Here are the 2014 HALS Challenge Winners

CCC Camp Wickiup. Photocopy of historic photographs (original photograph on file at National Archives, Rocky Mountain Region, Denver, CO). Unknown USBR Photographer, December 9, 1938 - Wickiup Dam, Deschutes River, La Pine, Deschutes County, OR image: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HAER OR-112-10

CCC Camp Wickiup; December 9, 1938; Wickiup Dam, Deschutes River, La Pine, Deschutes County, OR
image: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HAER OR-112-10

The results of the 5th annual HALS Challenge, Documenting Landscapes of the New Deal, were announced at the HALS Meeting that took place during the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Denver on Saturday, November 22, 2014. Congratulations to the winners!

1st Place:
Allegheny National Forest, CCC Camp ANF-1, Duhring, PA, HALS PA-25
by Ann E. Komara, ASLA, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, with assistance from Susan Martino, Jennifer L. Thomas, et al – MLA Students, College of Architecture and Planning, University of Colorado Denver

2nd Place:
Mount Tamalpais State Park, The Mountain Theater, Mill Valley, CA, HALS CA-107
by Douglas Nelson, ASLA, Principal, RHAA Landscape Architects

3rd Place:
Mount Greylock State Reservation, Lanesborough, MA, HALS MA-2
by Pamela Hartford, Jean Cavanaugh, Allison Crosbie, ASLA, & Marion Pressley, FASLA, Pressley Associates Landscape Architecture/Site Planning/Urban Design

Honorable Mentions:
The Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, and Ohio HALS reports listed below.

Sponsored by the National Park Service, cash prizes were awarded to the top 3 submissions. This challenge resulted in the donation of 47 impressive HALS short format historical reports, 6 drawing sheets, and 4 sets of large format photographs to the HALS collection.

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Gaiety Hollow, A HALS Challenge Winner

Gaiety Hollow's West Allee in 2010 image: Laurie Matthews

Gaiety Hollow’s West Allee in 2010
image: Laurie Matthews

Sponsored by the National Park Service, the HALS Challenge is an annual competition, open to everyone, that awards prizes for documentation of our nation’s cultural landscapes. The results are announced each year during the ASLA Annual Meeting—stay tuned for the announcement of the 2014 winners and the theme for the 2015 HALS Challenge here on The Field later this month!

In 2013, the Historic American Landscape Survey (HALS) Challenge solicited entries that documented the cultural landscapes of women, which resulted in 30 submissions. As part of this effort, Gaiety Hollow, the home garden of landscape architects Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver in Salem, Oregon, was documented and received a first place prize at the ASLA Annual Meeting in Boston.

Submitting documentation for HALS was an easy process for Gaiety Hollow as the documentation was developed from an existing Cultural Landscape Report (CLR), and many of the elements required for HALS dovetailed nicely with the structure of the CLR. It was really a matter of editing sections to fit the submission requirements, and no additional research or documentation was necessary.

Though the goal for submitting Gaiety Hollow to HALS was to raise the profile of this lesser known landscape and have information about its history in the Library of Congress, winning the first place prize was a real honor for the garden and its supporters. In many cases, cultural landscape studies only benefit those who are familiar with the landscape and the project, but in this case the documentation will be available to a much wider audience and will help scholars understand Lord and Schryver’s contribution to the profession and how Gaiety Hollow reflects their vision. In addition, a good portion of the prize money was donated to the Lord & Schryver Conservancy, current stewards of the property.

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Historic Preservation Highlights in Denver

Denver's Civic Center image: © Scott Dressel-Martin

Denver’s Civic Center
image: © Scott Dressel-Martin

Let’s connect in Denver!

‘Resilience,’ the theme of the 2014 ASLA Annual Meeting, is particularly relevant to our PPN’s collective work in cultural resources and historic preservation. This meeting is a great opportunity to join colleagues and friends in the great ‘Queen City of the Plains’ for discussions, outings, and exploration of the most current issues and ideas in our design and planning for historic places.

Five field sessions offer opportunities to explore Denver’s history, from urban neighborhoods to CCC landscapes of the Denver Mountain Parks to works by Garrett Eckbo and Lawrence Halprin. Eight+ education sessions explore topics as diverse as social and cultural influences in design and planning to how-to’s for working with historic designed landscapes.

The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) booth will be located in ASLA Central on the EXPO floor, along with Meet the Editors—Martha McDonald, editor of Traditional Building magazine, is participating—and TCLF will launch the new What’s Out There Guide to Denver.

