Garden at Risk: Stoneleigh

Stoneleigh Garden, designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm and a historically and culturally significant garden in the Philadelphia area, is threatened by the possible expansion of a local school district. Read our letter of support for the preservation of the garden, dated June 5, 2018.

The Garden Conservancy and a growing number of organizations and individuals oppose the possible use of eminent domain by the Lower Merion School District to take all or part of the 42-acre Stoneleigh Garden site for a new school and/or athletic playing fields.

In addition to being a valuable community resource, Stoneleigh also has a rich history and strong cultural significance. The garden design represents the longest, continuous involvement of the renowned Olmsted Brothers, one of the most influential landscape architecture firms in the mid-nineteenth century. The firm prepared 237 drawings over a 50-year period, making Stoneleigh the best-documented property in the firm’s history.

Stoneleigh Garden boasts ten state champion trees and also emphasizes the use of native plants, making the garden ecologically important, and an important habitat for birds and pollinators.

JULY 3, 2018, UPDATE:  On Thursday, June 28, the Cumberland Valley School District reversed its position on claiming eminent domain on the Stoneleigh property. Now it's up to the Lower Merion School District. Read more on the Save Stoneleigh from Condemnation petition site. 

November 21, 2018 UPDATE:  Spared! The Lower Merion School District will not build athletic fields on the Stoneleigh property, as reported by Phildadelphia CBS Local