Put Naumkeag on Your Berkshires Must-Do List

If you’re heading up to Tanglewood this week to catch the NPR show, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” on Thursday night or Harry Connick, Jr. on Saturday night, make a slight detour and check out what’s happening at nearby Naumkeag in Stockbridge. Formerly owned by the Choate Family of New York before it was bequeathed to The Trustees of Reservations in 1958, Naumkeag is a 44-room Berkshires “Cottage” from the Gilded Age, filled with arts, antiques, and collections around from around the world. But it’s the outdoor gardens that truly inspire, a masterpiece of 30 years of collaborative work by former owner, Mabel Choate, and her dear friend, Fletcher Steele, one of America’s first modern landscape architects. 

Described by the Library of American Landscape History as a “playground for the imagination,” The Trustees have just completed Phase 1 of an extensive 5-phase, 3-year, $3 million garden and landscape restoration project designed to rejuvenate the gardens and bring them back to Choate and Steele’s original vision. The transformation includes the renovation of Fletcher Steele’s iconic Blue Steps, one of the most photographed features in 20th-century American landscape design, celebrating its 75th Anniversary this summer.