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Celebrating the 100 Year History of Landscape Architecture by Marisol Zubizarreta Looking back at the one hundred year history of landscape architecture, several developments can be remembered as key points to such a vastly important profession. The beginnings of landscape architecture can be traced back to, "Early American landscaped gardens including the small, simple establishments of New England; the formal, precise boxwood-bordered gardens of New York; and the large colonial plantations of the South," according to Collier's Encyclopedia. First known as "landscape gardening", reflecting the earlier garden emphasis, landscape architecture now embraces a much larger scope that includes farmsteads, parks, playgrounds, botanical and zoological, and institutional grounds. Worthy achievements and projects of Landscape Architects such as Frederick Law Olmsted (traditional founder of the profession of landscape architecture), and professional societies such as the American Society of Landscape Architecture (ASLA), and the American Institute of Landscape Architecture (AILA) have shaped the vision and standards of a profession in continuous evolution. Frederick Law Olmsted, born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1822, held several occupations before he settled down as a Landscape Architect, such as working as a seamen, a farmer, a journalist, a magazine editor, and a book publisher. He later was appointed superintendent of New York's projected Central Park in 1857, to later become the winner of the competition for the park's design with the collaboration of Calvert Vaux. This was literally the beginning of the profession of landscape architecture, which was then recognized as a separate career for young designers who were willing to explore the art of shaping the earth, plants, and water, to obtain a more enjoyable environment. For California, the beginning of the profession was marked with the Wilderness Act of 1864, signed by Abraham Lincoln, which inspired Olmsted to write the "Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Big Tree Report--the first systematic exposition of the right and duty of a democracy to preserve green areas for public enjoyment," (Bopper, 282). This action had set precedents and a solid foundation for future environmental protection and government preservation of public lands. Central Park in New York was only one of the many parks Olmsted designed during his thirteen years of devotion to landscape architecture. Other projects he worked on included Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York; Franklin Park in Boston, Massachusetts; Jackson Park in Chicago, Illinois; and Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California. "United States was experiencing unprecedented growth in the mid-19th century, from a rural society to a complex urban society," according to the Frederick Law Olmsted Historical Site. Olmsted's philosophy of democratic expansion and public access to parks, gave under-privileged people a chance to enjoy nature's beauty. Olmsted was particularly interested in public parks because it would be a way of confronting a period of rapid industrialized changes, that inhibited families from experiencing the simplicity of a walk through green areas, and that way relaxing from the craziness of the city. Born: Hartford, Conn., April 26, 1822. Died: Waverly, Mass., Aug. 28, 1903 Education: Yale College, fall 1855 (one semester). Experience: Experimental farmer, 1847 - 55 ?Journalist/author. Books: "The Walks and Talks of an American Farmer in England," "A Journey in the Seabord Slave States," "A Journey Through Texas," "A Journey in the Back Country." 1852-61 ? Executive secretary, U.S. Sanitary Commission, 1861-63 ? Landscape Architect, 1858-95 Selected projects and year of commission: ? Central Park, New York, 1858 ? Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York, 1866 ? Riverside Neighborhood, Chicago, 1868 ? Mount Royal Park, Montreal, 1874 ? U.S. Capital grounds, 1874 ? "Emerald Necklace" public park and parkway system, Boston, 1881 ? Stanford University campus, Palo Alto, Calif., 1886 ? Biltmore Estate, Asheville, N.C., 1888 ? Columbian Exposition (1893), Chicago, 1890 ? Cherokee, Iroquois and Shawnee parks, 1888-92, Louisville, KY. ? Druid Hills neighborhood, Atlanta, 1892 Sources: "FLO, A Biography of Fredrick Law Olmstead," Laura Wood Roper; "Olmsted South." edited by Dana F. White and Victor A. Kramer. Central Park The comprehensive plan for Central Park that won an award was called Greensward, which Olmsted and Vaux had creatively designed together for the future landscape of the park. "This project included several innovations such as the separation of park areas by recreational use, the use of screens and nooks to make a large park feel even larger, and the sinking of through streets below grade to eliminate traffic and avoid interruption of the view," (Derson, 8). Olmsted was aware of several problems that affected the park during the first year of operation, which inspired him to write a book in 1882 called "Spoils of the Park," that addressed these issues. Many positive aspects though resulted from such a splendid park, since it allowed both the economically solvent and the poor to enjoy rides, ice-skating, concerts, or