BY TAYLOR MAURER
With a vision of historically accurate beauty in mind and the funds needed now in hand (with thanks to our donors as well as a New York State grant), the Jay Heritage Center sat down with Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects and explored potential plans for our soon-to-be restored gardens. The architects proposed three different schemes, each with different designs for each of the three “rooms” or gardens. The proposals were approached as an “À la carte” menu, in which the Jay Heritage Center would be able to merge designs from each of the proposals in order to mold the vision in mind.
Aiming to retain the simple yet elegant designs of the original gardens, JHC pursued a landscape that would also be easy to maintain. New flowers and trees will be selected and planted that will hopefully not require an extreme amount of maintenance. Another top priority is the ability for the grounds to be ADA accessible, so that all may come and appreciate the natural artistry of the gardens and participate in educational programs.
The hope is that the gardens can serve as a space for educational lectures, activities, and events. Therefore, the gardens will serve a variety of purposes. People can come for a leisurely stroll, a school program, or a scheduled event. Ideally, the gardens will include plenty of space for people to gather as well as an amphitheater to view speakers or performers. One thing is certain; the gardens will provide plenty of new, excellent opportunities to get in touch with history and culture.
Many different ideas were investigated and are still being reviewed. The Jay Heritage Center will meet again with the landscape architects in mid-August to continue establishing the blueprints. Nothing is set in stone yet, so the Jay Heritage Center will continue to explore different possibilities. The main priority is to create gardens that will embody the history of the Jay property as well as aesthetically appeal to the masses. It is an exciting time at the Jay Heritage Center amidst the planning, and we are grateful to all who helped gather the necessary funds to embark on this grand project. We can’t wait to the share what we accomplish with the general public!
This post was written by Taylor Maurer (West Point ’20)