Restoration of the gardens at Pinecroft, The Powel Crosley, Jr. Estate, is a project with both cultural and historical significance. The house and gardens were designed in 1928 by well-known New York architect Dwight James Baum.
In 2011, the Cincinnati Preservation Association (CPA) received the house and 18 acre site as a gift from Mercy Health and has been using it as a venue for weddings, social events, and business meetings. However, over the years, the gardens have been altered to ease maintenance costs. In order to restore the gardens to their original beauty, Bayer Becker was selected to utilize the original planting plans and period photographs to reconstruct the Italian Lawn Garden and adjacent flower garden as they originally were. To accomplish this, Bayer Becker’s Landscape Architecture Department conducted historic research to identify the original plantings. Once those were identified, substitutions for any plantings no longer available or considered impractical were selected. Once completed, the restored gardens will give the CPA the opportunity to present the landscape and house as a unified design concept.
Because of the project’s size, it will be completed in three phases. The first phase will recreate the Lawn Garden, whose large courtyard layout is based on an Italian garden theme commonly added to Tudor estates using hedges to form a rectangular room with a border of flowering trees, shrubs and perennials to add color and mass behind the hedge. Originally a swimming pool provided the central focus in the lawn garden. However, the pool will be reinterpreted with a symbolic rectangular coping in its exact location. Grand bluestone steps and brick piers will also be reinstalled. Phase two will recreate the Lower Flower Garden and phase three will restore the Walled Garden and front entrance to its original splendor.
Funding of the restoration of Pinecroft’s formal gardens and grounds is through the generosity of the Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation. The superior effort and leadership between the CPA and its affiliates and volunteers will result in show-casing a rare example of the country estate Italian gardens here in Cincinnati, while “broadcasting” the need for preserving our historic assets and cultural amenities.