simple strolls along the pathways. Historically this park was extremely significant, since it introduced the word "park", which appeared for the first time in an American encyclopedia. "Olmsted wrote the article for the 1861 edition of Appleton's New American Encyclopedia at the request of his friend Dana, who was one of the editors," (Boper, 144). Mountain View Cemetery Not to many people are aware of the fact that Olmsted's first solo design of any kind, was Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland California. This historic graveyard started in 1864, after the completion of Central Park. "After living in the east coast for a while, Olmsted was struck by the treeless, hilly terrain that overlooked the San Francisco Bay," noted Witold Rybezynski, urban scholar and author of A "Clearing in the Distance". Olmsted decided to incorporate a unique plan. With the hillside site consisting of a flat area bordered by slopes, he placed a perfectly straight, cypress-lined avenue on the plane portion. Another specific aspect of the landscape included the use of vertical and horizontal foliage that would give the cemetery the desired effect. "The brooding forms of the coppices and the canopy of the cedars would unite in the expression of a sheltering care extended over the place of the dead, the heaven-pointing spires of the immortal cypress would prompt the consolation of faith," Olmsted wrote in the report that accompanied his plan. Prospect Park Shortly after the Central Park project, Olmsted and Vaux decided to take upon another park project for the independent city of Brooklyn in 1864, to be called Prospect Park. The two Landscape Architects were faced with a few challenges because of the characteristics of the land, that was rocky and barren. According to the Prospect Park Alliance Archive, "Prospect Park is considered by many as Olmsted's and Vaux's finest work because of its picturesque design with a winding path system through pastoral setting of specimen trees and broad meadows." Like most of Olmsted's and Vaux's projects, this 526-acre park was designed to protect most of the remnant forests on the site, that included the creation of a lake and several small ponds, connected by a stream channel flowing through a variety of natural habitats. As described in the 6th Annual Report in 1866, "To have spaces of free sunlight, Olmsted and Vaux proposed to achieve this by cutting in upon the borders of the woods, where the ground lies in the gentle slopes, leaving only the finer trees to stand out singly, or in simple groups." The park's plant materials included both native and non-native species, which many have disappeared, while others have remained throughout the years. In the 1980's the park was in terrible shape, for which community leaders asked for a Park Administrator, that would be in charge of maintaining the original landscape that Olmsted and Vaux had originally designed. It has been a priority now by the City, to restore the buildings, bridges, and path systems in decay, so that the community can continue to enjoy a safe and visually pleasing park. Now in the 1990's a full staff of landscape architects, architects, and other professionals have been focusing on restoration projects which will continue to grow and hopefully maintain Prospect Park's environment. Boston & the Landscape Development Olmsted found a perfect environment for developing one of his major projects, Franklin Park, because of Boston's history of horticulture and love for landscape. "Bostonians of all kinds, fearing speculators, had pleaded for more public grounds since 1869," (Kay, 238). The city of Boston set up a commission in 1875, and by 1877 the city had bought 106 public acres to supplement the "noble forests" of Boston Common. Olmsted believed this acquisition held a promise for Boston, "Release for the oppressed worker and refreshment for all those bound within the city's wall." Because of Boston's ecological problems, relating to the stench and sewage of the Muddy River and Stony Brook, plans for the restoration of the lands had to be done quickly. As Olmsted contemplated the project, there was a need to adapt a harsh topography and visually uninviting landscape to what would become the famous "Emerald Necklace"--a six-mile chain of greenery of Public Garden. According to the Lost Boston book, Olmsted was able to link the five erratic open spaces of the Back Bay Fens, Muddy River, Jamaica Pond, Arnold Arboretum, and Franklin Park into a splendid chain. Beginning in the 1880's and finishing in the 1890's, he was able to enlist engineers, specialists in vegetation, and specialists in legislation to further connect boulevards along the Fenway, Riverway, Jamaica Way, and Arborwasy in the 1880's and 1890's. Franklin Park From 1887 to 1900 Olmsted divided the West Roxbury park's scenic acres, presently known as Franklin Park, "into smaller zones, turning rolling, rock-strewn fields into a mix of rural landscapes: the "country park," the "wilderness," the grand mall or "greeting," and the "playstead," (Kay, 243). Olmsted considered the "country parks," those used exclusively with reference to the enjoyment of rural scenery, for city dwellers. The "Greeting", planned as a formal entrance is now the site of Franklin Park Zoo, added in 1911. Even though