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The Upper Gardens

"I long to go to California too; I am tired or [sic] work, work and nothing but work, and I shall hurry to get away from here, so that I can meet you at that most beautiful of all spots, Pasadena, before very long;..."

-- Adolphus Busch letter 1-21-1905 to E. D. Libbey, President of the Toledo Glass Co., Toledo, Ohio

The Upper Gardens
Entrance to The Upper Gardens from Arlington Drive.

The Beginning- 1904

The Upper Gardens were considered any property east of the sweeping curve of Arroyo Drive (now South Arroyo Boulevard) towards Orange Grove avenue and, generally, bounded by the two properties to the north and Madeline drive on the south. While the Cravens were still in residence, work commenced on the gardens in November 1904. No photo documentation as to the construction of the gardens has come to light. There were no drawings or plans; ideas occurred to Fraser in the daily progression of the work. In February of 1905 there was a terrible storm that washed out much of the terracing. Many railroad cars of drainage pipes had to be installed to rectify the problem. By early 1906, tourists were given access to the gardens. These 14 acres were very formal, Victorian gardens.