Both natives of New York state, this couple established a landscape preservation and planning firm in 1981 in Syracuse, New York, after receiving their respective MLAs from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF). For over twenty years, Doell & Doell, Garden Historians and Landscape Preservation Planners offered services in landscape research, preservation planning, and interpretation for historic estates, arboreta, parks, and gardens in the greater Philadelphia area, New York state, New England, the Midwest, and the upper South. Some of their projects include their more than twenty-year involvement in the landscape restoration at Stan Hywet Hall in Akron, Ohio; master plans and feasibility studies for historic plantations in Tennessee including Belle Meade in Nashville; treatment recommendations for garden renewal at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, and the Italian Garden at Planting Fields in Oyster Bay, New York; cultural landscape reports for Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua, New York, and Wyck House in Philadelphia; and specialized assessments for Stoneleigh in Villanova, Pennsylvania, Naumkeag in Stockbridge, Massachusetts; and Maymont in Richmond, Virginia. They also served the New York State Office of Parks and Recreation in rehabilitating the landscape at Hoyt House in Staatsburg, New York. The White House Historical Association and Garden Club of America recognized Doell and Doell’s expertise by inviting them to present a history of the White House grounds at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in honor of the White House’s Bicentennial in 1992.
In addition to their practice, Gerry served as director and curator of the 1890 House Museum in Cortland, New York from 1977 to 1984 while Christie held faculty positions at both Cornell and the SUNY ESF’s School of Landscape Architecture. In 1986, Christie authored Gardens of the Gilded Age: Nineteenth-Century Gardens and Homegrounds of New York State, in which she explores the history, design, and social function of ornamental gardens between 1860 and 1917. Christie died in 2002 at the age of 51 while serving as Director of Education at Cornell Plantations (now Cornell Botanic Gardens), and is buried in Greenlawn Cemetery, Warners, New York.