the rural atmosphere was present in the park, Olmsted was quick to incorporate site amenities and features like tennis courts and children's lots, where children and families could enjoy a recreational time. "Franklin Park encompasses 527 acres and was considered to be extremely important for the physical and mental health of the people, that the city raised its debt limit and borrowed $2 million to build it," stated in the Franklin Park Archives. American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) was founded in 1899 as a national association that represents the profession of landscape architecture in the United States. "The society was formed to lead, educate, and participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environments," stated in the ASLA 1999 Centennial Celebration brochure. "In the past 100 years, ASLA has grown from its eleven original founding members in New York to over 10,000 members, which include full members, fellows, associates, foreign associates, and student affiliates," according to the ASLA's latest handbook. The 47 chapters across the country and in Hawaii and Alaska, participate in local and regional projects, serve on town and city councils, and engage in local political and legislative activities. It has been one of the main concerns for ASLA to promote the profession, since history has shown that Landscape Architects were not originally considered as part of a separate profession. Other functions include, accrediting programs of landscape architecture for United States colleges and universities, advocating state licensure for the profession, and lobbying on legislative issues affecting Landscape Architects. ASLA Fellows Fellows have traditionally been chosen for special recognition in their projects. This holds great importance for the selected individuals, since it "requires a minimum of ten (10) contiguous years of good standing in ASLA and outstanding contributions to the profession by excellence in executed works to landscape architecture," according to the latest ASLA handbook. LASN went outside of the mainstream to speak with one ASLA fellow of each decade beginning in the 1960's, whose achievements have impacted the profession of landscape architecture, but have not necessarily been part of the limelight. They shared their oldest memorable experience and major changes that have occurred throughout the profession over the past 100 years. Edith H. Henderson, EFASLA (1968) Edith Henderson is nothing less than a remarkable Landscape Architect that has been a writer, Garden Center Director, and was chosen Woman of The Year for Atlanta in 1964, before she was chosen a fellow of ASLA. She graduated from Lowthorpe School of Landscape Design in Groton, Massachusetts, the first school to train women in landscape architecture. Henderson was also named a Benefactor by the Landscape Architecture Foundation because of the $1000 annual scholarship for a deserving aspiring student in landscape architecture. "It seems that as I grow older my professional career will not slow down, change yes, for I find delight now in writing a book on Landscape Design. As a Landscape Architect and having held licenses in six States and with reciprocity in other States, I practiced in many fields of my profession. As I look back, my greatest enjoyment was in the work I could do with the owner or tenant of a plot of ground, a condominium, home, or a large estate." In her published book, Home Landscape, Henderson explains and describes in great detail the principles behind landscape architecture design and how to apply them to a particular site. Unfortunately, Edith Henderson, at the age of 88, is in her 3rd stage of Alzheimer's dementia, which has made it difficult for her to continue any practice in landscape architecture. Her husband James R. Henderson, has kindly provided most of the historical information and past interview quotes. Lloyd Bond, FASLA (1974) As a graduate from Harvard University in 1970, and having started his private practice as a Landscape Architect in 1953-- Lloyd Bond & Associates-- he was the #3 licensed Landscape Architect in Oregon and became a ASLA fellow in 1974. "ASLA in 1974 had 3000 to 3500 members and the annual meetings were a lot smaller and friendlier, since only 250 people attended them, compared to 1000 people now. It was easier in the 70's to establish contacts in ASLA, but now you are lucky if you can find your best friend." Bond also notes the changes within the profession that he has seen throughout his professional career, "I believe the profession has become more sophisticated, since it has broadened to more issues such as, wet lands, storm drainage, historic preservation, environmental protection, and issues that were not part of a Landscape Architects jobs back then." Roger Martin, FASLA (1981) Past president of ASLA and chosen fellow in 1981, Martin earned his B.S. from the University of Minnesota in Horticulture and graduated with a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University. His firm, Martin & Pitz Associates, has been up and going since 1984, and he currently teaches at the University of Minnesota, where he has dedicated several years of research and education towards landscape architecture. "My oldest memory of the profession would be when my parents took me to a