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‘The Great Paradise Gardens of Iran’ Webinar
July 21, 2020 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Imagine a peaceful oasis in the desert where you could escape from your daily stresses and focus on leisure and relaxation, all while surrounded by lush flowers and plants, babbling brooks, and picturesque ponds. If this seems like a mirage, then you’d be mistaken — it’s time to explore the formal gardens of Persia, and human civilization’s attempt at recreating the Garden of Eden.
Join New York Adventure Club for a virtual exploration of the great paradise gardens of Iran — built between 550 BCE and the 19th century, these enclosed formal gardens were created to provide a place for protected relaxation, a “paradise on earth.”
Led by Stephen F. Byrns, President and Founder of the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy, our unique digital showcase of these highly cultivated landscapes, which were one of the crowning glories of Persian civilization, will include:
- A focus on the gardens from the Safavid (1501-1722) and Qajar (1789-1925) dynasties, with special attention given to the imperial city of Isfahan, which was called the most beautiful city in the world in the 17th century
- The story of the first Persian garden in Iran created by Cyrus the Great, who freed the Jews from Babylon around 550 BCE
- A look at the glittering and magnificent palaces and pavilions with their elaborate waterworks
- How Persian gardens — and even Persian carpets — had an influence on the design of great European gardens
- The universal meaning behind a Persian garden and its relationship to Untermyer Gardens in New York, the finest Persian garden in the Western Hemisphere
Afterward, we’ll have a Q&A with Steve — any and all questions about the Persian gardens in Iran are welcomed and encouraged!
Can’t make it live? Don’t worry, you’ll have access to the full replay for one week!
See you there, virtually!
*Immediately upon registering, you will receive a separate, automated email containing the link to join this webinar
**For the best possible viewing experience, please ensure you’re using the latest version of your internet browser — Google Chrome is the most compatible. Exact technical requirements and a webinar user guide will be shared in the automated confirmation email upon registration.
***A full replay of the experience will be available to all registered guests for up to a week
Stephen F. Byrns founded the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy in 2011 and is its president. A graduate of Princeton and Columbia Universities, Byrns was a founding partner of BKSK Architects, a successful architectural firm in New York City that was established in 1985.
Byrns was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg to serve as a Landmarks Preservation Commissioner on the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission from 2004-10. He served on the Board of Wave Hill from 2000-2010.
Byrns lived in Yonkers in the 1990’s, when he discovered Untermyer Park and Gardens. He revisited it in 2010 when told that the fountains had been turned on after decades of disuse. The more he learned about Samuel Untermyer’s garden, the more he was convinced that a conservancy should be established to work with the City of Yonkers to make it once again one of the greatest gardens in America.
A Board of Directors was established, and Marco Polo Stufano, the retired founding Director of Horticulture at Wave Hill, was engaged to be the Conservancy’s horticultural advisor. Sufficient funds were raised to hire Timothy Tilghman to be its first horticulturist in 2011 and there is currently a staff of 5 horticulturists at the garden. Byrns started full-time work at the Conservancy in early 2016.
Recognition of the Conservancy’s efforts has been swift and widespread, with significant coverage from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Martha Stewart Living, Elle Decor and other publications. National awards have been presented, including the Garden Club of America, Institute for Classical Architecture and Art, Foundation for Landscape Studies and the Victorian Society of America. The gardens are once again a showplace and are attracting people from near and far — case in point, it’s rated the #1 tourist attraction in Westchester County, according to TripAdvisor.
Its website is www.untermyergardens.org.
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Categories: Arts, Hidden Spots, Historic Sites, Virtual