water stairs and cypress allée

Newly restored, the original water
stairway was installed in the 1920s by
the Gavit family.

In the 1920s, a long brick walkway (or allée) lined with cypress trees began at the swimming pool and culminated at an ornamental carved limestone wellhead. At a right angle from that “wishing well” was a series of fourteen basins that created a water stairway that fed into a large pleasure pond, complete with a sailboat and an island.

Only the hardscape paths, wellhead and water stair basins remained when the Foundation took charge of the garden in 1986 though photographs show the cypress allée in Madame Walska’s day.  It is believed that Madame preserved the area, building her gardens around them.

In 2009, the area was refurbished, the allée replicated, and the water stairs now once again appear to flow into the pond, albeit now in a Japanese-style garden.