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Lover's Lane, Princeton NJ 08542

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Exhibit Featuring Marquand Park & Other John Notman properties

May 14, 2024, 9:46 p.m.

John Notman, one of the foremost architects in Philadelphia and New Jersey during the first half of the nineteenth century, is well known for his Gothic and Italianate designs of churches, cemeteries, and estates. In the Princeton area, Notman designed four villas which now house the leaders of our most important institutions, Princeton University and The Princeton Theological Seminary. All of the villas were commissioned by members of the Stockton family. They traced their lineage to the establishment of Princeton, and were considered to be among the most elite families in the area.

The first generation of influential scholars and industrialists sought to establish their place in 19th-century society. Their John Notman-designed estates were just the thing to convey this. We can draw parallels with the development of wealth and prestige in late Federalist America and Notman’s influence on Andrew Jackson Downing and later, Frederick Law Olmsted. Notman took a page from his mentor William Henry Playfair in Edinburgh with his Italianate designs, including classical elements such as balustraded balconies and campanile towers. And just like Playfair, he also promoted the early adoption of a Gothic villa design. We can see both of these forms in the following houses, remarkably still standing and occupied in Princeton.

Lowrie House 1848-1849 -home of Princeton University President Springdale 1851-1852 - home of Princeton Theological Seminary President Prospect 1851-1852 - once home of Woodrow Wilson, and other PU presidents Fieldwood/Guernsey Hall 1853-1855 (landscape plan 1846)- home of Allan Marquand who founded school of Art & Archeology at Princeton University

This exhibit featuring Notman-designed sites, will be an effective tool to convey the extent of his influence on our town and our landscape. It will engage the public with the stories of these places and foster collaboration with different groups, including historians, educators, conservationists, and visitors. Our goal is to bring awareness to an important figure in the American story – a Scottish immigrant who made his mark in a fast-growing young country. The four Princeton villas and properties signify the emergence of the Italianate style of architecture and represent an important era of landscape history in the United States and also highlight the famous residents. Although these homes are not open to the public this exhibit will allow visitors to learn about some of the most historic structures in town.

Bibliography - John Notman

May 13, 2024, 9:02 p.m.

John Notman: All the Presidents’ Houses

Image Sources: Panel 1, John Notman Portrait of John Notman (Samuel Bell Waugh, artist, 1845) Private Collections. https://www.philadelphiabuildings.org

Allison/Walter Lowrie House: Princeton University Library, Mudd, Box MP62, Item 2404 Retrieved from https://dpul.princeton.edu/catalog/fn106z53r

Springdale: The President’s House. Frontispiece, Seminary Catalogue, 1904-05 Courtesy of the Princeton Theological Seminary.

Prospect: Prospect, President's residence, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J. 1903.Historical Postcard Collection. Princeton University Library.

Fieldwood/Guernsey Hall: Guernsey Hall. Princeton University Library, Mudd, Box AD42, Item 9594. Retrieved from https://dpul.princeton.edu/catalog/7bf16c353864ca43402e166bbdae5f5d

Map: Bevan, John (Surveyor). Map of Princeton, Mercer County, New Jersey. [TIFF]. Jersey City : John Bevan, 1852, c1851 (N.Y. : Lith. of Sarony & Co.). Retrieved from https://maps.princeton.edu/catalog/princeton-6395w9561

Panel 2, Lowrie House. John Potter Stockton. [Between 1860 and 1875] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, .

Henry McCall’s House: Richard. 11 Ellarslie Mansion, Trenton, NJ 1912. March 26, 2012. Photo. https://www.flickr.com/photos/rich701/6873070220/.

Lowrie House: Lowrie House. Princeton University Library, Mudd, Box MP62, Item 2403. Retrieved from https://dpul.princeton.edu/catalog/091b8bfaea1f441afc5700cf1d4853c2

Panel 3, Springdale
Jeffrey Fleisher, AIA. Springdale Elevation. 2012. Architectural Drawing.

The President’s House. Frontispiece, Seminary Catalogue, 1904-05 Courtesy of the Princeton Theological Seminary.

Panel 4, Prospect Rose Garden: “G_4_002 - [Prospect House and Garden] | Historical Society of Princeton.” Retrieved from https://princeton.pastperfectonline.com/photo/7A16C1FF-105B-4E82-8397-322580069030.

