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Russell Page Archive: Elbow Beach Hotel

At the Elbow Beach Hotel in Bermuda, Russell Page helped to reinvigorate the layout and planting scheme at one if the island’s oldest resorts.

  • Elbow Beach Club, New Road, Preliminary Sketch Plan

    RP/1/19/1

    December 1976

    38 x 54 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A dyeline design dated December 1976, marked ‘Preliminary sketch plan new road, scale 1/16" = 1 foot, length 240 ft approx, gradient 1 in 10’ (reference number 77-79-80/59/13).

  • Elbow Beach Club, Approach to Pub, Sketch Plan

    RP/1/19/2

    March 1977

    38 x 40 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An ink and pencil design on tracing paper dated 30 March 1977, marked ‘C, Approach to pub, scale 1/4" = 1 foot’ (reference number1977-79-80/59/23).

  • Elbow Beach Club, Approach to Pub, Sketch Plan

    RP/1/19/3

    March 1977

    44 x 38 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An ink and pencil design on tracing paper dated 30 March 1977, marked ‘Approach to pub, scale 1/4" = 1ft’ (reference number1977-79-80/59/20).

  • Elbow Beach Club, Road to Westplant, Sketch Plan

    RP/1/19/4

    March 1977

    33 x 23 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An ink and pencil design on tracing paper dated 31 March 1977, marked ‘Westplant, scale 16ft to 1 inch, Asphalt road down to Westplant’ (reference number 1977-80/59/21). There are notes giving details of construction.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Approach to Hotel, Sketch Plan

    RP/1/19/5

    September 1977

    38 x 48.5 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An ink and pencil design on tracing paper dated September 1977, marked ‘Sketch plan to open up and ease approach to hotel, scale 1/16" = 1', Area gained marked in red’ (a dyeline copy has the reference number 1977/79/80-59/7).

  • Elbow Beach Club, Surfside Lanai Pond, Sketch Plan

    RP/1/19/6

    September 1977

    38 x 50 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An ink and pencil design on tracing paper dated September 1977, marked ‘Surfside lanai, 144-159, Proposed pond for lotus (nelumbium) and tropical water-lillies, scale 20' to 1"’ (a dyeline copy has the reference number 1977/79/80/59/5). Notes provide details of the pond construction.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Rock Garden Sketch Plan

    RP/1/19/7

    September 1977

    48 x 38 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An ink and pencil design on tracing paper dated September 1977, marked ‘Elbow Beach, General sketch plan, rock garden and extension, scale approximately 1/ 16" = 1ft’ (reference number 1977/59/26).

  • Elbow Beach Club, Garden Modifications

    RP/1/19/8

    March 1978

    70 x 107 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An ink and pencil design on tracing paper dated 1 March 1978, marked, ‘Proposed modification to sketch plan, scale apparently 1/4" to 1 foot, Elbow Beach Hotel’ (reference number 59/M; a dyeline copy has reference number 1978/59/25). There are notes about planting, steps and pathways.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Planting, 1978 Season

    RP/1/19/9

    April 1978

    46 x 93 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A dyeline design dated 22 April 1978, marked ‘Elbow Beach, Suggested planting for 1978 season. Tree planting not included in this plan which is for flower beds’ (reference number 1977-80/59/19).

  • Elbow Beach Club, Circular Patio Planting, 1978

    RP/1/19/10

    April 1978

    38 x 77 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A dyeline design dated 23 April 1978, marked ‘Circular patio, planting for 1978, scale 1/4" = 1 foot’ (reference number 1977/80/59/17).

  • Elbow Beach Club, Bus Access to Surfside Lanai

    RP/1/19/11

    April 1978

    38.5 x 47.5 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A dyeline design dated April 1978, marked ‘Suggestion for new bus [access] to surfside lanai and Eastern Cottage, scale 1/4" = 1 foot’ (reference number 77-80/59/16).

  • Elbow Beach Club, Bicycle Parking, Diagrammatic Plan

    RP/1/19/12

    April 1978

    38 x 35 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An ink and coloured pencil design on tracing paper dated April 1978, marked ‘Elbow Beach, parking for bikes, diagrammatic only’ (reference number 77-80/59/15).

