Elizabeth Park

Democracy of Beauty Exhibit Images

A young visitor at Elizabeth Park in Hartford, CT, photographed sometime between 1904-1920. Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, J. Horace McFarland Collection.

As a supporter of the City Beautiful Movement, J. Horace McFarland was very interested in public parks and gardens, which beautified urban areas and provided residents with access to nature. As McFarland once stated, "Into the brick and concrete heart of the city the park brings a little of the primeval outdoors."

 
 
Democracy of Beauty Exhibit Images

This image depicts the pond a rose bush at Elizabeth Park in 1906. Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, J. Horace McFarland Company Collection.

McFarland’s love of roses intersected with his interest in roses at Elizabeth Park. When Charles Pond, a wealthy businessman, bequeathed his estate to the City of Hartford, Connecticut in the late 1800s it became one of the first municipal rose gardens established in America.

Democracy of Beauty Exhibit Images

The public horticulture for which McFarland advocated also required intense and meticulous labor, as seen in this photograph, taken between 1904 and 1920 at Elizabeth Park in Hartford, CT. Here, workers create a parterre style arrangement for the public to enjoy. Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, J. Horace McFarland Company Collection.