Marian Coffin Gardens at Gibraltar

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Marian Cruger Coffin (1876–1957), one of the first American women to work as a professional landscape architect, may not be a household name; however, with designs at some of America’s foremost horticultural institutions, it should be. While Coffin’s designs can be seen at locations as varied as Winterthur, New York Botanical Garden, Mount Cuba Center, and the University of Delaware, Gibraltar is perhaps one of her most important commissions. In 1916, Coffin was introduced to the owners of Gibraltar, a country estate home situated high on a roughly six-acre site in Wilmington, Delaware, by her longtime friend Henry Francis duPont. Beginning that year, Coffin transformed the grounds of the early-19th-century estate into a paradise of romantic gardens that seamlessly merged the Beaux-Arts classicism of her Massachusetts Institute of Technology training with the complex flower garden style of Beatrix Farrand, whom she much admired. While the gardens fell into disrepair following the death of their first owner, they were eventually restored and are now open to the public, allowing all who visit to enjoy their beauty.
ISBN: 9781467107549
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Delaware
Series: Images of America
Images: 154
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
Erin Fogarty is a graduate student at the University of Delaware and a landscape historian. Dr. Jules Bruck is professor and director of landscape architecture at the University of Delaware, a registered landscape architect, and a SITES Accredited Professional (AP). She has a doctorate from Texas A&M University and currently serves on the board of Preservation Delaware Inc. The authors’ proceeds from this book go directly to the preservation of Marian Coffin’s design at Gibraltar.
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