Founders Memorial Garden
- 325 S. Lumpkin St., UGA North Campus, Behind Brooks Hall, Athens, GA 30602
Formed in 1891, Athens was home to America's very first garden club. During the 1930s, the Garden Club of Georgia and the University of Georgia's landscape architecture department worked together to commemorate the club's 12 founders by creating this breathtaking 2.5-acre garden.
Adorned with over 300 species, including rare trees, shrubs, and perennials, this historic site boasts a formal boxwood garden, two charming courtyards, a serene terrace, and a sunken perennial garden. These plantings encircle a historic residence, kitchen building, and smokehouse.
At its heart stands the iconic Lumpkin House, built in the Greek Revival style in 1857. Originally a faculty residence and the earliest address on Lumpkin Street, it now serves as the hub of the Founders Memorial Garden.
This complex and its meticulously curated garden have earned a place of honor on the National Register of Historic Places and the Georgia Register of Historic Places. Notably, in 1999, the American Society of Landscape Architects recognized this site as one of the top 100 "landscapes of significance" in the entire United States.
Experience a piece of horticultural history at the Founders Memorial Garden, a cherished testament to America's rich gardening heritage.
Timeline for Founders Memorial Garden Complex:
- 1857: House built by Athens builder Ross Crane as a professor's residence
- 1867: Arrival of Professor William Leroy Broun and his family; they live in the Founders house until 1868
- ca. 1870: Professor Charles Morris and his family move into the house, and daughter Louise Bolling Morris born in the Founders House
- 1870s: Sylvanus Morris, son of Professor Morris and himself later Dean of the School of Law, and his friend grow cotton in the house's garden patch (located on the site of present-day Joe Brown Hall)
- 1898: The professor's residence, lately occupied by Professor Morris' and Dean Morris' family, is converted into a college "mess hall" while adjacent Denmark Hall is built for this purpose
- 1901-1920: The house probably serves as student rental housing, and perhaps as a football dormitory, given its proximity to Herty Field, the University's historic football field
- 1920-24: Miss Mary Lyndon, first Dean of Women, resides in the Founders House following the first admission of co-eds to the University of Georgia
- ca. 1924-28: Phi Mu Sorority occupies the Founders House
- ca. 1928-1935: The house is used as a women's dormitory
- 1935-1960s: The Landscape Architecture Department takes up residence at the Founders House, and ground is broken for the Founders Memorial Garden in the mid 1930s
- 1960s-ca 1997: The Garden Club of Georgia operates its headquarters in the Founders Memorial House
- 1997-present: The office of Preservation Services of the School of Environmental Design relocated to the second floor of the Founders House, while the first floor serves as a house museum and conference space