Historic Green Space Restoration Underway At Bartram’s Garden

 

Architect's rendering of the Carr Garden (LRSLA Studio) lo res

Landscape architect’s rendering of Carr Garden restoration | Image: LRSLAstudio

Landscape workers have begun the long awaited restoration of one of the Bartram Garden’s historic plots, Carr Garden.

“This is a project that we’ve been dreaming of for a long time,” said Maitreyi Roy, the John Bartram Association’s executive director. To make it happen, Roy has assembled a collaborative team that includes the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, the Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC), landscape architects LRSLAstudio, and the restoration architecture firm Frens & Frens.

The garden was created in the early 1800s by Colonel Robert Carr, printer and husband of Bartram’s granddaughter Ann. His eponymous garden, the first public green space on the property, functioned as a formal entrance to the estate. Carr’s Garden fell into disrepair and was mostly lost by the time the City and the John Bartram Association gained control over the estate in 1893.

Julie Bush, principal at LRSLA, said that this will be “a very formal, true restoration,” using photos of the site that date back to the 1870s for direction. The garden will include samples from the extensive list of plant material that the Carr family recorded, including rare imported roses and flora from Indonesia.

Carr Garden

The restoration of Carr Garden will revive the first public green space at Bartram’s Garden | Photo: Frank Garnier, LRSLAstudio

The restoration of Carr Garden is one of three projects at the National Historic Landmark. Workers will install an extensive geothermal climate control system, including a dozen wells, each three hundred feet deep, sunk underneath a new stable yard, to heat the 1728 house and ancillary facilities. A heat exchanger in the stable house will connect to a shared heating system linking the entire compound.

Frens & Frens will replace the house’s wooden roof, rebuild the porch, complete minor renovation of windows and interior spaces.

Parks & Recreation gave a briefing on the development of the trail project Bartram’s Mile at the Carr Garden groundbreaking last Friday. The Mile, a cooperative project of Parks & Rec, Bartram’s Garden, and the SRDC, will begin just past the fence line at Carr Garden and connect to the existing 109-year-old swing bridge up river and then cross the river to connect to the Grays Ferry Crescent and the Schuylkill Banks. Work on the bridge is slated to begin soon.

Both banks of the Schuylkill River will also see a new water taxi service this summer that travels between Bartram’s Garden’s new fully ADA accessible boat dock and the Walnut Street dock, making the estate significantly more reachable by foot and bicycle.

More than one million people use the Schuylkill Banks each year compared to 40,000 who visit Bartram’s Garden. Roy anticipates exponential growth in attendance for the garden and grounds once the Schuylkill River Trail connects both banks and expands downriver toward Fort Mifflin, carrying the East Coast Greenway along with it.

About the author

Stephen Stofka is interested in the urban form and the way we change it. A graduate of the Geography and Urban Studies program at Temple University, he enjoys examining the architecture, siting, streetscapes, transportation, access, and other subtle elements that make a city a city.

Send a message!



3 Comments


  1. This is very exciting. One of Philadelphia’s greatest treasures.

  2. When will the water taxi go into service? I wasn’t able to find other sources for this, but if it’s true, it’s very exciting!

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
On 40th Street, New Life For A Long-Hidden Furness

On 40th Street, New Life For A Long-Hidden Furness

October 18, 2017  |  Vantage

What's it take to restore this early Furness? Hidden City talks to developer Tom Lussenhop about the tear-down disaster ongoing across the city and his plans for the former West Philadelphia Institute > more

Praise And Protest At Historical Commission Meeting

Praise And Protest At Historical Commission Meeting

October 17, 2017  |  News

Applause and anger filled the room at the monthly Historical Commission meeting on Friday. GroJLart has the details > more

The True Center Of The City Revealed

The True Center Of The City Revealed

October 13, 2017  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

City Hall may be the "heart" of Philadelphia, but an unassuming corner in North Philly is the true center of the city. Harry K. explores the evolution of Penn's greene country towne and how Philadelphia has a history of being the center of attention > more

LIGHTS! MUSIC! ACTION! Historic Lansdowne Theater Poised For A Comeback

LIGHTS! MUSIC! ACTION! Historic Lansdowne Theater Poised For A Comeback

October 11, 2017  |  Vantage

After 30 years' slumber, Lansdowne's sumptuous Art Deco movie palace is ready to wake up, and rouse Main Street too, with music and community spirit. Ben Leech has the story > more

Wish You Were Here: Postcards From The Past Recall

Wish You Were Here: Postcards From The Past Recall “Real Philadelphia”

October 10, 2017  |  Vantage

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia's new exhibition, "Real Philadelphia: Selections from the Robert M. Skaler Postcard Collection," puts elusive images of working class city life in the limelight. Contributor Karen Chernick has the review > more

Designing The Future Of Healthcare With Stephen Klasko

Designing The Future Of Healthcare With Stephen Klasko

October 4, 2017  |  Vantage

Dr. Stephen Klasko wants to disrupt traditional hospital care and integrate medicine into our everyday life. Through service and information delivery systems similar to Netflix, Apple stores, and virtual reality, the president and CEO of Jefferson Healthcare System believes the future of our well being lies in smart design. Contributor Hilary Jay, founder of DesignPhiladelphia, sits down with Dr. Klasko to discuss breaking the status quo of the medical industry with user-minded health care > more