Brooklyn Heights Townhouse, Brooklyn, NY



United States

Brooklyn Heights Townhouse

Designed by landscape architect Alice Recknagel Ireys, this private townhouse garden was Ireys’ childhood home and lifelong personal garden; she resided there her entire life. The garden fell into decline and neglect following her passing in 2000. In 2007, the homeowners hired Robin Key Landscape Architecture to renovate the garden based on Ireys’ original design. The garden's renewal was made possible with the documentation contained in her 1967 book, How to Plan and Plant Your Own Property, which featured the private residence. Here the work included the preservation of the original upper and lower terrace configuration, and the rehabilitation of the original fan-shaped bluestone for the upper terrace. Changes were also made, including the addition of brick seatwalls in the lower terrace that followed Ireys’ original alignment and two gracefully curving staircases connecting the interior parlor and basement levels with the garden. In order to bring air and light into the basement level, a large, raised planter was added off the kitchen patio. Many of the mature plantings original to Ireys’ garden were saved and replanted, including her collection of azaleas and a large holly tree. The garden was included in the National Register of Historic Places listing as part of the Brooklyn Heights Historic District in 1965.

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