The Restoration

Perched on the upper edge of 46 acres of pasture, woodlands, and gardens in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Naumkeag is a quintessential country estate of the Gilded Age. From the delicacy of its curved roof shingles to the sweeping lines of the south lawn, it is a work of art – a perfect blend of aesthetic style and scenic beauty that reflects the personality of one of America’s oldest families, the Choates.

After inheriting the estate in 1929, Mabel Choate and acclaimed landscape architect Fletcher Steele began a long and fruitful collaboration that transformed the landscape over the next 30 years. Today, the gardens are world-renowned for such masterpieces as the Afternoon Garden, the Blue Steps, the Tree Peony Terrace, and the Chinese Garden.

As we approach the 75th anniversary of the renowned Blue Steps, Fletcher Steele’s intricately detailed, finely crafted gardens are in need of polish: plants are aging, views are diminished, and harsh New England weather has taken its toll on this beautiful National Historic Landmark.

Carefully planned and lovingly executed, this work will rejuvenate this very special place, igniting public recognition, visitation, and programs that are designed to celebrate both the garden restoration in process and its final completion. Naumkeag’s renaissance will be a celebration of art and family, a rebirth as inspiring as its original creation.

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