People only think of Central Park when they think of New York City parks. However, the city and state have many precious gems that you might have overlooked before.
One such small paradise is the Untermyer Park and Gardens. The unique gardens are absolutely stunning to behold, made by the finest architects of the time. It is a sight to see, so you definitely should visit it the next time you want a retreat into nature.
About Untermyer Gardens Conservancy
The Untermyer Park and Gardens were built on the private property of a successful investor, lawyer, and advocate of progressive thinking called Untermyer. The gardens date back to 1916 and were even named America’s Most Spectacular Garden in the national press during the 1920s. So, they are definitely a sight to see.
The garden was maintained by a huge team of 60 gardeners and had over 60 greenhouses that were built on 150 acres of land.
Until his passing in 1940, Untermyer opened the gardens to allow the public to visit once weekly. When he died, he left the entire state for Yonkers City. The management opened up 16 acres of the garden for the public in 1946.
Since it was divided, it started to see neglect. Then, the property was opened up to 46 acres during the 2000s. There has been a movement to start historic preservation work on the property as per the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy, which was founded in 2011. Since the property is now recognized under the National Register of Historic Places, it is now preserved as a historic landmark.
Since then, it has gone through a brilliant transformation.
You can stroll through the Untermyer Park and Gardens often called the Walled Garden. The garden takes inspiration from the ancient architecture of the Indo-Persian parks. It is truly the best Persian-inspired garden in the Western world.
The Vista in the park is made with 2000-year-old Roman monolithic columns that any architecture nerd would love! It also features an amazing rocky garden with many waterfalls called the Temple of Love. The rock garden overlooks the beautiful scene of the Palisades and the River Hudson. You can enjoy all of these beautiful views from the stairs of the Vista, made after the famous Italian Villa D’Este.
What to See in Untermyer Park and Gardens?
The Indo-Persian walled garden, which is the estate’s centerpiece, is decorated with ancient Greek architecture, figurative sculpture, and large mosaics—some of the work is by Paul Manship. The expansive garden is divided into four sections and is accessible by a massive gate modeled after a historic Assyrian precedent. It includes an annular array of Corinthian columns, an amphitheater, and cross-axial water courses that converge in the middle of the park.
The Hudson River, Old Croton Aqueduct, and a pair of antique Roman columns enclosing views of the Palisades are all nearby and may be reached through steps designed like those at Villa D’Este. The elaborate Temple of Love is located on a rocky outcrop and is reached through tunnels and bridges. Bosworth also created a series of tiered gardens and a rock garden, each with its unique hue; however, they are now mainly gone.
No matter which way you turn, you’ll be taken straight outside the city!
New York’s Untermyer Gardens are situated at 945 North Broadway. It is presently open year from around 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Furthermore, it’s totally free!
Trails in the Area
The Old Croton Aqueduct path may be an alternative walking route to the gardens. As mentioned above, go up Odell from the left of the road until it takes a sudden curve to the right. At this location, the Old Croton Aqueduct path crosses Odell.
By making a right, you may cross Odell and join the OCA path, which leads south. The Old Croton Aqueduct path provides access to Untermyer. On the east of the route, there are substantial stone gateposts and even a relief sculpture depicting a horse and a lion. Enter the gate, then take a right turn into the former carriage route. The estate’s gravel carriage route goes uphill to the gardens, and it may be traveled on a bicycle, by foot, or through cross-country skis.
How to Get to the Untermyer Park and Gardens
Less than a mile separates the gardens from the Greystone Metro-North station, which is located on the Hudson line. For schedule and pricing details, please see the Metro-North trip planner. The steps to Warburton Avenue are on the left after you climb uphill from the station for 20 minutes to get to the gardens. Take the stairs up. Odell Avenue stops at North Broadway, so cross Warburton Avenue and continue along it. Walk to 945 North Broadway, which is on the right, after turning right onto North Broadway. There is a steep uphill trek of more than 200 feet, so keep that in mind.
Inside the block of the park are stations for the 2, 9, and 6 lines of Westchester’s Bee Line public transportation system. You may use cash or the NYC Metrocard on the Bee Line. For further details, please refer to its system map and respective schedules.
The Untermyer Park and Gardens are a true architectural wonder and a beautiful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. They can be an excellent retreat for anyone who wants to stroll through a beautiful landscape infused with powerful imagery. Plus, they are free for anyone who wants to go!