by Dr. Jules Bruck & Erin Fogarty (Authors)
Marian Cruger Coffin (1876-1957), one of the first American women to work as a professional landscape architect, may not be a household name; however, with designs at some of America's foremost horticultural institutions, it should be. While Coffin's designs can be seen at locations as varied as Winterthur, New York Botanical Garden, Mount Cuba Center, and the University of Delaware, Gibraltar is perhaps one of her most important commissions. In 1916, Coffin was introduced to the owners of Gibraltar, a country estate home situated high on a roughly six-acre site in Wilmington, Delaware, by her longtime friend Henry Francis duPont. Beginning that year, Coffin transformed the grounds of the early-19th-century estate into a paradise of romantic gardens that seamlessly merged the Beaux-Arts classicism of her Massachusetts Institute of Technology training with the complex flower garden style of Beatrix Farrand, whom she much admired. While the gardens fell into disrepair following the death of their first owner, H. Rodney Sharp, they were eventually restored and are now open to the public, allowing all who visit to enjoy their beauty.
The Marian Coffin Gardens are located at 1405 Greenhill Avenue, Wilmington Delaware
Preservation Delaware welcomes one-time or annual gifts which directly support the annual maintenance of the Marian Coffin Gardens at Gibraltar. Gifts can be made online, or by mail:
Preservation Delaware, Inc
P.O. Box 334
Camden Wyoming, DE 19934
Memo: Marian Coffin Gardens at Gibraltar
Your gift to the Marian Coffin Gardens at Gibraltar Endowment Fund at the Delaware Community Foundation can ensure the ongoing care and public accessibility of this Wilmington historic gem.
Donations or planned gifts to the Garden Endowment Fund held at the DCF are welcome and vitally important to secure the future of this nationally renowned garden.