public park in Virginia, Minnesota, which stimulated my interest in gardens, fountains, and the landscapes in general." Martin also spoke about his feelings of becoming an ASLA fellow, "It was a great honor to become a ASLA fellow, because it is a society of people who work together to advance the profession and that recognize the contributions made by landscape architects all over the U.S. and abroad." Ann Christoph, FASLA (1995) Ann Christoph obtained her Masters degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Michigan, and is currently teaching at the University of California in Irvine. After working 20 years for the firm of Lang and Wood, she opened her private firm in South Laguna, where she provides landscape architectural services to a broad range of clients with an emphasis on public and institutional work. Christoph was nominated an ASLA fellow in 1995 shortly after being elected mayor of the City of Laguna Beach, "It was very rewarding to be nominated by the local chapter, and I believe that my past work in environmental and political issues has been given me this type of recognition." She explains that during the 1960's the profession was geared towards planning cities in relation to the natural characteristics of the areas they were being built in. "Overall, I feel ASLA has continued to emphasize the importance of understanding the role of landscape architecture in society, which has greatly changed throughout history." Guiding ASLA Towards the New Millennium Barry Starke FASLA, FASLA, the last ASLA president of the first one hundred and Janice Schach, the first ASLA president of the next one hundred years (new millennium) spoke of their past projects and ASLA's innovative plans for the year 2000 that will increase the profession's visibility. Barry Starke FASLA, 1998/1999 ASLA President "ASLA has provided unity to the profession in dealing with the external issues that confront the profession as a whole such as, licensure and making people aware of what Landscape Architects do," explained Barry Starke, 1998 President of ASLA and leader of the society's 100th year anniversary programs. With his educational studies completed in the University of California at Berkley in 1967, he has focused his career on expanding the opportunities for Landscape Architects. "What's really been amazing is how much of the methodology and holistic approach of landscape architecture has survived over time. The major changes have come with technology, for Olmsted's methods were still being used in the 1960's and 1950's," Starke concluded. Janice C. Schach FASLA, 1999/2000 President-Elect of ASLA "ASLA has decided to keep the momentum that has been coming out of the centennial with the one hundred parks program and the medallion program, that has created enthusiasm and energy nationwide and in all the chapters," according to Janice C. Schack, President-Elect of ASLA. The 100 Parks, 100 Years program involves efforts from the 47 ASLA Chapters located coast to coast and in Hawaii, which will renovate or create 100 parks and greenspaces across the country. This project is expected to range form inner-city parks, community gathering places, and civic gardens to greenways, playgrounds, waterfront areas, riverway sites and therapeutic gardens for seniors. "The design process of the program has involved the communities in which the parks reside and the community leaders. The exposure that landscape architecture has received as a result, has been nothing short from incredible," noted Schack. Schack will be gearing ASLA towards a much more external organization in dealing and becoming a stronger advocate in issues concerning the public. "We are looking at a series of partnerships with other non-profit associations and non-governmental and governmental agencies, looking at joint projects and developing positions that will influence public policy in that arena," Schack explained. "Another project we will be working on includes the Medallion Project, which is a great tool for making the public aware of innovative designs, and seeing that this particular park or space has been created by a recognized Landscape Architect." American Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) A significant event occurred in history when a landscape architectural society called AILA, merged with ASLA, bringing with it special elements that would forever change the ideology and structure of the profession. According to the American Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) history archives from UCLA, the organization was conceived in 1952, but the real beginnings were in 1954, after the State Registration of California Landscape Architects Board was appointed by Governor Goodwin Knight. The group was initially known as the Southern California Landscape Architects (SCLA), but as the membership grew to all areas of California it became the California Institute of Landscape Architects (CILA), to finally become the American Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA). The organization's objectives were "To provide the middle ground where the designer, practitioner, landscape contractor, and landscape nurseyman, as well as those with a formal educational background in this field, could come together as a whole and discuss common problems and experiences leading to