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Ralph E. Griswold

Griswold, Ralph E. (Ralph Esty), 1894-1981

Ralph E Griswold was born in Warren, Ohio on August 22, 1894. He graduated from Cornell University receiving both a bachelors and a masters degree in landscape architecture. He spent 3 years in Rome, Italy early in his career as a Fellow in Landscape Architecture at the American Academy in Rome and later on as a Resident Landscape Architect from 1949-1950. Griswold moved to Pittsburgh and started his own firm, Griswold, Winters, Swain, & Mullin in 1930.

He was a senior research fellow at Dumbarton Oaks from 1956-1959. After Alden Hopkins' term as Dumbarton Oaks consulting landscape advisor ended, Griswold took over the position in 1960. While at Dumbarton Oaks he is credited with a series of plant surveys for a number of garden areas and detailed construction plans that altered Hopkins' Hornbeam Ellipse. For the Ellipse, he designed a fish-scale central fountain and a moat wall with spouting masks which no longer remains. In 1966, the Griswold design for the Ellipse was removed and Ruth Havey began a re-design of the garden. Griswold also created a planting plan for Lilac Circle (Camellia Circle), providing French drains for the Fountain Terrace and removing diseased plants. 

Griswold died in 1981.

Ralph E. Griswold Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Accessed June 8, 2015.

Elizabeth Jo Lampl, Dumbarton Oaks Cultural Landscape Report, p. I / History, Existing Conditions Analysis (unpublished, 2002), 1:VIII, 7-8.