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Downing, Andrew Jackson

Born: 1815 AD
Died: 1852 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Designers, Industrial Designer

1815 – Born on October 30th in Newburgh, New York. A horticulturist, landscape gardener, and architect, the first great landscape designer in the United States.

1831 – He worked in his father’s nursery and gradually became interested in landscape gardening and architecture.

         – He began writing on botany and landscape gardening and then undertook to educate himself thoroughly in these subjects.

1841 – His first book, A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, Adapted to North America, established him as a national authority on that subject and went through numerous editions.

1842 – In Cottage Residences, he applied the principles of landscape and architectural design to the needs of more modest homeowners.

1845 – His The Fruits and Fruit Trees of America, written with his brother Charles, was the most complete treatise of its kind yet written and led to Downing’s becoming the editor of a new periodical, the Horticulturist, a post that he retained until his death.

1846 – The Horticulturist, and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste was first published under his editoriship.

1850 – Downing’s The Architecture of Country Houses, Including Designs for Cottages, Farm Houses, and Villas long remained in general use.

         – Downing entered into a partnership with the English architect Calvert Vaux, and upon their return to the United States the two men designed a number of estates, both houses and grounds, in New York’s Hudson River valley and Long Island.

1851 – Downing was commissioned to lay out the grounds for the Capitol, the White House, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Downing’s plans for this project had to be carried out by his successors.

1852 – Died because he drowned in a steamboat accident in the vicinity of New York Harbour on July 28th.