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Longue Vue House & Gardens

Estates

Longue Vue House & Gardens
New Orleans, Louisiana

Principally the work of important landscape architect Ellen Biddle Shipman in collaboration with owners Edith and Edgar Stern and architects William and Geoffrey Platt, the 7-acre gardens at Longue Vue are a masterful design. Shipman's work at Longue Vue, dating from 1935 to 1950, is one of her most complete and effective projects. Historic research revealed the evolution of the landscape over 33 years. The historic period for Longue Vue Gardens dates from 1935 to 1968, with further contributions by Edith Stern and William Platt after Shipman's death. The award-winning report presented period and existing plans, defined landscape units, clarified the historic character and qualities of the landscape and assessed change and continuity of landscape features.

Heritage Landscapes developed recommendations for landscape rehabilitation focusing on the enhancement of landscape character while shaping a sustainable landscape within current budgets and staffing. Tree preservation and management guidelines were prepared for the grand collection of live oaks, other deciduous and evergreen canopy trees and the flowering tree layer that are important to the Shipman design. The Wild Garden was a significant landscape unit at Longue Vue, designed as a collaboration between Shipman and noted naturalist and native plant expert Caroline Dorman. By 1998 the variety of plantings was greatly diminished, soils were depleted, drainage and watering systems had failed and the growth of shade trees had blocked needed light. Construction documents were prepared by Heritage Landscapes to address these issues. The rehabilitation of the Wild Garden was completed in 1999, and the Azalea Walk at the Tennis Court, the Vegetable and Herb Garden and the boxwood parterres were restored from 2000 to 2002 in accordance with the plan recommendations. Restoration work was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Heritage Landscapes provided expertise and aided Longue Vue in estimating the damage and connecting the property with potential supporters.

 

Client:
Longue Vue Foundation

Project:
Historic Landscape Report, Tree Care Plan and Wild Garden Rehabilitation Implementation

Project Credits:
Heritage Landscapes, Preservation Landscape Architects, Robin Karson, landscape historian; Neil Odenwald, PhD, FASLA, horticulture advisor, in collaboration with Waggonner and Ball, Architects, historic structures and master plan