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Vanderbilt Restoration (was: Me - Questions - Questions)

  • To: iris-l@rt66.com
  • Subject: Vanderbilt Restoration (was: Me - Questions - Questions)
  • From: cangemi@mhv.net (S | K Cangemi)
  • Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 15:21:19 -0500

>Region 2 of the AIS is hosting a Historic Iris Preservation convention
>in the near (and getting nearer) future. Kathryn Mohr of this LIST is
>a co-chair of that convention. Perhaps she's list-ening and can help you
>out with pictures and catalogues. She is coming to Buffalo NY in December
>to give a talk on the Convention and will bring slides.

Kathryn has already been very helpful. The iris-picker-outers have been
drooling over her catalogs for a couple of weeks now.:)

>        **
>Here's a suggestion:
>        Perhaps there are people on this LIST with historic iris to DONATE
>irises to this volunteer effort?????

We ARE a registered non-profit organization:)

>Do they need to be named?? Does the restoration include the gardens and
>grounds so that you MUST have (I think the regulations sort of state -as
>much of the original material as possible at least on the structure, don't
>know what garden restoration regulations are) MUST have named varieties???
There are very strict regulations on what can be done to historic
structures. However, I don't know of any official rules regarding plants
that haven't been there all along. The general idea is to do as well as we
can, since a lot of varieties are out of commerce, or not practical for us
to care for. Also, we have very little documentation on what was actually
there. When the Vanderbilts' niece gave the property to the government, she
supposedly burned all of their papers, including most of the garden
documentation(*). These beds are being replanted according to a couple of
old photographs and a plan that sort of resembles them. The most important
thing is to try to get plants that would have been around in the late
1930's. If we had a plant list that gave names of iris, it would be nice to
try and find those iris, but we don't have a list.

(*)The usual reaction to this is 'why would she do such a nutty thing',
however, having seen what was kept in the Eleanor Roosevelt papers at the
FDR Library, I can sympathize. Does posterity really need to see absolutely
EVERY piece of correspondence?

Kay Cangemi
New York, USDA zone 5

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