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Tribute To Lynden B. Miller

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney

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Mr. Speaker, I am especially pleased today to bring to the attention of my colleagues Mrs. Lynden B. Miller, my close personal friend, whose years of behind-the-scene service to the public is deserving of a very special tribute. We owe a debt of gratitude to Lynden who, as a designer of public gardens, has made an immeasurable contribution of beauty and grace to the great parks and public spaces of New York City.

Lynden Miller's most recent and notable contribution is on view in Bryant Park, on 6 acres located behind the New York Public Library. The city of New York closed Bryant Park in the late 1980's because it had become a haven for crime. In 1992, after 5 years of renovation, and with gardens newly designed by Lynden, Bryant Park was triumphantly re-opened. Since its opening, 10,000 visitors walk through the garden each day, rejuvenated by Lynden's pallet of spiraeas, hydrangeas, foxgloves, sedums, phlox, hollyhocks and Japanese anemones set in borders 300 feet long by 12 feet deep. Today, due largely to Lynden's vision of the possibilities for public space, Bryant Park has been transformed into an oasis of peace and elegance in the midst of busy midtown Manhattan.

As the director of the Conservatory Garden in Central Park since 1982, Lynden has again defied expectations. This northeastern most area of Central Park was designed in the 1930's as an Italianate estate garden. Fifty years later, at the time Lynden was appointed to take on its renaissance, it has been abandoned. After 14 years of Lynden's direction of garden design, relentless fundraising and staff supervision, the Conservatory Garden of Central Park has become one of the great jewels in the greatest public park in the world. Under Lynden's guidance, the Conservatory Garden has also remained a community institution serving residents of both upper Fifth Avenue and some of the blighted neighborhoods of East Harlem.

Other public spaces which bear Lynden's signature include the garden at the Central Park Zoo, portions of the New York Botanical Gardens, Wagner Park at Battery Park City, spring and summer annuals at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, gardens at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, and Herald & Greeley Squares. She is on the Boards of Directors of the United States National Advisory Council for the National Arboretum in Washington, DC, and New York City's Central Park Conservancy and The Parks Council, among others. Lynden also lectures and participates in symposiums in the United States and abroad. She has written several articles and essays on garden design.

Lynden owes her sense of color to her training as an artist. She was a successful studio artist from 1967 until 1982 and has had several gallery shows in London and New York. She was educated at Smith College, the New York Botanical Gardens, Chelsea-Westminster College in London, and the University of Maryland.

I am very proud to pay tribute to Lynden Miller, who for fourteen years has been quietly dedicated to the well-being and beauty of New York City's most frequented public spaces. I ask my colleagues to join with me today in celebration of Lynden for her many wondrous botanical gifts to the millions of residents and visitors of the city of New York.