Innocenti & Webel formed in 1931 in Roslyn, NY as a partnership between the dissimilar but complementary characters of Umberto Innocenti and Richard K. Webel. The combination of principle and technique was the essential ingredient of the partnership itself. Webel was erudite and well-schooled in the venerable Harvard tradition. He was extremely earnest and self-made. It was Webel who could situate the firm’s work with the intellectual traditions of his discipline, as both a teacher and practitioner. Innocenti was one of a rare breed of professional landscape architects, whose craft lingered more at the site than in the design studio. Although his formal study of the discipline certainly informed his work, it was his love of plants and his intimate knowledge of plant culture and practice that motivated him.
During the 1930s the firm developed a strong reputation on Long Island by giving their clients a final design that looked as if it had always been there, utilizing large trees with understory plantings. Their gardens were noted for strong formal geometric shapes, axial relationships, and designs that mimicked European garden iconographies. Although both Umberto Innocenti and Richard Webel have since passed away, the firm continues to practice today, operating as the oldest landscape architectural firm in the country.