Charles Gillette

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Charles F. Gillette
NationalityUnited States
ProjectsUniversity of Richmond, Reynolds Metals Company International Headquarters

Charles Freeman Gillette (1886–1969) was a prominent landscape architect in the upper South who specialized in the creation of grounds supporting Colonial Revival architecture, particularly in Richmond, Virginia. He is associated with the restoration and re-creation of historic gardens in the upper South and especially Virginia. He is known for having established a regional style—known as the "Virginia Garden."


"York Hall," Captain George Preston Blow House, Route 1005 and Main Street, Yorktown, by Frances Benjamin Johnston, 1929. Griffin & Wynkoop, architects, additions to 18th century brick house, the home of Thomas Nelson Jr., 1738-1739, after purchase by Blow in 1914. Landscape: Charles Freeman Gillette, from 1914. Today the house, without additions by Captain Blow, is a National Park Service site

In 1909-1911, Gillette served as an apprentice in the office of Warren H. Manning, a leading early-20th century landscape architect. Gillette moved to Richmond in 1913 to supervise the completion of Manning's landscape design for the University of Richmond's new campus. In 1915, he began designing the grounds of the Nelson House in Yorktown, Virginia. In 1924, he commenced work on the landscape restoration of Kenmore in Fredericksburg, Virginia. A few years later, he initiated plans for the landscaping of Virginia House and Agecroft, both reconstructed English manor houses located in Richmond's Windsor Farms neighborhood. Extensive additions to the Virginia House gardens were completed in 1939. During the 1950s, Gillette redesigned the gardens of Virginia's Executive Mansion at the request of Governor Thomas B. Stanley. In 1958, he designed the grounds for the Reynolds Metals Company International Headquarters located at Richmond. His commissions also included hundreds of residential projects throughout Virginia and North Carolina.[1]

A number of his works are for properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

Author Tom Wolfe references Gillette as the commissioned landscaper of Dupont University in I Am Charlotte Simmons.

Selected works[edit]


  1. ^ Library of Virginia: About the Charles F. Gillette Photograph Collection
  2. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.

External links[edit]