Time & Location
About The Event
Yonkers Arts is pleased to present Arts Speak featuring Stephen F. Byrns, President and Founder of the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy. Byrns lived in Yonkers in the 1990’s, when he discovered Untermyer Park and Gardens. He revisited it in 2010 when told that the fountains had been turned on after decades of disuse. The more he learned about Samuel Untermyer’s garden, the more he was convinced that a conservancy should be established to work with the City of Yonkers to make it once again one of the greatest gardens in America.
The Untermyer Gardens Conservancy was established in 2011, leading very quickly to an amazing transformation of the potential of the gardens to a world class destination. Recognition of the Conservancy’s efforts has been swift and widespread, with significant coverage from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Martha Stewart Living and other publications. National awards have been presented, including the Garden Club of America, Institute for Classical Architecture and Art and the Victorian Society of America.
The lecture will describe the creation and design of Untermyer Gardens in 1917 by Welles Bosworth for Samuel Untermyer, who desired that it be the “finest garden in the world.” Sprawling over 150 acres on the Hudson River in Yonkers, it was maintained by 60 gardeners and supplied by 60 greenhouses. The Walled Garden is the finest Persian garden in the Western Hemisphere, the Vista is the most monumental garden feature in America featuring 2 ancient Roman columns and the Temple of Love contains 5 waterfalls and 6 cascades. It is a garden of superlatives.
A graduate of Princeton and Columbia Universities, Byrns was a founding partner of BKSK Architects, a successful architectural firm in New York City established in 1985. Byrns was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg to serve as a Landmarks Preservation Commissioner on the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission from 2004-10. He served on the Board of Wave Hill from 2000-2010.
Yonkers Arts - Arts Speak is a FREE event bringing creative individuals, cultural institutions, community leaders, and the curious and engaged public together to mingle and listen to a featured speaker.
This event is supported by and in cooperation with Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site and New York State Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation. This event is made possible with the support and assistance of the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy. Arts Speak is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program (DEC), a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature and administered by ArtsWestchester.