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American Society of Landscape Architects

 

January 2004 Issue

Restoring a Turkish Carpet
Interlacing crescents of color emerge in Marian Coffin's 1920s King's Garden at Fort Ticonderoga, New York.
By Allen Freeman


Janet Loughrey Photo Courtesy Fort Ticonderoga

A walled enclosure of less than an acre within the 543-acre historic site of Fort Ticonderoga, New York, on Lake Champlain, the King's Garden is a hybrid that doesn't fit into a category of easy interpretation. The soil in which it grows is associated with an array of historic events and movements, including the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars, heritage tourism, the American Country Place era, the Colonial Revival and Classical Revival styles, and even the evolving roles of women in garden design and the profession of landscape architecture. The garden only subtly explicates any of the above. Yet it is singular enough to intrigue people curious about American landscapes. We may well visit the King's Garden because of its beauty but then want to learn about its origins, and that's probably the greatest benefit of making the garden accessible to the public and restoring it.

A walled enclosure of less than an acre within the 543-acre historic site of Fort Ticonderoga, New York, on Lake Champlain, the King's Garden is a hybrid that doesn't fit into a category of easy interpretation. The soil in which it grows is associated with an array of historic events and movements, including the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars, heritage tourism, the American Country Place era, the Colonial Revival and Classical Revival styles, and even the evolving roles of women in garden design and the profession of landscape architecture. The garden only subtly explicates any of the above. Yet it is singular enough to intrigue people curious about American landscapes. We may well visit the King's Garden because of its beauty but then want to learn about its origins, and that's probably the greatest benefit of making the garden accessible to the public and restoring it.

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