Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

New Jersey Historic Trust Affiliated with the Department of Community Affairs

The Clearing (Reeves-Reed Arboretum)

Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund
Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund
Historic Preservation Bond Program
Grant Award: $436,658 (1995); $47,500 (2008); $35,100 (2012); $21,000 (2016)
Grant Recipient: Reeves-Reed Arboretum
County: Union
Municipality: Summit

This 13.3 acre property was historically referred to as "The Clearing." It was developed as a country estate by Mr. and Mrs. John Wisner of New York City, with a Colonial Revival-style house designed by New York architects Babb, Cook and Willard and landscape features designed from 1889-1925 by noted American landscape architects Vaux and Company, Ellen Shipman, and Carl Pilat. This property bears witness to the early 20th-century trend that brought together professional landscape architects and an elite, primarily female clientele, in a pairing that influenced the "garden club" movement and women's magazines devoted to gardening.

The Trust grant would help fund the restoration of the “Primrose Path” retaining wall, an early feature of the historic core of the arboretum. Previous Trust grants helped fund the preparation of site and landscape master plans and the historic rehabilitation of two buildings on the site.

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