Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Sunken Garden and Lagoon

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Institution Name: Georgian Court University
Original/Historic Place Name: Sunken Garden and Lagoon
Location on Campus: southern end of campus
Date(s) of Construction:
1898original construction Price, Bruce
Designer: Bruce Price
Type of Place: Landscape site
Style: (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture
Narrative: see below
References: see below
1898-present (2006)outdoor space

Marble lions flank the staircases of the multi-level esplanade. Carved marble benches, copied from originals in the Vatican Garden, are placed throughout the area. A double marble balustraded staircase descends to a huge space surrounded by water, where a majestic dolphin fountain rises to a height of more than twenty feet. The curved lagoon has an access passage to Lake Carasaljo. Above the passageway, an arched road bridge designed by Bruce Price crosses the fifty foot expanse. The bridge is constructed of red brick marble and terra cotta and is supported by ornamental brick piers.

The garden and lagoon area were originally used for entertaining guests. The Gould family spent their vacations on the estate, where they entertained the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and other socialites.


Geis, M. Christina. Georgian Court. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1978.

Geis, M. Christina. Georgian Court: An Estate of the Guilded Age. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Art Alliance Press, 1983.

H2L2, LLP. Campus Master Plan [Georgian Court University]. [Philadelphia: H2L2], April 2003.


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Last update: November 2006