the enrichment of the profession," (Luckenbill, 3). For many years AILA seemed to be a rivalry for ASLA, because AILA had a philosophy of inclusion rather than exclusion, "What was innovative about AILA is that it incorporated the affiliate, associate, provisional, student, and emeritus categories, which ASLA didn't agree with at the time," stated Paul Saito past AILA International President. "AILA was growing at such a rapid pace that it expanded internationally to Canada, Mexico, Brazil, France, and England, while ASLA remained as a smaller and elitist group," This growth had been accelerated both by increased public awareness of the need for Landscape Architects, and by the fact that AILA offered a true opportunity for a society to grow beyond a small network of Landscape Architects to an internationally recognized institution. AILA's Services and Chapters The Institute had 16 local chapters, which gave members a local voice in determining issues that concerned their specific area. Student chapters at many universities were formed to develop communication and education for both the student, Landscape Architect, and the public at large. The students were considered as members aspiring to regular membership, but not yet qualified to meet the full requirements of registration as a landscape architect. In this sense, Landscape Architectural students had a chance of networking with professionals for future job opportunities and that way maintaining a close tie with an institute geared towards educating and promoting the profession. AILA provided members with an information center through which its members could keep track of rapidly changing conditions and new developments through monthly bulletins, brochures, and special reports prepared by its committees and specialists in the field of Landscape Architecture. AILA's unification with ASLA So historically what happened to AILA? Many factors contributed to the unification of AILA and ASLA, that according to Saito had to do with the fact that the president of AILA at that time, F.J. McDonald, did not have enough time to administrate the Institute. "It took approximately two years of negotiating for the unification, since ASLA did not want to incorporate the membership of landscape contractors and suppliers," added Saito. "We were not willing to give up these members, so finally ASLA agreed to those terms." The favorable ballot for unification was cast on September 22, 1981 and as of November 13, 1981, 78% of AILA members had accepted ASLA membership: 10 fellows, 134 members, 20 associates, 14 affiliates, 4 students, 8 emeritus, and 16 honorary, according to the last 1982 AILA Los Angeles Chapter newsletter. Robert Cardoza, International President of AILA at the time of the merger, spoke about the positive effects of this process, "The unification was the best decision made by AILA and ASLA, to establish a unified force of representation for the good of the profession. Since the official unification, the profession has rapidly grown in numbers, organizational membership, and leadership to become a highly respected national and international practice." This decision though, was not taken favorably by many members that were expecting AILA to remain independent from ASLA. Jack Mize, International Director of AILA 1973-1978, spoke to LASN about his reasons for objecting to this unification, "AILA was smaller and closer knit, we got along very well, while ASLA was a much more impersonal society that was mainly formed by academic individuals. Back in the 1970's ASLA wouldn't allow many deserving women in their society such as, Carla Field, a well known Landscape Architect in Arkansas, or landscape contractors and suppliers, that AILA was willing to include in their membership." Because of the many disparities in their ideologies, both ASLA and AILA had several issues to compromise before the actual unification took place. "After the merger, I felt as if the democratic party (AILA) sold out to the republican party (ASLA), which meant ASLA became the profession's gatekeeper and main source of information....a scary thought," Mize concluded. Looking back Cardoza thought the unification process was conducted timely and with fairness to the membership, but other issues should have been dealt with as well, "In hindsight, there should have been more interaction efforts at the chapter level, in addition to national support in the unification process, as to improve the professional culture assimilation and changes." Raymond Page & Licensure in California Back in the early 1900's Landscape Architects in California had no credentials establishing their professional position in this field. Luckily, a man named Raymond Page, understood the importance of establishing a legislative licensing board for Landscape Architects, that would establish respectability for the profession. "This happened by coincidence...I was called into court as a professional witness, when the opposing lawyer questioned me about my profession and I responded that I was a Landscape Architect. At that time, we were not licensed, so the lawyer quickly added, "You're just a Possy Planter," explained Page, in an exclusive interview with LASN in November, 1985. This created the incentive for Mr. Page to quickly begin the licensure process in California Page had