  • Elbow Beach Club, Bicycle Parking, Diagrammatic Plan

    RP/1/19/13

    April 1978

    37.5 x 44.5 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An ink and coloured pencil design on tracing paper dated April 1978, marked ‘Elbow Beach, parking for bikes, diagrammatic only’ (reference number 77-80/59/15).

  • Elbow Beach Club, [Swimming Pool], Rough Sketch

    RP/1/19/14

    April 1979

    42.5 x 56.5 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A dyeline design dated April 1979, marked ‘[Pool], plan agreed as possible’ (reference number 77-79-80/59/14; a second dyeline (RP/1/19/14a) has reference number 77-79-80/59/10).

  • Elbow Beach Club, Development of Beach Frontage, Diagrammatic Plan

    RP/1/19/15

    April 1980

    38.5 x 84 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A dyeline design with added coloured pen sketches dated April 1980, marked ‘Elbow Beach, Suggested possible development of beach frontage, scale approx: 40' = 1 inch, diagrammatic only, transcribed by ODA from R. P. print, 23.6.80’.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Siting of Caprice Complex, Schematic Plan

    RP/1/19/16

    April 1980

    38.5 x 64 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A dyeline design dated April 1980, marked ‘Possible siting of Caprice Complex, scale 1/16" = 1 foot, plan schematic only’ (reference number 77-79-80/59/11).

  • Elbow Beach Club, Access to Junior Suites, Schematic Plan

    RP/1/19/17

    April 1980

    43 x 56 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A dyeline design dated April 1980, marked ‘Problem of access to new Junior Suites, east & west, schematic only (failing survey or levels), scale approx: 1/ 16" = 1 foot’ (reference number77-79-80/59/9).

  • Elbow Beach Club, Realignment of New Buildings

    RP/1/19/18

    December 1980

    51 x 73 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An ink and pencil design on tracing paper dated 7 December 1980, marked ‘Elbow Beach Hotel, Suggested realignment of new buildings’ (reference number 1980/59/24).

  • Elbow Beach Club, Siting of Caprice Complex, Rough Sketch B

    RP/1/19/19

    c.1980

    43.5 x 56 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An undated dyeline design marked ‘Possible siting Caprice Complex, B, revised to show existing road and entrance’.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Architects Site and Development Plan

    RP/1/19/20

    March 1974

    128 x 78 cm

    A dyeline plan dated March 1974, labelled ‘Elbow Beach Surf Club, General Site and Development Plan, scale 40' to 1"’.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Topographical Plan

    RP/1/19/21

    May 1976

    56 x 92 cm

    A dyeline topographical plan dated May 1976, labelled ‘Topographical plan, Portion of Elbow Beach Surf Club property, Paget Parish, Bermuda, scale 16ft to 1 inch, job no. 76/138’.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Car Park, Architects Plan

    RP/1/19/22

    August 1976

    42 x 59 cm

    A dyeline plan with added pencil sketches dated August 1976, labelled ‘Elbow Beach Surf Club, Paget, Bermuda, Car park, drawing no.3012P3, scale 1/2500, O'Donahue Associates Architects’.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Architects Landscaping Plan

    RP/1/19/23

    August 1976

    42 x 59 cm

    A dyeline plan dated August 1976, labelled ‘Elbow Beach Surf Club, Landscaping details, drawing no.3012-P-1, O'Donahue Associates Architects’.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Landscaping Improvements, Architects Plan

    RP/1/19/24

    January 1977

    75 x 107 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A dyeline plan with added coloured pencil sketches dated 5 January 1977, labelled ‘Elbow Beach Surf Club, Paget, Bermuda, Proposed landscaping improvements, scale 1/16" = 1'-0", job no.7624, drawing no.1, Kaufmann Associates Architects’.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Service Road to Eastern Cottage, Architects Plan

    RP/1/19/25

    March 1978

    56 x 86 cm

    A dyeline plan dated 22 March 1978, labelled ‘Elbow Beach Hotel, Service Road to Eastern Cottage, Site plan, scheme 2, project no.7811, scale 16ft to 1in, drawing no.2, Kaufmann Mitchell & Associates Architects’.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Landscaping & Pathway Alterations, Architects Plan

