Enid A. Haupt Garden. A popular urban oasis since its completion in 1987, the 4.2-acre Enid A. Haupt Garden comprises three distinct gardens. The design of each reflects the cultural and aesthetic influences celebrated in the Smithsonian Castle and the surrounding museums. The Moongate Garden (1) next to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, draws design inspiration from the Temple of Heaven, a 15th century religious complex in China. The Victorian-style Parterre (2) extends the Castle's grand welcome through and expansive lawn and formal plantings. The Fountain Garden (3) located beside the National Museum of African Art, was modeled after the Alhambra, a 14th Century Moorish palace and fortress in Spain.
The landscape design was a collaborative effort of Jean Paul Carlhian, FAIA, of Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott; Sasaki Associates, Inc.; and Lester Collins, FASLA.
[Map highlighting the Moongate Garden, the Parterre, the Fountain Garden and the Smithsonian facilities between the "Castle" and Independence Avenue]
The Parterre. Parterres - from the French term meaning "on or along the ground" - originated in 16th century Renaissance Italy as an ornamental garden style. The style, which defines garden space by arranging hedges, flowers, grass, water, and gravel to form a pleasing pattern, was adapted in France in the 1580s and became exceedingly popular. Parterres fell out of favor in the 18th century during a shift to more naturalistic designs.
During the Victorian era, parterres enjoyed an exuberant revival in the United States. The Sunken Garden at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia featured a parterre whose design later inspired the Smithsonian Castle's original parterre. Created for America's Bicentennial, that parterre was removed in the 1980s for the construction of the underground museum complex and rebuilt as the centerpiece of the Enid A. Haupt Garden.
Photograph: "Sunken Garden, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA., 1876"
* Keystone View Co., B.L. Singley, 1898 (Smithsonian Institution, Horticulture Services Division, Archives of American Gardens)
For more information about the Smithsonian gardens, visit www.gardens.si.edu