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  Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News     
          Monthly Newsletter
May 2014
In This Issue


Topic of the Month: Historic Garden Restoration at The Elms in Newport, RI

Architectural Firm of the Month: Elmore Design Collaborative, Inc.

Helpful Links for Architects     

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Devonian Stone paving stones  Welcome to the May issue of our newsletter! In each issue we present you with interesting and informative articles about the various projects architects and designers are working on around the country. If there is a project you would like to share with us, please feel free to contact us and tell us about it! Your project could be featured in one of our upcoming issues of this newsletter. To learn more about our "high-end" cut-to-size Glacier Blue® Devonian Sandstone products, please click here to visit our website.
Architectural Firm of the Month: Elmore Design Collaborative, Inc.

Photo Courtesy Thomas J. Elmore and The Preservation Society of Newport County


Elmore Design Collaborative, Inc. is an award-winning, hands-on, client-oriented Landscape Architectural firm that specializes in Cultural Landscape Preservation and Historic Preservation Planning. Our public and private sector clients manage and care for vernacular and historic designed landscapes ranging in size from ¼-acre to more than 1,000 acres. The scope of services we provide varies by project, but can include scholarly archival research, site assessment and documentation, master planning with consensus building, design and construction documentation, oversight of implementation, and help with LEED Certification. Professional commissions include private residences and estates, public sites and estates, museums, campuses and related institutions, cemeteries, parks, and streetscapes. We have worked on numerous State Register and National Register of Historic Places, National Historic Landmarks, and one World Heritage Site.  

For more Information:

   Photo Courtesy Thomas J. Elmore and The Preservation Society of Newport County 

One of the finest and most magnificent Gilded Age mansions in Newport, Rhode Island is The Elms, which was built in 1898-1901 for the coal baron Edward J. Berwind. The Berwinds used the mansion as a summer home. This extravagant residence was designed by architect Horace Trumbauer who based the design on that of the Château d'Asnières in Asnières-sur-Seine in France. An elaborate landscape plan was executed between 1907 and 1920 with a collaborative effort between the architect Horace Trumbauer and the Berwind's gardener Bruce Butterton. The landscape includes terraces displaying marble and bronze sculptures, a park of fine specimen trees and a lavish lower garden featuring marble pavilions, fountains, and a sunken garden which was recently restored by landscape architect Thomas J. Elmore.


The restoration of the Sunken Garden at The Elms began in 1998 after extensive and scholarly research was undertaken and a detailed site assessment was completed. A set of construction drawings were prepared to restore this National Historic Landmark by EDC Principal Thomas Elmore while with another firm.  Mr. Elmore established Elmore Design Collaborative, Inc. and oversaw the garden's restoration, which was completed in 2001, in time for the centennial celebration.


Elmore explains, "The Preservation Society of Newport County wanted to start working on the landscape by bringing it up to par with the building, so they hired me to do the complete restoration of the sunken garden and I could not have done the project without them."


The first step was to study the original landscape design and try to stay true to it. Elmore explains, "We really did due diligence to try to uncover as much material as we could to help us document the historical changes in current traditions up through 1998, which was when the restoration began. The Preservation Society had some archives and we went to the Smithsonian and other local archives in Newport. It requires a lot of detailed scholarship to do work like this."


"I think it's important that clients understand what they have, and also that they understand that after restoration or preservation, the landscape needs to be maintained, otherwise it will revert back to a deteriorated state. Nature grows and changes and it needs to be maintained."


Although Elmore stayed true to the original design, a few changes were made after taking into consideration the future maintenance of the garden. He explains, "We modified some of the plantings, but not all of them. Instead of a high maintenance boxwood, we used an arborvitae. So we still had a dark evergreen plant, but one that needed less maintenance. Another change was that the historic landscape had big leaf linden trees but we could not find any in the United States and to bring them in from Germany was very expensive. What we did instead was to use a big leaf variety of a Littleleaf Linden. We also updated all of the mechanicals and all of the drainage."


Elmore's specialty as a landscape architect is historic preservation, as he has a passion for heritage landscapes and an understanding of their intrinsic value to their aesthetic and emotional importance to the community and the country. He explains, "I think the best part is restoring these significant landscapes for future generations to see because we've lost a lot of them. People don't understand the value of them, their aesthetic, physical and visual value until they're gone."


The Preservation Society of Newport County purchased The Elms in 1962 for $116,000, just weeks before it was scheduled to be demolished. The price included the property along with adjacent guest houses. On June 19, 1996, it was designated a National Historic Landmark. The Elms and its landscape are a rare example of how architects and garden designers used historic traditions to create a new American garden style at the dawn of the 20th century. 


Tom Elmore was awarded the Annual Preservation Award by the Newport Historical Society in 2001 and the Preservation Merit Award in Landscape Preservation by Preserve Rhode Island in 2002.


The Elms is open to the public for tours. For more information contact the Preservation Society of Newport County:


Helpful Links for Architects

AIA Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) 

The Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN), a Knowledge Community of The American Institute of Architects, is committed to the promotion of all residential architecture based on architectural content irrespective of style. For more information visit:  

AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community

The AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community provides leadership and expertise to practitioners of interior architecture and design, working cooperatively with its members and other interiors organizations to address relevant, timely practice issues, markets, and trends, such as licensing, liability, environmental, and technological considerations. Through the Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, important links are maintained with allied professionals, service providers, and manufacturers. If you wish to become a member of the AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, call AIA Member Services at 800-242-3837, or visit: 


Architect Online's Continuing Education Center

Architect Online's Online Continuing Education Center gives professionals a convenient way to earn necessary continuing education credits without having to set foot in a classroom. The courses listed, sponsored by the companies noted, are accessible from anywhere you can establish an online connection. Just register, read the required material, and then take the test, either through a downloadable mail-in form, or free via a secure online connection, depending on the course. You'll be able to maintain your professional credentials, at your pace, and at a location that works for you. Visit: 


Architectural Record Continuing Education Center

Architectural Record magazine has a free Continuing Education Center where architects can earn AIA Continuing Education Credits online. Visit:

Architectural Record Discussion Forums

The McGraw Hill Construction Community, publisher of Architectural Record, has provided architects with a forum to express ideas, opinions, suggestions, and gripes. The discussion forums are open to all, and include topics such as Green Building Projects, Virtual Design, Practice Matters and a forum for younger architects. Visit:

CORA - Congress of Residential Architecture 

CORA is a grass root organization that encourages our members to participate in the dialog of improving residential architecture in a way that suits them best. The purpose of the CORA is to provide a continuing forum for advocating and enhancing residential architecture by all individuals, both professionals and non-professionals, that share a common interest in improving the quality of the homes and communities we live in. Visit: 

The Green Meeting Industry Council

The Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) is a non profit 501(c)(6) membership-based organization. Their goal is to encourage collaboration within the meetings industry toward the development of green standards that will improve the environmental performance of meetings and events on a global basis. The GMIC is the only professional green meetings organization that is a member of the Convention Industry Council. For more information visit: 


The World Architecture Community
The World Architecture Community invites all architects to create a free profile on their website. The World Architecture Portal is a unique comprehensive international directory and catalog of contemporary architecture where all architects, scholars and institutions may submit their work and links to share with colleagues from around the world.
For more information visit:

We hope you enjoyed our informative monthly e-newsletter. For questions, comments or more information, please e-mail or call us today.





Liz Benton, Editor 
Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News
Devonian Stone of New York, Inc.

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