previously worked as a leading Landscape Architect for the planned community of Beverly Hills, the Roxbury Park, Coldwater Canyon Park, Beverly Hills High School, among other projects. With his years of experience and many contacts, in the 1950's Page and his associates Harry Shepard, Lynn Harris, Art Barton, and George Huntingon, raised $7000 to have the licensure process started. A friend of his knew an assemblyman who would introduce the bill to the state legislature. They used $5000 to fund the proposal and luckily the bill went through. The State however, stipulated that there must be a local government board to appoint the Sate Board of Directors. To fulfill this requirement, the five pioneers met at the London Cafe in Oakland and decided that Art Barton would be the best fit for President of the CCLA, and Jack Evins would be appointed for the State Board, since he was not affiliated with ASLA. "Landscape Architects and societies should be on the prowl for harmful legislation. We spent a lot of effort passing licensure through assembly," Page emphasized. "Not too many people are aware of the roots of Landscape Architecture and its licensing process." Raymond Page holds the number 2 license in the state of California, since the number 1 license was given to Harry Shepard as an honorary recipient for his efforts involved in the licensure process--who was terminally ill at the time, and past away about five months after the licensure passed. Raymond Page and his associates took effort in giving Landscape Architecture a place in the legal system, which means that the licensed individuals enjoy the same legal rights and responsibilities as other licensed design professionals. To continue the licensure regulation, The Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) was formed in 1970 to sustain improvement and regulation of the professional practice of landscape architecture as it relates to health, safety, and welfare of the public. The Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation: Continuing the Legacy of Fredrick Law Olmsted's traditional Stewardship philosophy The Olmsted Center is based at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, Fairsted, the former home and office of America's premier landscape architect located in Brooklyn, Massachusetts. Olmsted National Historic Site, established as an area of the National Park Service in 1979, transcends the traditional role of a historic house museum by also serving as a center for the study and preservation of American landscapes. This mission is being accomplished through the combined efforts of the Olmsted Center, the Olmsted Archives, and a variety of interpretive and education programs. Together, these programs strengthen the interface between historic landscape architecture and contemporary preservation practice, perpetuating the traditions of the Olmsted's firm and its lifelong commitment to people, parks and public spaces. As a National Park Service center for cultural landscape preservation, training, and technology development in the northeastern United States, the Olmsted Center works to enhance landscape stewardship, improving the condition of resources, and expanding preservation skills and knowledge. Plans for landscape preservation should help to identify, document, and evaluate landscapes, enhancing interpretation and public enjoyment of cultural landscapes Olmsted's Perpetuating Tradition of Landscape Stewardship Our nation has a rich legacy of cultural landscapes - from carriage roads to battlefields, designed gardens to vernacular homesteads, and industrial complexes to river valley settlements. The Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation has promoted the stewardship of significant landscapes in cooperation with a network of partners including national parks, universities, government agencies, private nonprofit organizations, and professional practitioners. Through this integrated approach to research, planning, stewardship, and education, the Olmsted Center strives to improve the condition of landscape resources and expand the preservation skills and knowledge of landscape managers. The Center provides a critical mass of expertise in the areas of landscape history, historic landscape architecture, horticulture, and preservation maintenance, and assists historic properties with preserving and managing their cultural landscapes. A recent project undertaken by the Center is the Cultural Landscape Report for New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park in New Bedford, Massachusetts, that served as a homeport to the largest American whaling fleet and was the center of the nation's whaling industry during the nineteenth century. New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park was established in 1996 to illustrate and interpret the important contributions of the whaling industry to the economic, social and environmental history of the United States. In conjunction with the development of the park's General Management Plan, this Cultural Landscape Report documents the history and evaluates the significance and integrity of the site. The report is being used in park planning and development and to guide the stewardship and interpretation of the park's cultural landscape.

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