Longfellow House – Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site, Boston, MA
Martha Brookes Hutcheson
1871 - 1959

Martha Brookes Hutcheson

Born in New York City, Hutcheson studied at the New York School of Applied Design for Women before attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Landscape Architecture program in 1900 as one of the first women formally trained in the profession.

Hutcheson’s extensive travels through Europe influenced her design philosophy. Her designs emphasized axis and views and incorporated Italian architectural elements. Her gardens were noted for spatial organization and her emphasis on quality plantings. She designed country estates, including the Colonial Revival garden at the Longfellow House and the Frederick Moseley estate, now Maudslay State Park, in Massachusetts, and her own home, Merchiston Farm, in New Jersey, now the Bamboo Brook Outdoor Education Center.

Hutcheson wrote on varied topics, including flower gardens, the importance of axial relationships, arbors and gateways, and water in the garden. In 1923 she wrote The Spirit of the Garden, which elaborated on good design principles for 1920s suburban families. Lecturing as well as writing, she was vocal about her belief that landscape architecture could be used for the betterment of society. She was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1935, the third woman to receive that honor.