Photo by Yanka Kostova

Photo by Yanka Kostova

 

 

About Victoria Johnson 

I am a former Cullman Fellow and am currently an associate professor of urban policy and planning at Hunter College in New York City, where I teach on the history of philanthropy and New York City. I  hold a doctorate in sociology from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Yale.

 

 

From the first moment I learned of David Hosack and his lost botanical garden—today the site of Rockefeller Center—I’ve been working to reconstruct his dramatic and moving life story. I’ve followed him through a vanished New York City, up the Hudson to his beautiful estate at Hyde Park (now home to the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site), and across the Atlantic to England and Scotland, where he studied medicine and botany as a young man in the late eighteenth century. I’ve also followed Hosack through more than thirty archival collections in the US and Europe as I researched and wrote American Eden.

 First sighting of John Randel Jr.'s map of the Elgin Botanic Garden at the Manhattan Borough President's Office.

First sighting of John Randel Jr.'s map of the Elgin Botanic Garden at the Manhattan Borough President's Office.

 With Daniel Atha of The New York Botanical Garden at the second site of Alexander Hamilton's country house, the Grange.

With Daniel Atha of The New York Botanical Garden at the second site of Alexander Hamilton's country house, the Grange.

 At Bard Rock, the Hudson River landing of David Hosack's estate at Hyde Park.

At Bard Rock, the Hudson River landing of David Hosack's estate at Hyde Park.