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Andrew Jackson Downing

Downing, Andrew Jackson, 1815–52, American horticulturist, rural architect, and landscape gardener, b. Newburgh, N.Y. With his brother Charles Downing, 1802–85, he took over the operation of the nursery that his father had established at Newburgh, and c.1838, Andrew became sole owner. His Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, Adapted to North America (1841) rapidly became a classic and passed through 10 editions (10th ed. 1921). His Cottage Residences (1842) was an attempt to point the way to improvement in the homes of country people. With Charles, Downing published, both in England and the United States, The Fruits and Fruit Trees of America (1845), a valuable work that passed through 13 editions in the author's lifetime. From 1846 until his early death he edited the Horticulturist; his editorials were in part published as Rural Essays (1853). In 1850 he published his Architecture for Country Houses and visited England. With Calvert Vaux, who had accompanied Downing on his return, he designed and constructed the homes and gardens of a great number of country estates along the Hudson River. He also planned the grounds for the Capitol, the White House, and the Smithsonian Institution.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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