Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens announces garden reconstruction firm

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is pleased to announce it is moving forward with the reconstruction effort in the historic Cummer Gardens, after the extensive damage inflicted by Hurricane Irma. In order to reconstruct the gardens in a way that incorporates principles of sustainability at every level of stewardship, management, and maintenance, while preserving the original intent and historic character, the Museum selected WLA Studio, an award-winning landscape architecture and planning firm based in Athens, Ga. to help guide the process.

WLA Studio specializes in historic landscape preservation and environmental design. The firm has extensive experience in helping to preserve, promote, and interpret historically significant sites throughout the Southeast. “We are thrilled by the opportunity to work at such a prestigious landscape,” states Keyes Williamson, principal of WLA Studio. “The list of individuals associated with the Cummer Gardens reads like a ‘Who's Who’ of American landscape designers.”  “We are especially excited about Cummer Museum’s charge to us to think progressively about creating a more resilient landscape that is respectful to its historic significance,” said Williamson. During Hurricane Irma, as much as four feet of water inundated the lower tier of the formal gardens, uprooting plants, damaging the physical infrastructure, and contaminating the soil.

According to Cummer Museum Chief Operating Officer & Chief Curator, Holly Keris,
“The goal of this project is to honor the historic character of the gardens while making improvements that correct storm-related damage and better prepare the site to withstand future storm events. The gardens, our ‘living art’ collections, are a vital asset to our institution and the greater Jacksonville community we serve. We have a longstanding track record of leveraging these historic spaces for the betterment of the community and sharing them with visitors in engaging and inspiring in artful ways, while maintaining our commitment to sustainability. We look forward to working with WLA Studio to frame the future of our landscape while being harmonious with its past.”

The Cummer Gardens are part of the National Register of Historic Places, the official list of the nation’s historic places worthy of preservation, as well as an important cultural asset to the community.

No comments: