Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fairchild Tropical Gardens

On Old Cutler Road in Coral Gables are two wonderful parks, Matheson Hammock Park and Fairchild Tropical Gardens. Both are the creations of landscape architect William Lyman Phillips on land donated by Colonel and Mrs. Robert H. Montgomery. The tropical gardens were named in honor of David Fairchild.

Created in the 1930s and 1940s with the help of Civilian Conservation Corps workers, Phillips envisioned the Fairchild Tropical Gardens as a sort of outdoor museum with long galleries allowing both distant and close views of pieces. The gardens also served a scientific botanical purpose of allowing study of tropical plant species.

Here is the visitor center:

And the Gate House (at the original entrance):

The Bailey Palm Glade, named in honor of Liberty Hyde Bailey:

The Garden Club of America Ampitheater:

And a maintenance problem that Phillips didn't face:

Green iguanas have taken over the grass and wall in front of the amphitheater.

Further Reading:

Historic Landscapes of Florida, by Rocco Ceo and Joanna Lombard. Published by Deering Foundation and University of Miami School of Architecture, 2001.

Pioneer of Tropical Landscape Architecture: William Lyman Phillips in Florida, by Faith Reyher Jackson. Published by University Press of Florida, 1997.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.