Beverly Hills' First Estate, The House and Gardens of Virginia & Harry Robinson


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By Timothy Lindsay, Marcella Ruble and Evelyn Carlson, photography by Tim Street-Porter and Betsy Pinover Schiff

Robinson Gardens, established by Virginia and Harry Robinson, is a six-and-a-half-acre estate in Beverly Hills with five distinct gardens and historic structures, is an inspiration to visitors from around the world. Besides its major plant collections, this paradise hosts many forms of wildlife, including over one hundred fifty different bird species. The estate, with its Beaux-Arts-style Main Residence, Palladian-style Pool Pavilion, pool, and tennis court, gives us a window into the early history and lifestyle of Southern California.

Beverly Hills was designed in 1906 by the eastern landscape architect Wilbur David Cook. He planned a garden city filled with gracious mansions on large verdant lots. Its curving streets were carefully laid out and its sapling trees lavishly planted below Sunset Boulevard. But land sales languished and the plots remained largely undeveloped.

Virginia and Harry Robinson were truly visionary when they selected an unimproved site above Sunset. Together they began to plant the grounds which became one of America's finest twentieth-century gardens. Virginia was a businesswoman, a generous philanthropist, and the first lady of Beverly Hills society. She spent sixty-six years creating the estate's five distinctive gardens, representing one of the longest and most personal associations between an owner and a garden. By her generous donation of the garden to the County of Los Angeles, she then ensured the estate would be carefully preserved and shared with us all.

- Hardcover
- 96 pages, 12 x 9 inches
- 100 image in both b&w and color
- 2011

SKU: 5396

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