|Boston Ivy growing up the sides of the George Eastman House|
|Mike shows us a photograph of the "imported mature shade trees"|
|Copper Beech from Ross property|
|Ross copper beech|
|Wisteria growing on loggia|
|You may notice the darker colored brick to the left of the second story terrace where the additional 9 feet were added|
Great example of Boston ivy allowed to grow up on the buildings while English ivy (more invasive roots) is contained to only ground covering.
|Linden Lane - from parking area to Main Entrance of the George Eastman House Museum|
|looking at rock garden from GEH museum entrance|
|Four Gingko trees grow in the Rock Garden...Three are female with "stinky" fruits|
|grapes in rock garden - 3 varieties: red, white, and blue|
|in rock garden looking south east|
|copper beech on northeast corner|
|looking north on east lawn|
|Katsura tree - has a distinct caramelized sugar smell|
|Katsura leaves - turn golden in autumn|
|East lawn facing north - Scholar tree on far right|
|walking toward "roof garden"|
|looking west toward GEH - elevator house on right|
|These Florentine fountains were believed to be used as water heaters|
|covered garden to the east of the GEH|
|Looking west to the GEH from the covered garden - glass walls were removed in the summer months|
|Roof top garden looking north|
|Looking towards the front of the GEH from the east lawn|
|south east corner of the GEH|
In 1947, the University of Rochester transferred the estate to the Board of Trustees of the newly formed George Eastman House, Inc. The house opened to the public as a photography museum in 1949. Gradually the grounds evolved to accommodate this new land use. On the west side of the property, the peony garden and greenhouses gave way to a parking lot. In 1950, the Dryden Theatre was built. The garage (formerly the carriage house), stable, heating plant, yard, and poultry house were converted into gallery space in 1951. The west garden was redesigned by the Museum in the 1960s. The interior beds and walks were replaced by turf with a central octagonal pool surrounded by semi-circular beds of bulbs and annuals.
Landscape preservation and restoration began in 1984 in the west garden and continued between 1987 and 1992 in the terrace, library, and rock gardens. DeForest’s plans, existing historical photographs, correspondence, and invoices were used by garden historians to reconstruct the original gardens and grounds. The Museum, a National Historic Landmark, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a member of the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta.
The landscape collection is being carefully restored, conserved, and interpreted for the public by Museum staff, volunteers, and docents as it relates both historically and horticulturally to George Eastman.
The 12.5 acre historic landscape collection comprises lawns, trees, ornamental shrubs, vines, and features four restored/adapted gardens planted with perennials, bulbs, annuals, and ground covers typically grown during Eastman’s residence. Historic architectural elements such as the grape arbor, pergola, sunken oval lily pool, seventeenth-century Venetian wellheads, and garden house are also part of this collection. The George Eastman Collection houses Eastman’s estate photos taken between 1902 and 1932, correspondence, plant lists, and original maps of the property. Past and future landscape preservation and restoration plans are based on these documents.
The terrace garden contains more 90 varieties of perennials with Latin and common name labels. The library garden, an adaptation of Eastman’s cutting garden, contains six bulb varieties, 16 shrub species, six tree varieties, ground cover, and vines. The rock garden is planted with 39 varieties of perennials, six bulb species, three ground covers, and six shrub species among dolomite rocks arranged in scallop-shaped beds. The west garden adaptation currently contains 48 kinds of shrubs, three types of perennials, and an assortment of ground cover.
In spring 1998, the front lawn of the house was rehabilitated to appear the way it did during George Eastman’s time, from 1916 to 1932. The rehabilitation included the planting of 21 varieties of shrubs and 29 trees, a total of seven varieties of trees that stood about 15-feet tall upon planting. Some of these trees will grow as high as 90 feet in about 20 years. While the trees will provide a natural canopy, the house will not be hidden from East Avenue — the plan includes 70 feet of open lawn directly in front of the house.
The front lawn project has been in the works for a decade. In 1988 the Eastman House hired garden historians Gerald and Christine Doell to develop a restoration plan for the gardens and grounds that was based on landscape architect Alling DeForest’s original plans dating between 1902 and 1921. Mr. Eastman worked closely with Mr. DeForest to develop the landscape plans, which called for the planting of shrubs and trees that would provide privacy from the street while allowing a view of the house from East Avenue. Many estates built during this same time period had similar “woodland drive” landscape designs. However, most of the trees from the early 1900s eventually died (many from Dutch Elm disease) and were removed. Restoration planting plans for the west garden and vista will be implemented in the future.