Florham Estate

Black and white of large grassy area with a hill and trees all around
Florham Estate, Job #01139, Madison, NJ

Olmsted Archives

Quick Facts
Madison, NJ
Olmsted Designed Estate
A popular choice by the wealthy Vanderbilt family for the design of their estate, Frederick Law Olmsted was once again commissioned by the Vanderbilt family. This time, Olmsted would be working on the weekend estate of Florence Vanderbilt Twombly and her husband Hamilton McKay Twombly.

Serving as landscape architect for Florham, a combination of the couple's first names, Olmsted designed Italianate gardens at the estate that still survives to this day. Completed in 1897, the couple didn’t just hire the best in landscape architecture, but also in architecture, with the home being designed by McKim, Mead, and White.

Olmsted set the mansion on a hill that would overlook the Passaic Valley and Black Brook meadows. When giving his suggestions about the property to Twombly, Olmsted told him that “you have a sweep of landscape to an infinitely remote…obscure background…as much so as if you owned the state of New Jersey”.

Source: "Florham Campus, History of the Estate," Fairleigh Dickinson University

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Last updated: June 5, 2024