April 2019

Drive just half an hour north of Manhattan and you will discover a hidden haven: Untermyer Park & Gardens in Yonkers.

Located within the grounds of Greystone, Untermyer Park & Gardens is a fine example of Beaux Arts design reinterpreting the classical gardens of antiquity. Situated on a hillside above the Hudson River, the park is a sprawling landscape and features a Grecian garden, an amphitheatre, a classical pavilion, a Temple of Love and a Vista staircase; a vast parkland that harks back to an age of elegance and romance.

Once part of the wider Greystone estate, which was founded in 1864 by hat manufacturer, John T Waring, the estate came into the hands of Samuel Tilden in 1879 who looked after it until his death in 1886. It was at this moment in history when Untermyer came into its own. Broken off from the wider estate, the land that would become this parkland was purchase by Samuel Untermyer in 1899 who spent the next 40 years developing it into an elaborate garden set within the Beaux Arts style.

After a number of years of neglect the gardens fell into disarray, with the Temple of Love crumbling away and the gardens becoming a wild eyesore on the banks of the Hudson River. Love and attention in recent years has seen the sprawling parkland restored back to its former glory and it now stands once more as a beacon of reinvented classical antiquity. The temple, staircase and amphitheatre have been restored to former glory and the parkland replanted. Now, it is a haven- a place of delight and discovery for the City of Yonkers to enjoy. Harking back to the classical era, visitors to the parkland can discover their own peaceful corner of quiet contemplation.

Expect the reflecting pools in the walled garden to team with exotic varieties of water lilies; the original mosaic-tiled floor of the loggia is still intact and the Vista staircase - a long, outdoor staircase punctuated by ancient Roman columns - once again offers an unobstructed view of the Hudson. Creeping flowers intermingle with Neoclassical architecture, perfect arches are entwined with foliage. It seems once again, Untermyer Park & Gardens is shining and breathing life into the city of Yonkers.

 

Photography © Jessica Norman and the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy. 
Untermyer Park & Gardens
945 N Broadway
Yonkers
NY 10701
United States of America
untermyergardens.org/
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