Free

Presentation on The Untermyer Gardens by Conservancy President

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

River Tides

1133 Warburton Avenue

Yonkers, NY 10701

View Map

Event description

Description

Lecture Description

This special lecture presented by the President of Untemyer Gardens Conservatory, Stephen Byrnes, will describe the creation and design of Untermyer Gardens in 1917 by Welles Bosworth for Samuel Untermyer, who desired that it be the “finest garden in the world.” Sprawling over 150 acres on the Hudson River in Yonkers, it was maintained by 60 gardeners and supplied by 60 greenhouses. The Walled Garden is the finest Persian garden in the Western Hemisphere, the Vista is the most monumental garden feature in America featuring 2 ancient Roman columns and the Temple of Love contains 5 waterfalls and 6 cascades. It is a garden of superlatives.

The Walled Garden is based on the concept of the Garden of Eden, which is a shared concept of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Untermyer’s career as a leading progressive Jew in America brilliantly reflects this multi-cultural aspect of the garden.

Owned by the City of Yonkers, the garden was in very poor condition and little known until the establishment of the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy in 2011 by Stephen Byrns. Since then, 7 gardeners have been hired, 70,000 visitors came in 2017 and many features of the garden have been restored.

The lecture contains beautiful photos of the garden in its heyday, its descent into ruin and its rebirth. It also reviews the many historical accomplishments of Samuel and Minnie Untermyer. It concludes with a magical drone video of the garden.

Visit their website to learn more about the gardens, upcoming evnets, and membership: www.untermyergardens.org.

About Our Presenter

Stephen F. Byrns founded the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy in 2011 and is its president. A graduate of Princeton and Columbia Universities, Byrns is a founding partner of BKSK Architects, a successful architectural firm in New York City that was established in 1985.

Byrns was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg to serve as a Landmarks Preservation Commissioner on the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission from 2004-10. He served on the Board of Wave Hill from 2000-2010.

Byrns lived in Yonkers in the 1990’s, when he discovered Untermyer Park and Gardens. He revisited it in 2010 when told that the fountains had been turned on after decades of disuse. The more he learned about Samuel Untermyer’s garden, the more he was convinced that a conservancy should be established to work with the City of Yonkers to make it once again one of the greatest gardens in America.

A Board of Directors was established, and Marco Polo Stufano, the retired founding Director of Horticulture at Wave Hill, was engaged to be the Conservancy’s horticultural advisor. Sufficient funds were raised to hire Timothy Tilghman to be its first horticulturist in 2011 and there is currently a staff of 7 horticulturists at the garden. Byrns started full-time work at the Conservancy in early 2016.

Recognition of the Conservancy’s efforts has been swift and widespread, with significant coverage from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Martha Stewart Living and other publications. The gardens are once again a showplace and are attracting people from near and far.


Share with friends

Date and Time

Location

River Tides

1133 Warburton Avenue

Yonkers, NY 10701

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved