Historic Wicker Park Mansion
Private Garden – Chicago, Illinois

Sitting on four city lots in historic Wicker Park, this 1879 Victorian home could accommodate a generous program.  Project goals included designing two front entries with corresponding gardens, creating a private sitting space within this very prominent location, and integrating traditional Victorian garden elements into the overall design. An original Stewart Iron Works fence surrounded the property atop a Joliet stone kneewall. The fence was restored and missing components were replicated, as needed. The existing wall could not be reset but the large slabs were reused for the entry steps and coping for the kitchen garden planters.  Pieces of the kneewall foundation were also recycled as flatwork, mixed with newer Wisconsin flagstone.  Salvaged materials gave the new garden an antiqued character suitable for this Second Empire home. A traditional boxwood parterre highlights the main entry, and two Sargent Crabapples frame the pathway into a formal lawn. A sunken gravel garden sits at the far end of the lawn with vegetable beds and ample seating for entertaining.  An overhead pergola and upright boxwood hedge help to create a sense of enclosure in this space, great for relaxing with the family.