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History of Early American Landscape Design

Hyde Park (on the Hudson River, NY)

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Hyde Park (on the Hudson River, N.Y.)

[Introductory sentence]

Overview

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Hyde Park (on the Hudson River, N.Y.):
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History

Fig. X, William Wade, Residence of "Late Dr. Hossack Now Mr. Langdon," engraving, 1847, detail from Panorama of the Hudson River from New York to Waterford (New York: J. Disturnell, 1847)

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--Author


Texts

"Hyde Park, on the Hudson, the seat of the late Dr. Hosack, has been justly celebrated as one of the finest specimens of the modern style of Landscape Gardening in America. Nature has indeed, done much for this place, as the grounds are finely varied, beautifully watered by a lively stream, and the views from the neighbourhood of the house itself, including as they do the noble Hudson, and the superb wooded valley which stretches away until bounded at the horizon by the distant summits of the blue Cattskills, are unrivalled in picturesque beauty. But the efforts of art are not unworthy so rare a locality; and while the native woods, and beautifully undulating grounds are preserved in their original state, the pleasure-grounds, roads, walks, drives, and new plantations, have been laid out in so tasteful a manner as to heighten the charms of nature. Large and costly hot-houses were erected and elegant entrance lodges at two points on the estate, a fine bridge over the stream, and numerous pavilions and seats commanding extensive prospects; in short, nothing was spared to render this [seat]] one of the finest in America. The park, which at one time contained some fine deer, afforded a delightful drive within itself, as the whole estate numbered about seven hundred acres. The plans for laying out the grounds were furnished by Parmentier, and architects from New York were employed in designing and erecting the buildings. Since the death of Dr. Hosack, the place has lost something of the high keeping which it formerly evinced, but we still consider it one of the most instructive seats in this country.....

Fig. x, Anonymous, “A Circular Pavilion,” 1841, wood engraving, from A. J. Downing, A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening (1841), p. 385, fig. 57.
"Some noble specimens of the common Three-thorned Acacia, may be seen upon the lawnat Hyde Park, the fine seat of the late Dr. Hosack....

"There are two methods of grouping shrubs upon lawns which may separately be considered, in combination with "beautiful" and with picturesque scenery.

"In the first case, where the character of the scene, of the plantations of trees, etc., is that of polished beauty, the belts of shrubs may be arranged similar to herbaceous flowering plants, in arabesque beds, along the walks…. In this case, the shrubs alone, arranged with relation to their height, may occupy the beds, or if preferred, shrubs and flowers may be intermingled. Those who have seen the shrubbery at Hyde Park; the residence of the late Dr. Hosack, which borders the walk leading from the mansion, to the hot-houses, will be able to recall a fine example of this mode of mingling woody and herbacious plants. The belts or borders occupied by the shrubbery and flower-garden there, are perhaps from 25 to 35 feet in width, completely filled with a collection of shrubs and herbaceous plants; the smallest of the latter being quite near the walk; these succeeded by taller species receding from the front of the border, then follow shrubs of moderate size, advancing in height until the background of the whole is a rich mass of tall shrubs and trees of moderate size. The effect of this belt on so large a scale, in high keeping, is remarkably striking and elegant....

“The temple and the pavilion, are highly finished forms of covered seats, which are occasionally introduced in splendid places, where classic architecture prevails. There is a circular pavilion of this kind at the termination of one of the walks at Dr. Hosack’s residence, Hyde Park. Fig. 57.” [Fig. x]

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References

Notes

  1. Downing, 1841,

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History of Early American Landscape Design contributors, "Hyde Park (on the Hudson River, NY)," History of Early American Landscape Design, , https://heald.nga.gov/mediawiki/index.php?title=Hyde_Park_(on_the_Hudson_River,_NY)&oldid=13547 (accessed December 6, 2022).

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