    RP/1/19/26

    March 1978

    76 x 107 cm

    A dyeline plan dated 30 March 1978, labelled ‘Elbow Beach Hotel, Landscaping & Pathway Alterations, Plan, project no.7717, scale 1/4" = 1'-0", drawing no.1, Kaufmann Mitchell & Associates Architects’.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Beachfront Lanais, Architects Site Plan

    RP/1/19/27

    October 1979

    56 x 86 cm

    A dyeline plan dated 16 October 1979, labelled ‘Elbow Beach Hotel, 9 Deluxe Beachfront Lanais, Site Plan, project no.7913, scale 1/16" = 1'-0", drawing no.21, Kaufmann Mitchell & Associates Architects’.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Surfside Lanais, Architects Site Plan

    RP/1/19/28

    December 1979

    56 x 86 cm

    A dyeline plan dated 20 December 1979, labelled ‘Elbow Beach Hotel, Upper Deluxe Surfside Lanais, Site plan, project no.7915, scale 1/16" = 1'-0", drawing no.A11, Kaufmann Mitchell & Associates Architects’.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Site & Location, Architects Plans

    RP/1/19/29

    April 1980

    56 x 86 cm

    A dyeline plan dated 18 April 1980, labelled ‘Elbow Beach Hotel, Site & Location Plans, project no.7926, drawing no. A1, Kaufmann Mitchell & Associates Architects’.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Beach Shop and Road, Architects Plan

    RP/1/19/30

    December 1980

    42.5 x 60 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A dyeline plan with added ink sketches dated December 1980, labelled ‘Elbow Beach Hotel, Location of Beach Shop and Road, drawing no.4067SK101, scale 1" = 16'-0", O'Donahue Associates’ (reference number 1977-79-80/59/6).

  • Elbow Beach Club, Beach Road Relocation, Architects Plan

    RP/1/19/31

    March 1981

    56 x 86 cm

    A dyeline plan dated 2 March 1981, labelled ‘Elbow Beach Hotel, Beach Road Relocation, Phase 1, Site Plan, project no. 8052, scale 1/16" = 1'-0", drawing no.1, Kaufmann Mitchell & Associates Architects’.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Garden Floor, Architects Plan

    RP/1/19/32

    c.1978

    34 x 81 cm

    An undated dyeline plan, labelled ‘Elbow Beach Surf Club, Plan of garden floor’.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Main Floor, Architects Plan

    RP/1/19/33

    c.1978

    34 x 80 cm

    An undated dyeline plan, labelled ‘Elbow Beach Surf Club, Plan of main floor’.

  • Elbow Beach Club, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Floor, Architects Plan

    RP/1/19/34

    c.1978

    26 x 80 cm

    An undated dyeline plan, labelled ‘Elbow Beach Surf Club, Plan of 2nd, 3rd, & 4th floors’.

  • Elbow Beach Club, 5th Floor, Architects Plan

    RP/1/19/35

    c.1978

    26 x 80 cm

    An undated dyeline plan, labelled ‘Elbow Beach Surf Club, Plan of 5th floor’.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Planting, Sketch Plan

    RP/1/19/36

    [c. 1978]

    78 x 117 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An undated dyeline rough sketch of planting with added coloured pencil but no further information.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Sketch

    RP/1/19/37 (1 of 38)

    [c. 1978]

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An undated rough sketch, with measurements, of the area near the coffee house.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Sketch

    RP/1/19/37 (2 of 38; front)

    [c. 1978]

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An undated rough sketch.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Sketch

    RP/1/19/37 (2 of 38; back)

    [c. 1978]

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An undated rough sketch, with measurements, of the area near the pub terrace.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Sketch

    RP/1/19/37 (3 of 38)

    [c. 1978]

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An undated rough sketch showing steps.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Sketch

    RP/1/19/37 (6 of 38)

    [c. 1978]

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An undated rough sketch showing steps, annotated ‘Honeymoon Plaza to Steps’.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Sketch

    RP/1/19/37 (7 of 38)

    [c. 1978]

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An undated rough sketch showing an area with steps, with notes.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Sketch

    RP/1/19/37 (8 of 38)

    [c. 1978]

