Tennessee Executive Residence

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Nashville, TN
United States
Tennessee Executive Residence

Landscape Information

Far Hills

Designed in 1931 by Russell Hart for journalist and author William Ridley Wills, the three-story Georgian Revival mansion was purchased by the State of Tennessee in 1949, at which time it became the third customary governor’s residence. Located in Oak Hill, the estate’s ten-acre grounds are entered via a serpentine drive that wraps around the western end of the mansion, terminating in a roundabout in front of the formal northern entrance. The drive is edged with planting beds filled with caladium, elephant ears, lilies, hydrangea, and assorted perennials. Perpendicular to the primary northern façade is a linear pool with a rounded central portion within which is a classical statue and a water feature. The pool is set within a rectangular lawn bordered by perimeter topiary. Directly east is a circular lawn surrounded by a brick-paved path and flower beds. A 20 x 120-foot stone terrace extends from a neoclassical veranda and opens out onto a gradually sloping south lawn, while east of the house is a swimming pool and colonnaded pool house. In 2009 the mansion underwent a major expansion, including a below-ground, open-air oval atrium filled with elephant ears, ferns, ivy, and caladium, which can be seen through an opening in the south lawn. The Kitchen and Cutting Garden, a ten-bed, 2,800-square-foot demonstration garden with a central sundial, and a greenhouse were added as part of a garden renewal project in 2013. The residence is a certified arboretum with 175 deciduous and coniferous trees representing 63 species. Other plantings include 64,000 daffodils.