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History of Early American Landscape Design

Difference between revisions of "Benjamin Henry Latrobe"

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* [[Latrobe, Benjamin Henry]], 20 February 1819, describing Montgomery House, New Orleans, La. (1951: 43–45)<ref name="Latrobe_1951"> Latrobe, Benjamin Henry. 1951. ''Impressions Respecting New Orleans: Diaries and Sketches, 1818–1820''. Edited by Samuel Wilson. New York: Columbia University Press. [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/MJS5EE69/q/latrobe view on Zotero]</ref>
 
* [[Latrobe, Benjamin Henry]], 20 February 1819, describing Montgomery House, New Orleans, La. (1951: 43–45)<ref name="Latrobe_1951"> Latrobe, Benjamin Henry. 1951. ''Impressions Respecting New Orleans: Diaries and Sketches, 1818–1820''. Edited by Samuel Wilson. New York: Columbia University Press. [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/MJS5EE69/q/latrobe view on Zotero]</ref>
 
:“Close to the river, & separated only by the levee & road, is the old fashioned, but otherwise handsome, garden & house of Mr. Montgomery. The garden, which I think covers not less than 4 acres, is laid out in square walks & flower beds in the old [[French style]]. It is entirely enclosed by a thick hedge of orange trees, which have been suf- fered to run up to 15 or 16 feet high on the flanks & rear, but which are shorn down to the highth [sic] of 4 or 5 feet along the road. The Walks are bordered by very large myrtles cut into the shape of large hay cocks, about 8 feet high & as much in diameter. There are so many of them, and they are so exactly equal in size & form that the effect is curious if not elegant. The house itself is one of the usual French plantation houses of the first class &, I think, by far the best kind of house for the climate, namely, a mansion surrounded entirely by a portico or gallery of two stories. The roof is enormous, however. . . . In order to build the redoubt the corner of the garden was cut off, and part of the orange hedge still grows, in a very decayed state, within the line of the redoubt . . . Mr. Montgomery intends restoring his garden to its former state, when the ruins of this work will entirely disappear.” [Fig. 6]
 
:“Close to the river, & separated only by the levee & road, is the old fashioned, but otherwise handsome, garden & house of Mr. Montgomery. The garden, which I think covers not less than 4 acres, is laid out in square walks & flower beds in the old [[French style]]. It is entirely enclosed by a thick hedge of orange trees, which have been suf- fered to run up to 15 or 16 feet high on the flanks & rear, but which are shorn down to the highth [sic] of 4 or 5 feet along the road. The Walks are bordered by very large myrtles cut into the shape of large hay cocks, about 8 feet high & as much in diameter. There are so many of them, and they are so exactly equal in size & form that the effect is curious if not elegant. The house itself is one of the usual French plantation houses of the first class &, I think, by far the best kind of house for the climate, namely, a mansion surrounded entirely by a portico or gallery of two stories. The roof is enormous, however. . . . In order to build the redoubt the corner of the garden was cut off, and part of the orange hedge still grows, in a very decayed state, within the line of the redoubt . . . Mr. Montgomery intends restoring his garden to its former state, when the ruins of this work will entirely disappear.” [Fig. 6]
 
 
* [[Hamilton, William]], 30 September 1785, in a letter to his secretary, [[Benjamin Hays Smith]], describing the [[Woodlands]], seat of William Hamilton, near Philadelphia, Pa. (quoted in Madsen 1988: A3)<ref name="Madsen_1988">Madsen, Karen. 1988. “William Hamilton’s Woodlands.” Paper presented for seminar in American Landscape, 1790–1900, instructed by E. McPeck. Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items#items/itemKey/XN8NN9QN/q/madsen?&_suid=1340895272014046677169243049543 view on Zotero]</ref>
 
:“Step also the Diameter of the circle or ring that encloses the [[Ice House]] Hill & tell me the space from one to the other side of the walk & of the '''Ha.Ha.'''”
 
 
 
* [[Jefferson, Thomas]], [2-14 April] 1786, describing the ha-ha at Stowe in "Notes of a Tour of English Gardens," <ref name="Jefferson_1786">Jefferson, Thomas. 1786. “Notes of a Tour of English Gardens” p. 371 in ''The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition'', ed. Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008. http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu/founders/TSJN-01-09-02-0328</ref>
 
:"The inclosure is entirely by '''''ha! ha!'''''"
 
  
 
==Images==
 
==Images==

Revision as of 21:12, October 10, 2012

File:507px-Benjamin latrobe by peale.jpg
Charles Willson Peale, Portrait of Benjamin Henry Latrobe (1804)

Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe (May 1, 1764 – September 3, 1820) was a British-born American neoclassical architect best known for his design of the United States Capitol, along with his work on the Baltimore Basilica, the first Roman Catholic Cathedral in the United States. Latrobe was one of the first formally-trained, professional architects in the United States, drawing influences from his travels in Italy, as well as British and French Neoclassical architects such as Claude Nicolas Ledoux.


