Thursday, September 4, 2008

Duke Gardens to be destroyed.

Duke Gardens to be destroyed. I found the fact they found it necessary to disparage “Caucasians” interesting;” “Caucasians” like it so it must be “bad?” Yes the word “progressive” is a red flag to me too. Is Timothy Taylor white, why is he disparaging “Caucasian females over the age of 50?” Will they close the libraries and art museums next because “Caucasian females over 50” like them too?

I still don’t quite understand why they are destroying Duke Gardens. The Eco Freaks don’t like the display gardens because of the energy needed to heat them in the winter. It likely does take a lot of oil or gas to heat them. The directory of the garden, Timothy Taylor, is a real estate developer with no horticultural expertise. We may never now what is going on or why they destroyed the gardens.

Duke Gardens in Somerset County, New Jersey were among the most significant glass house collections in America. Created by Doris Duke herself, they were larger than the New York Botanical Garden's Haupt Conservatory, and were open to the public from 1964 until they were closed by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation as of May 25th, 2008. All plants, trees and shrubs will be removed.1

Only "Caucasian females over the age of 50" like botanical gardens...
Last week, two friends and I took a tour of the huge glass indoor gardens at Duke Farms, the 2,740-acre country estate here that was once the home of Doris Duke and is now maintained by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. This magnificent glass building (actually, one long conservatory and five attached glass houses) is about 60,000 square feet (one of the largest glass houses in America and bigger even than the New York Botanical Garden's Enid Haupt Conservatory). It was designed by Horace Trumbauer for Ms. Duke's father, and construction was begun in 1909 and completed by 1917.

Duke Farms, whose display gardens opened in 1964, will be transformed into an ecological environment learning center...

...the lovers of those display gardens (whom Mr. Taylor categorizes as being "primarily Caucasian females over the age of 50"). Petra Ross MacDonald, a biologist from Pennington, N.J., has organized a Web site,, to rally support for keeping the indoor display gardens. Ruth Schrey, a resident of Branchburg Township, collected 1,000 signatures within 14 days for a petition that was sent last week to all the trustees, and an application to apply for historic landmark status is in the works...

One has to hope that with a little more imagination and a little more sensitivity to the fact that Ms. Duke's display gardens are quite irreplaceable... 1

Here is an article on Doris Duke, sounds like she had rather sad and lonely life.

More on the Gardens...
Doris Duke's own horticultural legacy, Duke Gardens, was the center of a controversy over its removal on May 25th, 2008. Miss Duke developed these exotic display gardens in honor of her beloved father James Buchanan Duke. She extended new greenhouses from the Horace Trumbauer conservatory at her home in Duke Farms, New Jersey. Each of the eleven interconnected gardens was a full-scale re-creation of a garden theme, country or period, inspired by DuPont's Longwood Gardens. Miss Duke, who spoke nine languages, designed the architectural, artistic and botanical elements of the displays based on observations from her extensive international travels . She also labored on their installation, sometimes working 16 hour days. Display construction began in 1958; a rediscovered image of the stunning nightlighting of the French Gardens in the 1970s is an example of the attention to detail that Doris Duke continued to lavish on the Gardens throughout her life. 1

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