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Mausoleum Put on Hold in Olmstead Designed Cemetery

Mountain View Cemetery was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and dedicated on May 25, 1865. There are about 165,000 interred on the historic grounds.

OAKLAND, Calif.– The cemetery management of Mountain View Cemetery has halted plans to build a 20,000 square foot mausoleum after the California Preservation Foundation filed a lawsuit against the cemetery and Oakland to demand environmental reviews be conducted.

Management wants to develop the area to better accommodate visitors and asserts the changes will improve the entrance, but the Oakland Heritage Alliance, local historians and neighbors are worried that historical elements of the Frederick Law Olmstead designed cemetery might be lost without an environmental review.

Renovations initially planned were for new underground piping, pedestrian and motor vehicle ways, and wheelchair access to the main office and chapel.

Plans for the main gate are for more grass area and replacing five dying trees with 20 cypress. Asphalt around the fountain just inside the entrance is slated for a sidewalk, which management believes is in keeping with Olmsted's design.

As some of the materials are quite old–the sidewalk is over 100 years old--taking them out disrupts the historical continuity of the site. This is a concern because some would like to see the cemetery declared a national landmark, which would provide opportunities for grant monies. Management, however, has stated that such grant money would not even meet the cemetery's maintenance needs.

Delaware Legislature Passes LA Clarification

The Delaware House passed H.B. 211 on June 10, 2004, which now goes to the governor's desk. The bill inserts a clarification to the definition of landscape architecture, deleting the "experience only" qualification for applicants to sit for the national examination, but to keep it for licensure, to recognize the increased importance of obtaining advanced education and supervised experience, permit all forms of business entities to obtain a certification of authorization, and to explicitly recognize the Board of Landscape Architecture's power to revoke a license as a disciplinary sanction. The vote was 20 yes, 1 absent (Cook).

Sausalito Firm Withdraws from Plaza Project, Files Suit

April Philips Design Works (APDW) of Sausalito, Calif., a Bay Area landscape architectural firm, has filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Reno to prevent the city and its architecture firm–Sheehan-Van Woert-Bigotti Architects (SVWBA) of Reno, Nevada–from using its landscape designs for the plaza on the former grounds of the Mapes Hotel in Reno.

The architectural firm contends that April Philips Design Works was not the sole firm contributing to the designs. The historic hotel, built along the Truckee River, was razed four years ago. The Reno City Council approved plans for a plaza in October 2002. Construction of the plaza was scheduled to begin September 2004.

Landscape Architects Missing from Madison, Wis. Planning Commission

A recent editorial in the Madison, Wisconsin Capital Times by Raymond White decried the paper's series "Designing Madison" for not having any input from private-practice design professionals. He asserted the series was only from the viewpoint of the mayor, city staff and city commissioners. White also disdained the mayor's recent appointment of two more lawyers to the Plan Commission–a commission that has no architect, landscape architect, planner or developer from the private sector.

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August 17, 2019, 10:56 am PDT

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