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Treatment of Modernist Urban Park Plazas

Mellon Square, designed by John Simonds, underwent rehabilitation last year. The treatment was in progress on the southern portion of the site when this photograph was taken in July 2013. image: Caeli M. Tolar

Mellon Square, designed by John Simonds, underwent rehabilitation last year. The treatment was in progress on the southern portion of the site when this photograph was taken in July 2013.
image: Caeli M. Tolar

Many works of modernist landscape architecture are currently threatened. Due to their relatively young age, many do not meet the 50-year period set forth by the National Register of Historic Places. Those still extant have often been subjected to unsympathetic modifications and additions. More still have undergone insensitive adaptations, compromising their integrity and rendering them nearly unrecognizable as representations of notable design. Many suffer from original design or construction flaws. Miscommunications and misunderstandings due to differences in terminology and opinion arise when deciding when, where, and how to treat these landscapes. Few have been effectively preserved or restored. Those that have escaped demolition remain in the hands of private owners who have the capability to allocate necessary funds for preservation and subsequently high level of maintenance. In addition, these endangered landscapes commonly face negative public perception. Oftentimes these historic sites are viewed as outdated, dangerous, or aesthetically displeasing.

As a graduate student with a background in landscape architecture, my interests in historic preservation and landscape architecture led me to become interested in modernist works and their endangered state. My graduate thesis looks at the rehabilitation of significant modernist park plazas in urban settings, the actions and actors involved in the intervention, and the ultimate result of the revisions to the landscape. The purpose of my research was to determine common issues in interventions at significant modern urban park plazas for contemporary use and generate a set of considerations for future preservationists to follow. (For the purpose of the thesis, a modern landscape is a designed landscape constructed during the mid-to-late 20th century, inspired by the modern movement in art and architecture.)

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Submit a Drawing for the 2014 Holland Prize

2013 Holland Prize Winner: Turn-Of-River Bridge (HAER CT-192), Stamford, CT image: Morgen Fleisig, delineator

2013 Holland Prize Winner: Turn-Of-River Bridge (HAER CT-192)
image: Morgen Fleisig, delineator

Announcing the 2014 Leicester B. Holland Prize: A Single-Sheet Measured Drawing Competition

The Holland Prize is an annual competition, open to both students and professionals, that recognizes the best single-sheet measured drawing of an historic building, site, or structure prepared to the standards of the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), or the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) for inclusion in the HABS/HAER/HALS Collection at The Library of Congress.

The winner of the 2014 Holland Prize will receive a $1,000 cash prize, a certificate of recognition, and publication of the winning drawing in “Preservation Architect,” the online newsletter of The American Institute of Architects’ Historic Resources Committee. Merit awards may also be given.

There is no charge to enter the competition. Entry forms must be submitted by May 31, 2014 and completed entries postmarked by June 30, 2014. Download the competition entry form and learn more about the 2014 Leicester B. Holland Prize on the National Park Service website.

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Edward Godfrey Lawson, “Our First Fellow”

Villa Gamberaia, Settignano, Watercolor plan of villa and gardens by Edward Lawson, circa 1917 image: James O'Day

Villa Gamberaia, Settignano, watercolor plan of villa and gardens by Edward Lawson, circa 1917.
image: James O’Day

In 2009 while researching at the American Academy in Rome, I came upon a cache of images in the Academy’s Photographic Archive. The photographs were diminutive, measuring only 2×3 inches, but the subject matter was colossal—the gardens of the Italian Renaissance. I had serendipitously discovered a collection of nine hundred photographs taken in the early 20th century. I learned that these photographs had originally been known as the “Lawson Collection” and had been reference material in the Academy’s library. The work was attributed to Ralph Griswold, Henry V. Hubbard, Richard Webel, and Edward Lawson. Most of these names were stalwarts of American landscape architecture and easily recognizable with the exception of one—Lawson. I wondered about the mysterious and little-known Lawson—who was he and why had this collection been named after him? Surely, he must have had some prominence. This is where my research and journey began.

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Smokey Hollow, a HALS Landscape

Smokey Hollow, Florida image: The Florida State Archives Memory Collection

Smokey Hollow, Florida
image: The Florida State Archives Memory Collection

The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) documents significant historic landscapes of the United States and its territories, which can range from gardens and cemeteries to neighborhoods and parks. Using historic ground and aerial photos, land surveys, plats, property records, and oral histories, HALS captures and records the cultural history of a place, the story of people who occupied the landscape, their customs, their landmarks, social traditions, and how the landscape evolved over time. The National Park Service submits completed HALS projects to the Library of Congress, where they become a permanent record of our nation and are accessible to the public.

The Florida Chapter of ASLA established a HALS program in 2007 and has submitted documentation on eight state sites to the Library of Congress so far. Measured and interpretive drawings, photographs, and written histories may be viewed on the Library of Congress website. HALS FL-01 is Barrancas National Cemetery at the U.S. Naval Air Station, 80 Hovey Road, Pensacola in Escambia County. Many Union and Confederate dead are interred there, and HALS large format photographs were produced by the National Park Service. Some of these photos are stunningly beautiful.

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