Prospect House Gardens, 2015. R. Flemer.

        “Prospect, President’s Residence, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J. - Digital PUL.” Historical Postcard Collection, circa 1890 - 1960

Retrieved from https://dpul.princeton.edu/catalog/zp38wp23z.

Panel 5, Guernsey Hall Notman, John. Fieldwood, Near Princeton: Plan of Grounds. 1846. Princeton University Library Special Collections. Retrieved from https://dpul.princeton.edu/catalog/v118rq079.

The Unicorn Rests in a Garden (from the Unicorn Tapestries). 1496-1505. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved from https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/467642.

VIEW OF STAIRHALL - Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator. Princeton University, Guernsey Hall, 63 Lovers Lane, Princeton, Mercer County, NJ. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/nj0090.photos.107534p/.

Bibliography

Bayard, Samuel John. A Sketch of the Life of Com. Robert F. Stockton: With an Appendix, Comprising His Correspondence with the Navy Department Respecting His Conquest of California; and Extracts from the Defence of Col. J.C. Fremont, in Relation to the Same Subject; Together with His Speeches in the Senate of the United States, and His Political Letters. United States: Derby & Jackson, 1856.

Downing, A. J. A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America; with a view to the improvement of country residences.Comprising historical notices and general principles of the art, directions for laying out grounds and arranging plantations, the description and cultivation of hardy trees, decorative accompaniments to the house and grounds, the formation of pieces of artificial water, flower gardens, etc. With remarks on rural architecture. New York, G. P. Putnam; London, Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1849. Pdf. https://www.loc.gov/item/agr11002327/.

Greiff, Constance M., John Notman, and Athenaeum, eds. John Notman, Architect 1810 - 1865: Athenaeum of Philadelphia, Oct. 23, 1978 - Jan. 31, 1979. Philadelphia, Pa: Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 1979.

Greiff, Constance M., and Wanda S. Gunning. Morven: Memory, Myth & Reality. Princeton, N.J.: Historic Morven, Inc., 2004.

Greiff, C. M., & Gunning, W. S. (2012). Princeton's Mythical Gardener. The Princeton University Library Chronicle, 74(1), 9-33. https://doi.org/10.25290/prinunivlibrchro.74.1.0009.

Greiff, Constance M., Mary W. Gibbons, and Elizabeth G. C Menzies. Princeton Architecture: A Pictorial History of Town and Campus. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1967.

Gunning, W. S. (2005). The Town of Princeton and the University, 1756–1946. The Princeton University Library Chronicle, 66(3), 439-492. https://doi.org/10.25290/prinunivlibrchro.66.3.0439

“Ellen Wilson Biography :: National First Ladies’ Library.” Accessed May 5, 2024. https://web.archive.org/web/20181009085710/http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=28.

Hardy, Gelston. Patton of Princeton : 12th President of the College of New Jersey and 1st President of Princeton University. S.l.: s.n., 1971.

Henke, Kenneth Woodrow, Curator of Special Collections and Archivist. “Springdale.” Princeton Theological Seminary, September 11, 2014.

Maynard, William Barksdale. Princeton: America’s Campus. University Park (Pa.): Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012.

Morven Museum & Garden. “Morven Museum & Garden.” Accessed May 14, 2024. https://www.morven.org/robert-field-stockton-and-the-american-colonization-society.

Bush, A., Burt, N., Sherwood, M. (Eds). Princeton History. Princeton: Historical Society of Princeton. Vol. 2, 1977 Vol. 3, 1982 Vol. 5, 1986

The Alumni Association of Princeton University. “Princetoniana Museum.” Virtual Exhibitions. Accessed February 23, 2024. https://www.princetonianamuseum.org/.

University, Princeton. Memorial Book of the Sesquicentennial Celebration of the Founding of the College of New Jersey and of the Ceremonies Inaugurating Princeton University. Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1898.

Rybczynski, Witold. A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the 19th Century. New York, NY: Scribner, 2003.

Schuyler, David. Sanctified Landscape: Writers, Artists, and the Hudson River Valley, 1820-1909. Ithaca (N.Y.): Cornell University Press, 2012.

A Gift from the Past: Woods Wiser's Historic Tree Donation to Marquand Park

March 19, 2024, 5:10 p.m.

