Planting Fields Foundation strives to preserve and make relevant to all audiences the heritage of Planting Fields, an early 20th century 409-acre estate, designed as an integrated composition of the built and natural world.
Mission statement adopted June 18, 2020
Planting Fields is a dynamic and vibrant site that features numerous historic structures, Olmsted Brothers-designed landscapes, and world class art and horticultural collections. As a former Gold Coast estate, it is preserved today as a celebration of art, architecture, landscape, and the people that resided on its land. Located in Oyster Bay, New York, the name “Planting Fields” referenced the fertility of the land and its rich agricultural value originally for the Matinecock People and later for Dutch and English colonists. Today Planting Fields welcomes over 200,000 visitors to the site every year and hosts numerous iconic cultural events such as the annual Camellia Festival in February, Arbor Day celebration in April, Home for the Holidays in December, Spring and Fall 5k races, and various lectures, symposia, exhibitions, concerts, performances, and family events. We welcome thousands of school-aged children throughout the year who engage with Planting Fields to learn about the sciences and humanities through varied offerings that are uniquely reflected at the site. Established in 1952, Planting Fields Foundation works in partnership with New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation to steward Planting Fields.
Planting Fields is one of only a few surviving estates on Long Island with its original land intact, as well as its buildings, including Coe Hall, a 65-room Tudor Revival mansion designed by architects Walker & Gillette. It began to take its current form in 1913 when the land was purchased by William Robertson Coe, an English immigrant, and Mai Rogers Coe, heiress and daughter of Standard Oil partner Henry Huttleston Rogers. Born into modest circumstances, W.R. Coe made his fortune in America by climbing the ranks to eventually become chairman of a large marine insurance company. The lavish lifestyle of the Coes included five homes throughout America and associated pasttimes such as interior decoration, horse racing, hunting, plant hybridization, animal husbandry, and patronage of the arts. Eventually becoming their country estate providing balance to the urban life of New York City, the Coes were heavily involved in the design and decoration of Planting Fields. The landscape was largely the vision of the Olmsted Brothers Firm and retains its original 409 acres of greenhouses, rolling lawns, formal gardens, woodland paths, and plant collections. Made to look as if it stood for centuries, the architecture and design of Coe Hall is a showcase of artistry and craftsmanship that features a distinctly American aesthetic through whimsical interior decoration by Elsie de Wolfe, original ironwork commissions by Samuel Yellin, and murals painted by artists Robert Winthrop Chanler and Everett Shinn. Planting Fields has been included in the National Register of Historic Places since 1979.
Planting Fields Foundation is the recipient of generous funding from the following organizations and foundations:
Gerry Charitable Trust
Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation
Parks and Trails New York
New York State Council on the Arts, NYSCA