When you drive through the gates of Skylands Manor and follow the drive to the parking lots, the first building you see ahead of you is this unique and stunning stone building. It is hard to believe it was built only to house the gardener’s tools. Seems a shame to me – it is stunning and gorgeous and I would be happy to LIVE in it.
Skylands [1,119 acres] also known as the New Jersey Botanical Garden, is a mansion and 96-acre botanical garden in Ringwood State Park in the borough of Ringwood, located within the Ramapo Mountains in Passaic County in the state of New Jersey, United States. Its formal gardens are open to the public year round.
The house and gardens, including formal gardens and specimen plantings, were built in the 1920s by Clarence MacKenzie Lewis, a New York City stockbroker and civil engineer. Lewis hired architect John Russell Pope to design the Tudor revival manor house (44 rooms). Mr. Pope’s other works include the National Archives and the National Gallery of Art. The manor is a reproduction English mansion featuring rectangular, bay and oriel windows. A nine-hole golf course once graced this property.
In 1966 the entire estate was bought by the State of New Jersey to form a State Botanical Garden whose settings include a Lilac Garden, Magnolia Walk, the Wild Flower Garden, the Crab Apple Vista, an allée of 166 trees extending almost a half-mile, and the Perennial Garden. The entire section now comprises slightly over 4,000 acres of parkland.