In Response to: Growing the campus

Dr. James Fuchs ’60, co-founder of the Beatrix Farrand Society with his wife, Emily Nuttle Fuchs, gave me a copy of “Growing the Campus.” I was delighted to read such a glowing appreciation of Beatrix Farrand’s important contribution to the beauty of Princeton’s campus but somewhat disturbed by comments from the current consulting landscape architect, in particular his reference to Farrand’s signature espalier technique as “too expensive and labor-intensive to be practical.”

At the University of Chicago, where Farrand was a consultant from 1929 to 1936, her espaliered vines and shrubs are nurtured in the recently rehabilitated courtyards at the Oriental Institute and International House. At Garland Farm, Farrand’s last home in Maine and now the headquarters of the Beatrix Farrand Society, a historic climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris), pinned to the wall of the barn, gets pride of place.

When most of Farrand’s campus work has disappeared, Princeton stands out as the best-preserved example of her ideas. It is important to keep that consideration alive as the campus moves into the next phase. There is one small error in the article: Farrand’s mentor was Charles Sprague Sargent, not Charles Sargent Sprague.

Judith B. Tankard Editor, The Beatrix Farrand Society Mount Desert, Maine