Percival Gallagher, Olmsted Brothers, at Vassar

Percival Gallagher, Olmsted Brothers, at Vassar

Percival Gallagher, partner in the Olmsted Brothers firm, was Consulting Landscape Architect to Vassar from 1929-33, right after Beatrix Farrand held the position. He added to the growing arboretum  that Farrand initiated, and contributed to landscape design around the newly-built Skinner Hall—including its intersection with Edith Roberts’ Ecological Laboratory of native plants. He also made designs for the so-called Euthenics Quad, comprising Blodgett, Cushing, Kenyon and Wimpfheimer; and for circulation on the Rock Lot, the site on the corner of Raymond and College Avenues, which housed Alumnae House, Williams House, and a green.

Ford Scholar Caleb Mitchell (VC ’22) is compiling and analyzing unpublished archival material to tell the story of Gallagher’s projects, with research contributions from students in CLCS/Art 120, the Vassar Campus. This study complements another sub-project dedicated to earlier Olmsted firm involvement at Vassar.

In Spring 2022, as part of the Olmsted200 celebration, an exhibition in the Vassar Art Library, organized by Yvonne Elet and Caleb Mitchell, will present the Olmsted firm’s varied contributions to the plan and plantings of the college.

Participants: Yvonne Elet, Colin Croghan (VC ’21), Olivia Feltus (VC ’21), Nick Gorman (VC ’21), Caleb Mitchell (VC ’22), Julia Noonan (VC ’21), Sienna Ropert (VC ’21), Chloe Williams-Searle (VC ’21)
Yvonne Elet
Dates: 2020-

For Percival Gallagher’s role in the Olmsted Brothers firm and his designs for Duke University and Harvard Business school, see Gary R. Hilderbrand, “Reciprocal Narratives on Campus. Two Olmsted Brothers Cases,” in Landscape and the Academy, ed. John Beardsley (Harvard University Press/Dumbarton Oaks: 2019), 39-65.