death, open it to the public.
There is a grandeur and nobility here. All you have to do is walk into the Persian Walled Garden and be struck by its beauty. It's almost a spiritual experience, appropriate for the Garden of Eden, its inspiration. The whole of humanity can find a home here. It is a place for all people.
When the Temple of Love is restored next spring after seventy-five years of slumber, a different emotion will be tapped. Some people have compared it to the Temple of the Sibyl in Tivoli, Italy, another sacred spot.
We believe that our mission to restore Samuel Untermyer's garden is compelling and will return one of the nation's great treasures to a prominent place. The garden is open to all free of charge, so this Annual Appeal is especially critical.
We ask you to consider giving generously to the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy, by donating online or by sending us a check at 945 North Broadway, Yonkers, NY 10701. Like Samuel Untermyer, we are on a mission, and we believe in the greatness of this cause.
With sincere gratitude,
Stephen F. Byrns
Chairman, Untermyer Gardens Conservancy
All about Untermyer Gardens: history and horticulture.