Edgerton Park is a public park located at 75 Cliff Street, near the base of East Rock, fittingly on the edge of the Hamden-New Haven, Connecticut boundary. The entrance to the park is at the corner of Cliff Street and Whitney Avenue, across from Saint Thomas Episcopal Church, which is bordered by a high stone wall - one of many remnants of Edgerton's heyday. The 22-acre park is designed based on an 18th-century English estate and garden and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The botanical heaven was formerly an experimental mulberry orchard, and later the site became the private estate of Eli Whitney. It was sold to Frederick Brewster in 1906, who established Edgerton as a showplace residence for his family.
Although the great house was donated to the city of New Haven by Brewster in 1965 (before the property became a public park), Edgerton retains the original design and some of the buildings from his estate.
Thus it came to be known as Edgerton Park and became a part of the New Haven park system. In 1972, the Edgerton Park Conservancy - a non profit, all volunteer organization - was formed which restores, preserves, and maintains the park and its remaining buildings.
The tropical greenhouse complex in the park is among the many delightful legacies of the old family estate. In addition, the Sarah T. Crosby Conservatory, a part of the greenhouse complex, houses a collection of plants from various parts of the world, and features a rainforest exhibit as well as dry landscape.
The four-winged greenhouse complex saw major restoration/renovation in 1993, starting with its masonry work on the Crosby Conservatory. In 1998, two other wings were renovated, and by the year 2000, complete renovation of the south wing, along with the re-glazing of the complex was completed.
With facilities for walking and biking, the park features a community garden center and horticulture library open on Sunday afternoons. Numerous city-wide events are held in the park, and the Conservancy works in close cooperation with the Department of Parks and Recreation to insure all events meet a high standard of care and support.
The rolling hills and beautiful trees of Edgerton Park are also home to New Haven's own Elm Shakespeare Company and its productions of Shakespeare in the Park.
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