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Untermyer Park and Gardens: America’s Greatest Forgotten Garden

Untermyer Park and Gardens: America’s Greatest Forgotten Garden

Driving down an unassuming stretch of Broadway in Northern Yonkers, one might notice a strange wall along the road with an unassuming entrance and a small sign marked Untermyer Park. Or not. One might also just as easily continue driving past thinking there wasn’t much to see in that park from the look of it on the outside. THAT would be a mistake. Believe me, when I tell you, turn into the ordinary looking driveway, park in the small parking lot, and get ready to see one of Westchester County’s, (and the entire Northeast’s) hidden wonders…hiding in plain sight that is!

Untermyer Park & Gardens currently sits on 43 acres and is owned by the City of Yonkers. In 1899, prominent New York lawyer, Samuel J. Untermyer purchased Greystone mansion at auction. In 1916, he hired William Welles Bosworth as architect and landscape designer to create the greatest gardens in the world. Over the next 41 years of ownership, the gardens and greenhouses were transformed into some of the most celebrated gardens in the country. At one point, there were 150 acres of the lavish gardens, and they were maintained by 60 gardeners and supplied by 60 greenhouses.

The City of Yonkers acquired parts of the gardens in the 1940s and the 1990s, bringing it to the 43 acres of today. With much of the park in ruins after many years of neglect, the non-profit organization, The Untermyer Gardens Conservancy, was founded in 2011 by Stephen F. Byrns. Dedicated to the restoration of the park, they collaborate with the City of Yonkers towards this goal.

Full of rich history, multiple gardens to explore, and amazing vistas to relax the soul, Untermyer Gardens is best visited with time…time to meander, smell the roses, enjoy the music of the bubbling waterfall, marvel at the details invested in the grand gardens, and enjoy the wind blowing off the Hudson as you take in the glory of the Palisades.

I really had no expectations when I first visited this park. My friend and I stopped on a whim. I admit I had never done any research or looked into what lay behind those walls I have driven past for years. Now, I can’t wait to go back and spend the time these lovely gardens deserve, perhaps attend some events. If you are like me and have never thought about visiting this park, or even knew it existed, I highly recommend you add it to your local Hudson Valley bucket list. It really is one of kind.


The gardens are open daily at 7 am and close an hour before sunset. There is no entrance fee and dogs are not allowed. The address is 945 North Broadway, Yonkers NY, 10701.

Upcoming Events

July 6: Jerry Costanzo’s Jazz & Swing Band
July 13: Connecticut Ballet
July 20: Silvana Magda with the Katende Band & the VIva Brazil Dancers
July 21: The Great Forgotten Garden Party by Atlas Obscura
July 27: Hudson Valley Shakespeare: Julius Caesar
August 3: McLean Avenue Band
August 10: Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra
August 11: Jazz in Paradise featuring the Victor LaGamma Quartet. Tickets, $20,
August 17: Desna Ukrainian Dance Company of Toronto
August 24: Taiko Japanese Drummers and Dancers
August 31: Sidiki Conde and Toukounou
September 7: Tony Lee
September 22: Celebrate Mehregan at 5:00 pm

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