The next phase of our work to restore the Ramble will be the reconstruction of two open-air shelters that once existed at high points in the landscape.
The Ramble, as originally designed and constructed, had a large number of rustic wooden features (benches and shelter structures) that harmonized with the “wild” character of the landscape. The shelters were designed to be integrated into the landscape while providing places for visitors to relax and appreciate the views. Only one of several rustic shelters that historically existed in the Ramble remains today; the other rustic structures have been missing from the Park for approximately 100 years.
Once the reconstruction is completed, the shelters will serve as focal points to help guide visitors through the woodland landscape of the Ramble and create and enhance opportunities for rest and reflection.
Scope of Work
This project consists of the construction of two rustic wooden shelters in their historic locations, with the design and detailing based on historic drawings and photos, with associated site work. The first, the Umbrella structure, is a small “shaded seat” feature with an associated fence located on a rock outcrop at the south end of the Ramble, overlooking Bow Bridge. The second, Belvedere Summerhouse, is a larger shelter with multiple integral benches below a large, overhanging roof located at the northwest corner of the Ramble, near the Belvedere.
Surviving photos and drawings allowed the Conservancy to identify the original locations. Photographs suggest that the structures were repaired or completely reconstructed multiple times after being originally installed early in the Park’s history but were removed sometime in the early 20th century, likely by the 1920s.
This project is the next phase of the Conservancy’s comprehensive, multi-year effort to renew and sustain the Ramble.