Blue Garden

Millicent Harvey Photography

The Blue Garden mission is to share its beauty, rich historical and cultural contexts; original development and changes over time; and the story of its resiliency, rescue and rebuilding with attention to its quest to be relevant to 21st century needs. 

The Blue Garden was part of a 26-acre estate designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. and the Olmsted Brothers firm for railroad magnate Arthur Curtiss James and his wife Harriet. The garden opened in 1913 with a lavish party called “The Masque of the Blue Garden,” and was heralded as the social event of the season in Newport. In the 1970s, the property was purchased by developers who subdivided the estate into eight parcels, one of which included the Blue Garden. Through years of neglect and the ravages of time, the garden features had all but crumbled. In 2010, Dorrance H. Hamilton, a garden enthusiast, preservationist, and philanthropist, who was familiar with the garden since childhood, made possible a complete restoration according to original plans, drawings, photographs, and correspondence from the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site and other repositories. The Blue Garden opened in 2014 and offers tours every Thursday from June through September. 


    South Pergola in 1917 by Frances Bejamin Johnston

    South Pergola in 2015 by Millicent Harvey Photography

    North Pergola in 1917 by Frances Benjamin Johnston

    North Pergola in 2015 by Millicent Harvey Photography


The Olmsted Network

Our organization works with partners across the globe to champion Olmsted parks and places.