Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park, NYS OPRHP, Canandaigua, New York
The 50 acre Sonnenberg Garden and Mansion State Historic Site was the 19th century Victorian summer home of Frederick Ferris Thompson and his wife Mary Clark Thompson. The internationally inspired and eclectic formal gardens were built between 1902 and 1919. In 2005, the New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation purchased the estate, which is one of only two public gardens in all of the New York State Parks system.
The NYS OPRHP’s vision is to expand public use of the grounds to accommodate weddings and other large group gatherings. To meet this goal, Saratoga Associates prepared a facility master plan, design development and contract documents to rehabilitate the site’s gardens and Victorian structures. The firm’s landscape architects redesigned and restored a portion of the formal gardens to create a unique outdoor setting for ceremonies and receptions. An adaptive reuse plan was also prepared for indoor events at an adjacent aviary structure known as the “Peacock House”. The resulting plan enhances the Sonnenberg State Historic Site as a special event space that will take guests back in time to the gilded age.