Black Point Estate Landscape Plan
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Wisconsin Historical Society, Black Point Horticulture Committee
Black Point is one of the grandest of the “summer cottages” built by wealthy Chicagoans on the shores of Lake Geneva. In 2005 it was donated to the State of Wisconsin for use as a historic site by William ‘Bill’ Peterson, the great grandson of Conrad Seipp, who bought the land and built the structure in 1888. Both the buildings and grounds have received extensive attention over the ensuing years, but in 2013 the Black Point Horticulture Committee focused on the state of the grounds and decided that it made sense to prepare a landscape master plan that would guide future restoration and development of the landscape.
Wolff Landscape Architecture, Inc. was hired as the historic landscape preservation architect in 2014. The firm’s services included inventory and analysis of existing conditions; historical research; review of the regulatory environment; development of a program of goals, objectives, areas, elements, and activities to be included in the landscape plan, including key person interview and focus groups; preparation and refinement of the landscape plan; preparation of a phasing plan; preparation of opinions of probable cost; and development of detailed design and construction documents for the approved first phase project. The landscape architect’s services also include meetings with the client and presentations to the client, interested public agencies, and the public.
After review and development of consensus on the selected project the landscape architect began final design and documentation of the “Woodland Garden,” a new garden at Black Point that fits within the historic context but also introduces a new element meant to increase visitation and encourage repeat visits. The project, with a first phase construction budget of $50,000, was reviewed and approved by the Horticulture Committee and the State of Wisconsin. Construction was completed in the spring of 2017.