The property’s first mansion burned to the ground on March 19, 1918; its replacement, the present Coe Hall, was constructed between 1918 and 1921 in the Tudor Revival style and faced in Indiana limestone. It was designed by the firm of Walker & Gillette and was completed in 1921. Images from a book of English country houses inspired its architecture, especially those of Moyns Park, Athelhampton, and St. Catherine’s Court.
William and Mai Coe’s interest in rare species of trees and plant collections made the estate a botanical marvel. Mai, who was chronically ill for the last decade of her life, died on December 28, 1924 at the age of forty-nine and is buried nearby. The 353-acre (1.43 km2) estate was deeded to the State of New York in 1949 (during Mr. Coe’s lifetime) to become a state park.
Today it is operated by a foundation, and Planting Fields, with its world-renowned arboretum and the Coe Hall mansion, is a popular attraction. The wrought-iron gates, built in Sussex, England in 1712 for Carshalton Park, were imported by Coe in 1921 and have been used as a setting for numerous motion pictures. Planting Fields also hosts an annual summer concert series, primarily focused on jazz.
Planting Fields Arboretum was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Read more