Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Cascade Waterfall

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Institution Name: Southern Vermont College
Original/Historic Place Name: Cascade Waterfall
Location on Campus: directly behind the Mansion, halfway up Mt. Anthony
Date(s) of Construction:
1930soriginal construction Olmsted, Frederick Law, Jr.
Designer: Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.
Type of Place: Landscape site
Style: (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, engineering, history, landscape
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Function:
ca. 1930-present (2006)outdoor space
 

Narrative:
The Everett Estate embodied the prevailing attitude among the very rich of that period - that wealth was meant to be conspicuously enjoyed. The grounds were a significant part of the overall conception of the Estate, integrating the Mansion with its surrounding formal gardens, terraces, and the Cascade Waterfall.

On the west side of the Everett Mansion is a grand courtyard whose central focus is the Cascade Waterfall. The stone cascade consists of 13 cobblestone-lined pools that catch water as it flows from pool to pool down the side of Mt. Anthony. The simple design of the Cascade system is notable. It was originally constructed for $175,000 in 1911 by one of the leading American landscape architects, Frederick Law Olmstead.

In 1994, a small group of dedicated Southern Vermont College students, faculty, and staff formed the Cascade Restoration steering committee and began work to restore the cascade waterfall. Volunteers dug out the reservoir and sluiceway, cleared the pipe to the cistern, and removed vegetation from the pools.

Community support has been essential to the Cascade Restoration Project. Media coverage sparked community members and local businesses to donate time, labor, and resources to rejuvenate the cascade. Because of the tremendous outpouring of support from area residents and the college community, Southern Vermont College is committed to preserving the cascade and to (eventually) restoring the entire estate.

Today, the Cascade Waterfall is used as the backdrop for wedding ceremonies and formal photographs for Commencement and Honors Convocation. Each fall, the Cascade Waterfall is lit with spotlights and lined with luminaries for the Annual Everett Soiree, a fundraising event to benefit the Mansion Restoration Project. The Soiree offers guests an opportunity to step back in time and enjoy festivities during the days when the Everett family entertained lavishly.
 

References:

Keefe, Tom. Building Diagnostic Report [Southern Vermont College]. North Bennington, VT: Keefe & Wesner Architects, [n.d.].

Warren, Suzanne. The Orchards [Southern Vermont College]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 2000.

 

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Last update: November 2006