Preserving the Architecture of the Formal Gardens: A Special Tour

Thursday, July 29, 2021
Time: 3:00–4:30PM
Event Type: 
Special Event
Location: Formal Gardens at the Inn
Fee: $15

This program is currently full. Use the registration button below to be added to the waitlist. Look for future opportunities on our website and social media.

Join us for a tour and conversation about the 10-year restoration of the Formal Gardens, which were envisioned and executed by Lila Webb between 1909 and 1915. In 2006, Shelburne Farms began plans to restore Lila’s Italianate gardens, under the careful guidance of architectural conservator Douglas Porter.  The final phase of the four-phase restoration was completed in the spring of 2020.  Thanks to the vision, talent, dedication, and generosity of so many skilled craftspeople and community supporters, this important historic American garden will continue to be enjoyed by many as a place of beauty, peaceful reflection, celebration, and learning.  

This is a walking experience. Terraced garden spaces are accessible by a series of stairs. Unvaccinated participants must be masked; and everyone should maintain social distancing.

For a closer (and beautiful) look at the Formal Gardens and their restoration, see the recently published book, The Formal Gardens of Shelburne Farms, by Glenn Suokko.

For more reading on the restoration:


Birgit Deeds Inn Formal Garden Head Gardener

Angelyn Bass is an architectural conservator specializing in the in situ conservation of historic architectural materials and archaeological sites. Angelyn was the lead conservator of the cast stone and marble sculpture for the Formal Garden Preservation Project, which included teaching a hands-on conservation course for UVM students and local preservation professionals.  Angelyn is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico (UNM), where she is the principal investigator on numerous collaborative projects with the National Park Service focused on the characterization and conservation of earthen and lime-based building materials on archaeological and historic sites, and has been a conservator of Maya wall paintings and sculpture at San Bartolo and Xultun Guatemala since 2002. 

Douglas Porter is an architectural conservator who directs research focused on the investigation, stabilization, and repair of culturally significant historic / prehistoric sites and structures in cooperation with academic, federal and non-profit partners. Porter holds a research faculty position in the School of Engineering, University of Vermont, where he is exploring the roles of engineering in conservation. He is an expert member of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Earthen Architectural Heritage (ISCEAH) and the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on the Analysis and Restoration of Architectural Heritage (ISCARSAH). He has been assisting Shelburne Farms with the stewardship of our historic resources including the structural stabilization of the Breeding Barn and the Formal Garden Restoration project.

Registration Details: 

This program is currently full. Use the registration button below to be added to the waitlist. Look for future opportunities on our website and social media.

Registration is required. Please reach out to [email protected] with any questions.


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