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A copy of an undated rough sketch showing a terraced area, with notes.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Sketch

    RP/1/19/37 (9 of 38)

    March 1977

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A rough sketch dated 30 March 1977, showing the steps to the tennis courts.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Sketch

    RP/1/19/37 (12 of 38)

    [c. 1978]

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An undated rough sketch showing the area around the terrace bar, with notes.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Sketch

    RP/1/19/37 (13 of 38)

    [c. 1978]

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An undated rough sketch showing a terraced area.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Sketch

    RP/1/19/37 (14 of 38)

    [c. 1978]

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A copy of an undated rough sketch, with notes.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Sketch

    RP/1/19/37 (15 of 38)

    May 1979

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A copy of a sketch dated May 1979 of a road junction at Elbow Beach, with notes.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Sketch

    RP/1/19/37 (17 of 38)

    [c. 1978]

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A copy of an undated rough sketch, with notes.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Sketch

    RP/1/19/37 (18 of 38)

    [c. 1978]

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An undated rough sketch showing steps.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Sketch

    RP/1/19/37 (19 of 38)

    [c. 1978]

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An undated rough sketch showing steps.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Sketch

    RP/1/19/37 (20 of 38)

    [c. 1978]

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An undated rough sketch.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Sketch

    RP/1/19/37 (23 of 38)

    May 1979

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A sketch dated 2 May 1979 of a proposed new lanai at Elbow Beach, with notes.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Sketch

    RP/1/19/37 (24 of 38)

    May 1979

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A sketch dated May 1979 showing the position of the new pump house.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Photograph

    RP/1/19/39

    58.9 x 74.7 cm

    An undated sepia photographic print showing an aerial view of Elbow Beach, Bermuda.

  • Elbow Beach Club, Catalogue of Plants

    RP/5/2/4 (1 of 9)

    [1980s]

  • Elbow Beach Club, Catalogue of Plants

    RP/5/2/4 (2 of 9)

    [1980s]

  • Elbow Beach Club, Catalogue of Plants

    RP/5/2/4 (3 of 9)

    [1980s]

  • Elbow Beach Club, Catalogue of Plants

    RP/5/2/4 (4 of 9)

    [1980s]

  • Elbow Beach Club, Catalogue of Plants

    RP/5/2/4 (5 of 9)

    [1980s]

  • Elbow Beach Club, Catalogue of Plants

    RP/5/2/4 (6 of 9)

    [1980s]

  • Elbow Beach Club, Catalogue of Plants

    RP/5/2/4 (7 of 9)

    [1980s]

  • Elbow Beach Club, Catalogue of Plants

    RP/5/2/4 (8 of 9)

    [1980s]

  • Elbow Beach Club, Catalogue of Plants

    RP/5/2/4 (9 of 9)

    [1980s]

Elbow Beach Hotel, 60 Shore Road, Paget Parish, PG04, Bermuda

1976 to 1981

Archive of Garden Design Ref: RP/1/19

Our grounds have been extensively landscaped and improved over the past three years, with the addition of new paths and the planting of many species of flowering trees and shrubs, under the professional guidance of renowned English landscape designer, Russell Page, O.B.E.

In the early 1980s, the Elbow Beach Hotel in Bermuda published a catalogue listing all the plants at the hotel (see RP/5/2/4). This publication marked the end of a project that had involved a major redesign of much of the resort’s layout and planting (the property was set across 29 acres of land).

Elbow Beach was, by the 1970s, a well-established resort. It had opened in 1908, the first hotel in Bermuda to be built next to the beach. Starting life as three guest cottages, it soon expanded to become the South Shore Hotel, and continued to grow over the next forty years. In 1947, the resort was bought by English businessman John Moores (later Sir John), who transformed the hotel into one able to accommodate mass tourism, adding a swimming pool and beachfront cabanas in 1959. By the seventies, the resort could house around 600 guests at any one time.

When, in the late 1970s, Page was brought in to oversee the new landscaping at the resort, it was John Moores’ son Peter who was managing the project. The drawings and letters in the archive reveal that it was as much a matter of designing pathways and the hard landscaping as it was about overhauling the planting scheme. Page devised new solutions for dedicated parking areas for bicycles and for the resort’s pub. He advised on the redevelopment of the beachfront area. He drew up designs for benches, and for a new pond and rock garden terraces. Steps were rearranged and modified.

