Early life and education
Annette Hoyt Flanders was a landscape architect, working in the first half of the twentieth century, primarily in the Eastern and Midwestern United States.
Annette Hoyt was born in 1887 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to parents Frank M. Hoyt, a prominent attorney, and Hettie Pamelia Hoyt. In 1913, she married the lawyer Roger Yale Flanders in Milwaukee, becoming Annette Hoyt Flanders.
While her early education came from tutors and private schools, she went on to study botany at Smith College, earning her B.S. in 1914, and continued her studies at the University of Illinois where she received a B.S.L.A. in 1918. Additionally, she studied civil engineering at Marquette University in Milwaukee, and even spent time at the Sorbonne in Paris where she studied design, architecture, and architecture history.
Career in Architecture
While in France, she worked with the American Red Cross from 1918 to 1919, before returning to the U.S. where, in 1920, she began working for the landscape architecture firm Vitale, Brinckerhoff, and Geiffert in New York City. There, she assisted with design and supervised planting.
In 1922, she left this firm to open her own office in New York, which she ran until 1942 when she moved her practice from New York and, in 1943, opened an office in Milwaukee. Flanders’ worked on a great variety of projects throughout her career, with her practice ranging from the gardens of private estates and real estate subdivisions to the grounds around industrial plants and recreational developments.
Some of her most famous works include the Morven Farm Gardens in Charlottesville, Virginia, the gardens of the Phipps Estate in Denver, Colorado, and the French Gardens of the McCann Estate in Oyster Bay, New York.
These gardens demonstrate Flanders’ distinctive landscaping style, as she believed landscape architects should strive to minimize the amount of grading required for their designs and instead tailor their plans to the natural form of the land. From this foundation, she mixed elements of various styles, drawing inspiration from the traditionalism of the Beaux Arts to Midwestern naturalism and even Modernism. She designed extensive, highly specified planting plans for her gardens, believing the architect should control all stages of the project, from conception to construction.
Flanders also wrote extensively on landscape architecture for publications such as Good Housekeeping, House and Garden, and House Beautiful.
Major Buildings and Projects
- Morven Farm Gardens, Charlottesville, VA (1930)
- Phipps Estate Gardens, Denver, CO (1931-1933)
- McCann Estate French Gardens, Oyster Bay NY (1930)
Press and Awards
- Architectural League of New York’s Medal of Honor in Landscape Architecture (1932)
- ASLA Fellow (elected 1942)