Recently, a friend of the park, Woods Wiser, offered us a donation of two unique trees, a persimmon, and a hickory. But these weren't just any trees; they were scions with a rich history linked to an early advocate for land conservation.

You might be wondering, what exactly is a scion? In the world of horticulture, a scion is a young shoot or twig that's grafted onto a rootstock, producing a new plant. In this case, the scions came from trees personally planted by John W. Hershey (1898-1967) in the 1940s. Hershey, a visionary ahead of his time, embarked on a mission to populate the landscape with productive trees, practicing an early form of "permaculture," a sustainable agricultural design system that mimics the natural ecosystems. He grew and sold varieties of walnut, hickory, hican (a cross of pecan and hickory), pecan, persimmon, mulberry, and oaks. His passion was convincing farmers to incorporate selected improved cultivars of trees for the diversified crops, income, farmer and animal health and environmental benefits they provide.

Bur oak acorn cap, hickory, hican nuts from Hershey's Trees

Hershey began this effort as an employee of the Tennessee Valley Authority, in response to the degradation of farmland caused by planting of monoculture crops. He surmised that the Dust Bowl effect could be countered with interspersing rows of trees between fields, and even better plant productive trees to feed livestock! Eventually it became his business - although how profitable it was is unclear. To find the varieties he put a bounty of about $200 out for folks to alert him if they knew of specimens that were especially prolific bearers of nuts and seeds.

John W. Hershey's 1927 Catalog

Recently I had a chance to see some of Hershey’s special trees in the flesh, as it were. The tour was led by Dale Hendricks, a nurseryman who has been instrumental in recognizing and preserving them in Downingtown, PA. Numerous trees are still growing where Hershey planted them in his testing plot and nursery. Unfortunately, some were cut down where a housing development was recently built, but there remain persimmons, hickories, honey locust, pecans, and oaks. The original grafts are visible at the base and further up the trunks where different varieties were grown on the same tree. We sampled honey locust pods, which were apparently fed to hogs who loved the sweet taste...hence the name honey locust! It was remarkable to see these trees planted by Hershey in the 1940s.

(In case you're wondering John W. Hershey is probably related to the chocolate family. According to Dale, there are many Hersheys in central Pennsylvania)

Visible graft on Hershey's tree planted decades ago.

Back at Marquand Park, Woods procured our saplings from Zach Elfers. Zach runs a specialized nursery that focuses on historic and native species, with a particular emphasis on edible plants like paw paws and nut trees. The persimmon and hickory found their new home near the icehouse, enhancing the landscape with a touch of botanical history.

The Granger Hickory planted near the ice house.

Many thanks to Woods, Zach Elfers, and Dale Hendricks for preserving the natural heritage that adds to our collection at Marquand Park. Each tree carries not only its own history but also becomes a part of the continuing story of Marquand Park.

A Valuable Discovery: Unveiling Eleanor Marquand's 1917 Vellum Map of Marquand Park

Feb. 23, 2024, 5:25 p.m.

What an amazing find when three years ago a few Foundation board members uncovered this 1917 vellum map. It was like finding a treasure amidst The Marquand Papers at Firestone library. It provides a snapshot of the early 20th-century landscape design and architecture.

Eleanor Marquand, living at Guernsey Hall, the Italianate mansion at Marquand Park, hand printed each tree on the map. Along with the map, are index cards she kept, detailing when certain trees bloomed, when it was planted, etc. Eleanor was a pioneering woman in the history of Art and Architecture. She is known for a paper she wrote on the flora and fauna featured in the Unicorn tapestry that now resides at the Cloisters in New York City. She was only the fourth woman to receive an honorary Masters of Arts from Princeton University in 1948.

During COVID, there was a delay in having the map digitized and photographed at Special Collections—-but with the help of Charles Doran, Library Collections Specialist, the map is now available to the public. Thank you to all who helped.

Another feature that was labeled was the ice house which we recently renovated, just beyond a low area was labeled: “Lily Pond.” The presence of an "ice house" on the map, which also functioned as a root cellar, raises questions about the family's practices, including the potential for ice harvesting from the nearby pond.

Through this map, we gain insight into Eleanor Marquand’s dedication to preserving botanical knowledge and her unique perspective on the intersection of nature and art.

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