Downing, Andrew Jackson


Downing, Andrew Jackson

biographical name

(born Oct. 30, 1815, Newburgh, N.Y., U.S.—died July 28, 1852, vicinity of Yonkers, N.Y.) U.S. horticulturist, landscape gardener, and architect. He educated himself in landscape gardening and architecture while working in his father's nursery. In 1850 he began collaborating with the British architect Calvert Vaux (1824–95); the two designed a number of estates in New York's Hudson River valley and on Long Island. Recognized as the foremost U.S. landscape designer of his day, he was commissioned in 1851 to lay out the grounds for the Capitol, the White House, and the Smithsonian Institution. His death at 36 in a steamboat accident prevented him from seeing his plans to completion. His books on architecture and landscaping became standard works, and his influence on American conceptions of the middle-class home were far-reaching.

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