Born in New York City, Robert Ludlow Fowler, Jr. was a landscape architect and an artist whose design work was influenced both by his intimate knowledge of plants and his sense of artistic composition. Fowler’s work is known for its blending of formal and informal elements and the unification of the Japanese, French, Italian and English garden elements, as well sensitive attention to the surrounding site and existing architecture.
Fowler began his studies at Columbia University, completing his degree in 1909. After the outbreak of World War I, Fowler attended the School of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University, graduating in 1921. Upon graduation Fowler opened up a practice in New York specializing in residential planning and designing private gardens during the height of the “Country Place Era.” Fowler worked with numerous well-known architects and firms, including Mott B. Schmidt, Delano and Aldrich, James O’Connor, and McKim, Meade & White. Fowler’s significant projects included the estates of Mr. and Mrs. Geraldlyn Redmond in Brookville, New York, Mr. and Mrs. David Rockefeller in Tarrytown, New York and his own estate in Katonah, New York, the most renowned of his residential works, upon which he continued to work for 40 years. His most significant non-residential work was the campus of the Reader’s Digest Publishing Company in Pleasantville, New York.