Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University, in cooperation with Reynolda House Museum of American Art, has announced plans to restore the view near the front entrance of Reynolda, the former country estate of R.J. and Katharine Smith Reynolds. The project, which will begin this fall, will re-create its appearance from the early 20th century, when this area functioned as a combination golf links and pastoral meadow.
In 2009, Reynolda House and Wake Forest University joined forces to commission a cultural landscape report for the more than 100 shared acres of the Reynolda Historic District. The report, completed in 2010 by The Jaeger Company, a historic landscape architectural firm based in Gainesville, Ga., documented the landscape and made recommendations for preservation. Restoring the historic entrance vista to the estate, which had been converted to a managed meadow, was one of the recommendations.
“Reynolda is a treasure to our community, both locally and regionally,” said Allison Perkins, executive director of Reynolda House. “Preserving the intentions of Katharine Smith Reynolds and her vision for the landscape is critical to the interpretation and integrity of this historic place.”
The restoration will involve a series of steps. First, the mowed stretch of lawn along the east side of the main entrance drive off Reynolda Road will be extended from the front gate north to the cross drive. Next, invasive plant species will be eradicated and the area south of the entrance, approximately 16 acres, will be re-planted with plant species indigenous to meadows of the Piedmont.
The Reynolda Gardens staff will work with the Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability at Wake Forest to establish pathways and trails in the newly established meadow that will allow visitors to view different Piedmont habitats and at least one of the original golf links. Signs will be installed to share information about the cultural history of the site, plant and animal life, and research being conducted.
“Wake Forest values this beautiful part of its campus, both as a front door to the Reynolda Historic District and as a learning environment supporting the university’s mission,” said Hof Milam, Wake Forest’s senior vice president for finance and administration. “The restoration and re-planting will restore the historic integrity of a large portion of the landscape while continuing to provide important research opportunities for our science faculty and students in the meadow area.”
Other treatment recommendations in the cultural landscape report already completed or in progress include painting and repairs of the boat house along the Lake Katharine Wetlands; maintenance around the original outdoor swimming pool and around the lake dam leading to the university walkway from Reynolda Village; elimination of invasive plant species between the historic house and formal gardens; and selective clearing of invasive plant material in wooded areas of the estate.
For more information about the Reynolda Historic District cultural landscape report, visit reynolda.org.
Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University includes woodlands, fields, wetlands, and a four-acre formal garden with greenhouse. The Gardens serve as a center for quiet reflection and learning for students and the public. For more information, please visit reynoldagardens.org or call 336.758.5593.
Reynolda House Museum of American Art is one of the nation’s premier American art museums, with masterpieces by Mary Cassatt, Frederic Church, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe and Gilbert Stuart among its permanent collection. Affiliated with Wake Forest University, Reynolda House features changing exhibitions, concerts, lectures, classes, film screenings and other events. The museum is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in the historic 1917 estate of Katharine Smith Reynolds and her husband, Richard Joshua Reynolds, founder of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. For more information, please visit reynoldahouse.org or call 336.758.5150.
Reynolda Village features unique dining and shopping in the original farm and working buildings of the estate. For more information, please visit reynoldavillage.com or call 336.758.5584.
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