Call for Help: Fallen Tree damages James Rose Residence in Ridgewood, NJ
July 20, 2016
A recent wind storm felled a tree at the James Rose residence in Ridgewood, NJ, heavily damaging its roof garden and Zendo (a place for Zen meditation). The residence, now home to the nonprofit foundation the James Rose Center for Landscape Architectural Research and Design, is the magnum opus of maverick landscape designer James Rose (1913–1991). The tree has been removed and an important native rhododendron edge beneath the Zendo has been replaced, but the destabilized roof structure calls for a costly and complicated repair. This ethereal space was originally used by Rose to practice his Zen Buddhism and in recent years has been used by the Center for public programming such as the Suburbia Transformed exhibition. The center is seeking professional, volunteer, and financial help.
Along with his contemporaries Garrett Eckbo and Dan Kiley, Rose was a seminal proponent of Modern Movement principles in the field of landscape architecture in the U.S. His rebellious nature (which included being expelled from Harvard for refusing to design landscapes in the Beaux Arts style), caused one writer to refer to him as the “James Dean of landscape architecture.” However, his work output shows he was not a rebel without a cause. In addition to creating hundreds of his own landscape designs, he was also a prolific writer, publishing four books and numerous influential articles advocating a Modern approach to landscape design.
“Fallen Tree Damages James Rose Center,” The Cultural Landscape Foundation, July 6, 2016