12 Nov. 2010
By Mike Welton & Cheryl Wilder
An 11-acre, Taliesin-like landmark in Raleigh N.C. is about to be transformed into low-income housing.
Landscape architect Dick Bell’s Water Garden was conceived in the mid-‘50s as a Shangri-La for the creative community in central North Carolina.
It was decades ahead of its time.
The well-known landscape architect developed it as the city’s first mixed-use development for artists and designers in 1955, though he wouldn’t actually complete it for 14 years. It was to be his home, his business and his landscape laboratory. It also served as studio and gallery for those in need.
“Water Garden was an ace in the hole,” Dick said. “It was an epistle of site plan and architecture.”
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