Photos in order of appearance: Ada Cummer's Gazing Globe Garden, 1924 (J. Horace McFarland Company, Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, J. Horace McFarland Collection); Clara Cummer, 1939 (the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens Archives); Waldo Cummer, before 1936 (photo courtesy of Patricia Bent).
In 1931, Waldo and Clara Cummer, Mr. Cummer’s brother and sister-in-law, hired the Olmsted firm to redesign their property, which was adjacent to Mr. and Mrs. Cummer’s. Primarily, the firm helped to incorporate the land he and Clara acquired after the death of his mother, Ada. Although much of this work was destroyed by subsequent construction, a significant riverfront fragment of the Olmsted Garden remains.
William Lyman Phillips (1885-1966) of the Olmsted Brothers firm designed this area using a varied palette of materials in his compositions, bringing together those plants and trees most appropriate to the site. This extant fragment was acquired by the Museum in 1992 and is presently being restored using the original plans of the Olmsted firm. The Museum hopes to open the space to the public in the fall of 2013.