Page, who could not be permanently onsite due to the location, suggested that he visit at least twice a year for as long as the improvements to the grounds were continuing. He worked alongside architects: the Bermuda-based Kaufmann Mitchell & Associates and O’Donahue Associates (who had offices in Liverpool and London). This working relationship was not without its challenges, and Page had no qualms about requesting the architects redo work he was unhappy with, as a letter to Peter Moores, written after a visit to the site in April 1978, reveals:

Everything on terraces garden side of hotel seems OK except the main flight of 10 steps up from round terrace. I had carefully put in 7 risers and then a landing and then 3 risers. This has been changed to 10 risers and no landing, so after the long climb up the hill our main access to the hotel once again appears narrow and forbidding. A second minor point is that if we continue the circular wall round the lower patio logically it hits the other circular wall round the high drive tangentially which will leave an arid triangle too narrow to plant so I have asked the architect to make a return at 90 degrees to the pool wall at the point when I still will have 18 inches or two foot width of planting space left.

[…]

I have asked the architect to rebuild the second retaining wall between the top of the flight of 10 steps and the swimming pool wall but sitting it back 2 foot behind the original line. It will be the same level as paved space between the two lots of steps and seen from below will show as about 2 foot high. The reason for this is to give me increased space and less steep slope for planting round the hotel side of the round patio and give me another space for level grass and, hopefully, some flower planting at the main landing level.

Such attention to detail was entirely typical of Page. The steps not only had to be configured in a certain way but they also needed to be a specific colour: to achieve this, cement was mixed with coral sand.

When it came to implementing the new planting scheme, this too was not without its difficulties.  Firstly, the soil needed to be improved as the existing base was, effectively, sand and thus failed to provide the necessary nourishment for the trees and plants.

Page was pragmatic in his approach, aware that it would take time to develop the gardens. In a letter to Peter Moores, undated but likely to have been written early in the project, Page explained his plan:

New main terrace – herewith plan showing suggested flower-beds for planting up with annuals. I am working out a scheme as best I can for this season (as we will inevitably be late getting these annuals ready). Next year we can probably improve our colours etc. The trees I am leaving for the moment as I can’t locate any decent sized citrus trees. Am now thinking of standard LOQUATS (Eriobotrya) which may be easier to find. The podocarpus – are like Irish yews.

Round patio. Not sure yet what permanent planting should be so will fill in with white daisy bush to get us through the summer.

An indication of the original desired planting scheme is suggested by a letter from Mr Griffiths of Brighton Nurseries, Bermuda about the availability and cost of plants requested by Page: Agapanthus africanus, Cassia alata, Oleander, double yellow Hibiscus, jonquils, Datura white, Allspice (Pimento dioica), Bottle brush (Callistemon), Jacaranda, Pawlownia, Euphorbia, Lantana, Mesembryanthemums, Plumbago carpentae, Hedychium and Heliconia. Nearly all of these, Mr Griffiths assured them, could be sourced although several would have to be grown to order. (Pawlownia, according to Mr Griffiths, would not grow on Bermuda.)

The Elbow Beach project came towards the end of Page’s career. By this date, he had plenty of experience of landscaping semi-public spaces, and at managing work at a distance. The last of the drawings is dated 1981, and it is unlikely that he continued advising on the project for long after then. The published Catalogue of Plants is a permanent testament to the extensive and impressive planting scheme which was achieved at the resort.

Literature

Page, Russell, letter to Peter Moores. Undated [c. 1978]. (Archive of Garden Design Ref: RP/1/19/37)

Griffiths, Malcolm D, Brighton Nurseries, letter to Mr W J Peters. 28 February 1977 (Archive of Garden Design, Ref: RP/1/19/37).

Related material in the Archive of Garden Design

RP/1/19/37: Elbow Beach Club, Letters

RP/1/19/38: Elbow Beach Club, Project Notes, Memoranda, Reports and Plant Lists, 1977-1980

RP/5/2/4: Elbow Beach Club, Catalogue of Plants