Gold Coast Beginnings
The LIU Post Community Arboretum of Long Island University began in 1921 as "Hillwood," the country estate of Post Cereal Company heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post and her husband, Edward F. Hutton, the famous Wall Street tycoon. The Brookville, N.Y. property was occupied by a Spanish-style home that the couple transformed into a half-timbered English Tudor. In 1922, they hired renowned landscape architect Marian Cruger Coffin to design gardens to complement the style of the house.
In addition to creating a walled flower garden, a rose arbor, and a water garden, Ms. Coffin planted various trees which still exist today: Dogwoods, Cedar, Holly, Boxwoods, Standard Wisteria, Sophora, and Taxus. (Other trees predate the Post estate such as the magnificent Blue Atlas Cedar that stands over 60 feet tall and is more than a century old.) Ms. Coffin also transplanted fully grown Elm trees to the eastern side of the mansion and designed a majestic driveway that began at the estate's main entrance on Northern Boulevard, curved past simple outer buildings, and continued on to the mansion.
Long Island University purchased the Post estate in 1947. Classes began in 1955. Since that time, the campus has been home to students from around the country and the world. In 1999, alumni Rick Rosen ('70) and Tina Lippert Rosen ('71) launched the LIU Post Arboretum Initiative with a generous donation to professionally catalog and maintain the campus's collection of trees. The LIU Post Community Arboretum officially opened to the public in April 2002.