Welcoming seniors home since 1927.
Winchester Gardens began as an idea written in a secret will by the last surviving member of a prominent Civil War-era family. Marcus Ward Sr. was a New Jersey governor and member of Congress. His family amassed a fortune manufacturing soap and candles. And, eventually, the entire family fortune belonged to Marcus Ward Jr., a lifelong bachelor.
The entire estate, which would be valued at more than $100 million today, was to be invested in the creation of a home for “aged and respectable bachelors and widowers.” In 1923, a board of trustees purchased a large farm in Maplewood. The board modeled the creation of the home after Hospital of Saint Cross at Winchester, England and other historic havens for needy men in Europe.
The architecture was meant to welcome and inspire. Famed New York architect John Russell Pope designed three interconnected gothic structures. The stone and slate buildings centered around an octagonal rotunda. The structures, completed in 1927, feature leaded glass windows, graduated slate roofs, a carved stone sundial, sailing ship exterior wall designs, hand-hewn stone in round pillars, copper awnings, copper eavestroughs and downspouts, and multiple and elaborate chimneys. John Charles Olmsted and Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. created the landscaping, following in the footsteps of their famous father who designed New York’s Central Park.
Building a better future.
In 1980, women were admitted as residents. And in the 1990s, a massive expansion added 40 spacious villas and two modern apartment buildings. Today, Winchester Gardens is a proud member of Springpoint, the Mid-Atlantic’s leading nonprofit aging services provider that has been serving seniors for more than 100 years. The resources of this large organization stand behind Winchester Gardens, offering oversight and resident satisfaction levels that a standalone community cannot match.