Woodruff Fontaine House

Memphis, Tennessee

Ritchie Smith Associates designed a new garden to serve as a venue for special events as well as to host daily visitors to the historic house museum. The Woodruff-Fontaine House, built in 1871, is a popular wedding and reception facility and rentals provide a key source of revenue for its maintenance and operation. RSA worked with the Memphis Chapter of the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities to transform an area of deteriorated paving and lawn into a garden that complements the visitor experience at the Second-Empire style house. Services included review of family records, research of contemporaneous historic gardens, and preparation of final construction documents for initial improvements. The new garden is designed with forms and plants typical of the period and organized to create coherent and ADA-compliant circulation among existing structures. The once derelict back yard of the Woodruff-Fontaine House is now the most attractive outdoor space in Memphis' Victorian Village.