The Glensheen Estate, built by mining magnate Chester Congdon and his wife, Clara, is well known for its historic mansion. The estate’s setting on the rocky, wooded shore of Lake Superior is an equally vital piece of its history. Hess Roise partnered with landscape architects Damon Farber and historic architects at Miller Dunwiddie, with funds from a Legacy Grant, to write a cultural landscape report of the expansive estate grounds.
The Congdons built Glensheen in the first decade of the twentieth century and hired landscape architect Charles W. Leavitt to plan the grounds. His design highlighted the rugged, forested lakeshore and also included highly designed gardens, productive orchards and vegetable gardens, and a greenhouse. Hess Roise conducted in-depth research into the estate’s original landscape design and its evolution over time. Historic photographs and correspondence were particularly useful in tracing the site’s development. Our detailed research on the Glensheen grounds allowed Hess Roise to make recommendations for future work that will be more in keeping with the historic character, preserving and maintaining the estate’s natural spaces for years to come.