…to benefit the village’s economy and to support an understanding of cultural history
The project to restore the Gardener’s Cottage and Greenhouse in the village of Severynivka, Ukraine, is a fascinating story of this historic site, which was built in 1812 for renowned and prolific Irish landscape architect Denis McClair (Dionysius Makler) on the estate of Polish Count Severin.
The project to restore the Gardener’s Cottage and Greenhouse in the village of Severynivka, Ukraine, is a fascinating story of this historic site, which was built in 1812 for renowned and prolific Irish landscape architect Denis McClair (Dionysius Makler) on the estate of Polish Count Severin Orlovskiy. It is part of Severinovske State Park, a 40 hectare state protected area, proposed for expansion to 160 hectares, incorporating the nearby Riv
River’s ecosystem to encourage ecotourism and exploration of the rich history of the Podolian Region.
The Gardener’s Cottage survives through two centuries of wars and neglect
The ongoing story includes the restoration of the historic structure and associated gardens through a partnership between the Podolian Agency for Regional Development, the United States Peace Corps, the Rotary International Foundation and the village of Severynivka. Funding is being coordinated by the Rotary Club of Lockport, Illinois, USA through association with a local host Rotary Club in Vinnytsia, Ukraine (www.cottagerestoration.org, posted in English, Ukrainian and Polish). The restoration is being developed under the direction of American historic preservation architect Michael Dixon, FAIA, a Peace Corps Volunteer assigned to the Podolian Agency for Regional Development in Vinnytsia, Ukraine. We hope you will take a moment to both explore and support this restoration project which promotes economic development in the region while engaging in a recovery of Ukrainian cultural history.
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT DENIS McCLAIRIn the eighteenth century, many talented Irishmen had immigrated to pursue their dreams. Among them was Denis McClair (1762-1853). Born near Athlone, Ireland, on the River Shannon, and educated at the University of Dublin, McClair traveled to Poland in 1790 in search of his father who had become an artillery officer in the Polish army after the older McClair went into exile to escape a death sentence for his role in the 1777 Whiteboy’s Revolt in Ireland. The younger McClair did not connect with his father but stayed in eastern Poland to share his talents as a landscape architect, designing over forty parks of importance in what is now Ukraine. Monument to Denis McClair placed in 1992 by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine declaring the Kremenets Botanical Gardens in western Ukraine a protected site of national importance
POLISH COUNT SEVERIN ORLOVSKIY
In spite of wars, the uprooting of cultural heritage and shifting of national borders, the aristocratic estate of Polish Count
Severin Orlovskiy survives. In Soviet times, the buildings on the estate were repurposed and altered, including the
transformation of the 1810 palace into a specialty hospital. Decades of economic problems and the collapse of the Soviet Union contributed to neglect of the structures, in which Poles and Ukrainians lived and worked.
The project to restore the historic Gardener’s Cottage & Greenhouse at Severinovske State Park has multiple dimensions regarding sustainability. First of all, the project involves a restoration of both historic built and natural environments to be passed on, improved, for future generations to learn from, to understand and to enjoy. This project crates a foundation for ecotourism while providing a historical awareness for the citizens of the Podolian Region of Ukraine. It will allow residents and visitors to understand the importance of the history of the region that was being suppressed in Soviet times. By having a museum and a workshop for the development of horticultural studies on the site there will be a further benefit in economic improvements by providing jobs and a growing business concern. Developing pathways and overlooks of the beautiful landscapes will encourage ecotourism and recreational opportunities in a protected environmental preserve.
Gardener’s Cottage and Greenhouse restoration floor plans from the drawings prepared by historic preservation architect and US Peace Corps Volunteer Michael Dixon, FAIA
Check back monthly to see continuing reports on the progress for the restoration of the Gardener’s Cottage and Greenhouse.
Report by Michael Dixon, FAIA/architect
Podolian Agency for Regional Development
15 July 2013