Harkness Memorial State Park
275 Great Neck Road, Waterford, CT
The gardens, grounds, picnic area, and waterfront are open all year round, 365 days a year.
See below for a brief description.
about harkness memorial state park
The gardens at Harkness surround a 1906 Roman Renaissance Revival-style mansion once owned by millionaire philanthropists Edward and Mary Harkness. The 200+ acres were a working farm and the mansion (named “Eolia” after the island home of the Greek god of winds) was the Harkness’ summer home.
From 1918 to 1929, Beatrix Farrand (landscape designer and one of the founders of the American Society of Landscape Architects) redesigned the West Garden and created and installed the East Garden, the Boxwood Parterre and the Alpine Rock Garden. The garden design combines Farrand’s innovative use of plant material with Mrs. Harkness’ color preferences and extensive collection of Asian garden statuary. The estate was left to the State of Connecticut in 1950.
Beginning in the mid-1990s, extensive restoration work was done on the Mansion and the gardens, and today the property looks much as it did in the 1930s. The gardens that surround the mansion follow the original Farrand plan, and are now fully restored with a loggia, water features, paths, wrought iron fencing, statuary, benches and hundreds of perennials, annuals and shrubs. The site also includes dozens of mature beach and maple trees, a cutting garden and a greenhouse.
For admission information and directions, visit https://www.harkness.org/