Sites

Harper's Estate, Oakland, Place D'Armes (renamed Jackson Square), Sedgeley, United States Capitol, United States Navy Hospital and Asylum

Terms

Ancient style, Basin, Canal, Clump, Column/Pillar, Flower Garden, French style, Gate/Gateway, Grove, Ha-Ha/Sunk fence, Landscape Gardening, Lawn, Mall, Obelisk, Parterre, Piazza/Veranda/Porch/Portico, Picturesque, Pleasure ground/Pleasure garden, Quarter, Square, Statue, Temple, Wood/Woods

Texts

Carter II, Edward C., John C. Van Horne, and Charles E. Brownell. Latrobe’s View of America, 1795-1820: Selections from the Watercolors and Sketches. New Haven and London: Yale University Press for the Maryland Historical Society, 1985. view on Zotero

Hamlin, Talbot. Benjamin Henry Latrobe. New York: Oxford University Press, 1955. view on Zotero

Latrobe, Benjamin Henry. Impressions Respecting New Orleans: Diaries and Sketches, 1818-1820. Edited by Samuel Wilson. New York: Columbia University Press, 1951. view on Zotero

———. The Journals of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, 1799-1820: From Philadelphia to New Orleans. Edited by Edward C. Carter II, John C. Van Horne, and Lee W. Formwalt. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1980. view on Zotero

———. The Virginia Journals of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, 1795-1798. Edited by Edward C. Carter II. 2 vols. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1977. view on Zotero

Citations

usage

“The general plan of the building is as at Mr. Man Pages at Mansfield near Fredericsburg, of the old School. . . . The center is an old house to which a good dining room has been added at the North end, and a study &c. &c., at the South. The House is connected with the Kitchen offices by arcades.”


“The Ground floor contains the Kitchen and Bakehouse and an open Arcade, the use of which is to admit air into the Area of the building from the Westward, the Quarter from which the Summer winds most usually blow.”


  • Latrobe, Benjamin Henry, 17 March 1807, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, describing the White House, Washington, D.C. (Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)
“My idea is to carry the road below the hill under a Wall about 8 feet high opposite to the center of the president’s house. At this point, I should propose, at a future day to throw an Arch, or Arches over the road in order to procure a private communication between the pleasure ground of the president’s house and the park which reaches to the river, and which will probably be also planted, and perhaps be open to the public.”


“From the kitchen a door leads to the Back stairs, which communicate immediately with the Dining room, and the Lady’s apartment above stairs. At the foot of these stairs is a small room, which can be well adapted to the purpose of a bath, or a store room.”


  • Latrobe, Benjamin Henry, 17 March 1807, describing the White House, Washington, D.C. (Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)
“In removing the ground, it would certainly be necessary to go down in front of the colonnade to the level of about one foot below the bases of the Columns but, it will certainly not deprive this colonnade of any part of its beauty to pass behind a few gentle Knolls and groves or Clumps in its front, and much expense of removing earth would be thereby saved.”


  • Latrobe, Benjamin Henry, 14 June 1796, describing Horsdumonde, house of Col. Henry Skipwith, Cumberland County, Va. (quoted in Carter, Van Horne, and Brownell 1985: 80–81)[2]
“In other respects there is a great deal of worldly beauty and convenience about it. The house is a strange building, but whoever contrived it, and from whatever planet he came he was not a Lunatic, for there is much comfort and room in it, though put together very oddly. Before the South front is a range of hills wooded very much in the Stile of an English park. To the East runs the Apomatox to which a lawn extends.” [Fig. 2]


  • Latrobe, Benjamin Henry, 19 July 1796, describing Mount Vernon, plantation of George Washington, Fairfax County, Va. (1977: 1:165)[1]
“The ground on the West front of the house is laid out in a level lawn bounded on each side with a wide but extremely formal serpentine walk, shaded by weeping Willows. . . . On one side of this lawn is a plain Kitchen garden, on the other a neat flower garden laid out in squares, and boxed with great precission. Along the North Wall of this Garden is a plain Greenhouse. The Plants were arranged in front, and contained nothing very rare, nor were they numerous. For the first time again since I left Germany, I saw here a parterre, chipped and trimmed with infinite care into the form of a richly flourished Fleur de Lis: The expiring groans I hope of our Grandfather’s pedantry.”


“Close to the river, & separated only by the levee & road, is the old fashioned, but otherwise handsome, garden & house of Mr. Montgomery. The garden, which I think covers not less than 4 acres, is laid out in square walks & flower beds in the old French style. It is entirely enclosed by a thick hedge of orange trees, which have been suf- fered to run up to 15 or 16 feet high on the flanks & rear, but which are shorn down to the highth [sic] of 4 or 5 feet along the road. The Walks are bordered by very large myrtles cut into the shape of large hay cocks, about 8 feet high & as much in diameter. There are so many of them, and they are so exactly equal in size & form that the effect is curious if not elegant. The house itself is one of the usual French plantation houses of the first class &, I think, by far the best kind of house for the climate, namely, a mansion surrounded entirely by a portico or gallery of two stories. The roof is enormous, however. . . . In order to build the redoubt the corner of the garden was cut off, and part of the orange hedge still grows, in a very decayed state, within the line of the redoubt . . . Mr. Montgomery intends restoring his garden to its former state, when the ruins of this work will entirely disappear.” [Fig. 6]

Images

not dated

1790s

1800s

References

http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n79142786

Architect of the Capitol website: http://www.aoc.gov/aoc/architects/latrobe.cfm/

University of Pennsylvania archives: http://www.archives.upenn.edu/people/1700s/latrobe_benj.html

Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/95858242/

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Latrobe

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Latrobe, Benjamin Henry. 1977. The Virginia Journals of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, 1795–1798. Edited by Edward C. Carter II. 2 vols. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press. view on Zotero
  2. Latrobe, Benjamin Henry. 1980. The Journals of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, 1799–1820: From Philadelphia to New Orleans. Edited by Edward C. Carter II, John C. Van Horne, and Lee W. Formwalt. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press. view on Zotero
  3. Latrobe, Benjamin Henry. 1951. Impressions Respecting New Orleans: Diaries and Sketches, 1818–1820. Edited by Samuel Wilson. New York: Columbia University Press. view on Zotero

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