Historic Landscape Preservation Extracurricular Activities

image:  Historic American Landscape Survey
Bourn Cottage & Garden
image: Historic American Landscape Survey

The members of the ASLA Historic Preservation Professional Practice Network (HP-PPN) not only promote historic landscape preservation in their regular jobs but also with their “extracurricular activities.” Many members are engaged as individual activists or contribute to landscape preservation organizations, such as serving on the board of The Cultural Landscape Foundation or as officers of the Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation.

Many members also serve as Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) Liaisons. The HALS mission is to record historic landscapes in the United States and its territories through measured  and interpretive drawings, written histories, and large-format black and white and photographs for the HABS/HAER/HALS Collection at the Library of Congress. The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) established and maintains the HALS Liaison Network which ultimately will include representation from each ASLA chapter. The continued expansion and effectiveness of the HALS Liaison Network is critical to the recognition and documentation of inventories for our historic and cultural sites.

All of these volunteer efforts not only help protect or restore historic landscapes, but they also increase our professional opportunities.

The Eccles Youth Home is a historic mansion located in the Eccles Avenue Historic District
The Eccles Youth Home is a historic mansion located in the Eccles Avenue Historic District in Ogden Utah.
image: I O Design Collaborative

Susan Crook is the interim Director (interim) of the TBSI/ Mormon Pioneer Heritage Institute at Snow College and Field Representative of the Central & Southern Utah at Utah Heritage Foundation.  She has also worked with the I O Design Collaborative, a professional consulting firm with two principal landscape architects who offer in-house and brokered planning and design services in St. George, Utah.

Susan serves as a representative for Utah on the board of Preservation Action (PA), the ONLY nationwide grassroots 501c4 non-profit voice for historic preservation on Capitol Hill. Preservation Action holds its lobby day about the last week of February or the first week of March in conjunction with the mid-year meetings of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO), the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions (NAPC), which makes for a very powerful lobby for preservation when they go to the Hill.  More members from more states could really help sway votes. There are a number of states, especially Western ones, with key congressional members on appropriations and public lands committees, that do not have any Preservation Action board members, or even regular PA members. ASLA could also team with PA to lobby for preservation, especially with their overlapping interests in programs and funding for sustainability and preservation, like the transportation bill, livable communities, Complete Streets, Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), and the Historic Preservation Fund, to name a few.

Susan has previously served as chair of the HP-PPN.

Municipal Building Planting Plan of Oklahoma City Civic Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Delineated by Oklahoma State University student Justin Kissman, Fall 2008, under the direction of Professor Dr. Charles Leider. (Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HALS, HALS OK-9).
Municipal Building Planting Plan of Oklahoma City Civic Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Delineated by Oklahoma State University student Justin Kissman, Fall 2008, under the direction of Professor Dr. Charles Leider.
image: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HALS, HALS OK-9

Dr. Charles L. Leider, FASLA, is a landscape architecture professor at Oklahoma State University (OSU) in Stillwater. Dr. Leider is also the ASLA HALS Liaison for Oklahoma, and for many years he has been involved with the documentation and preservation of the state’s cultural landscapes. His students in Special Topics courses in the OSU Landscape Architecture Program select landscapes from the statewide inventory of historic landscapes. They then prepare individual case studies using the HALS guidelines, literature, and methods for recording and documenting historic landscapes through interpretive and measured drawings and written histories. To date, Dr. Leider and his students have donated written histories and/or drawings for over 50 cultural landscapes of Oklahoma to the HALS collection. One HALS project, Villa Philbrook in Tulsa (HALS OK-4), along with other Oklahoma examples have been developed into digital brochures for the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation for use as three self guided regional driving tours for the areas around Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Ponca City. These self guided tours maybe viewed on the Oklahoma Department of Tourism website.

1937 Landscape Period Plan of St. Elizabeth's Hospital West Campus in Washington, DC. Delineated by Heritage Landscapes, January 2010. (Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HALS, HALS DC-11).
1937 Landscape Period Plan of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital West Campus in Washington, DC. Delineated by Heritage Landscapes, January 2010.
image: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HALS, HALS DC-11

Patricia M. O’Donnell, FASLA, AICP, is principal of Heritage Landscapes LLC, Preservation Landscape Architects & Planners, with offices in Charlotte, Vermont and Norwalk, Connecticut. The firm focuses on public, heritage landscapes primarily in the United States. Patricia is a HALS advocate and often includes the preparation of HALS documentation into her project agreements.

Patricia is a founding board member of The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF)  and serves as the International Federation of Landscape Architects Cultural Landscapes Committee (IFLA CLC) Global Chair. This organization encourages communication among landscape architects world-wide to enhance recognition and expertise. The activities of the IFLA CLC address the safeguarding, protection, conservation and preservation of cultural landscapes through technical support, education, research, advocacy and other measures determined by the members. Patricia is also an active International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) expert member and participant in the World Heritage process.

Patricia has previously served as chair of the HP-PPN.

Entrance to Fairyland in Oakland, California with “The Old Woman in the Shoe.” Photographed by Chris Pattillo, June 2009.
image: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HALS, HALS CA-19

Christine Pattillo, FASLA, is a principal of PGAdesign, a landscape architecture firm based in Oakland, California. PGA specializes in historic and cultural landscape design work, trail design, on-structure residential and mixed use design and provides design services on a broad range of project types.

Chris is a founding member of the Northern California Chapter of the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) and maintains a blog about her landscape preservation activities. The HALS Northern California Chapter, with more than 100 members, serves as an inspiration to other burgeoning regional HALS chapters, including the Arizona chapter, whose website debuted in 2010.

A grove of fan palms near the Japanese-American memorial on the east side of the Roeding Park in Fresno, California is one example of the many multi-tree plantings of palms. A single table and barbeque offer a quiet place for a picnic. View is southeast, with Golden State Boulevard on the left. Photographed by Chris Pattillo, September 2010. (Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HALS, HALS CA-59).
A grove of fan palms near the Japanese-American memorial on the east side of the Roeding Park in Fresno, California is one example of the many multi-tree plantings of palms. A single table and barbeque offer a quiet place for a picnic. View is southeast, with Golden State Boulevard on the left. Photographed by Chris Pattillo, September 2010.
image: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HALS, HALS CA-59

As HALS Liaison for the Northern California Chapter of ASLA, Chris has established a strong foundation for the landscape inventory process. In doing so, she has shown professionals across the country how this effort can be parlayed into income generating projects. For the tenth anniversary of HALS in 2010, Chris issued a national Theme Park Challenge – a HALS initiative to document the landscapes of childhood. Landscape architecture preservation enthusiasts from every state were encouraged to complete at least one HALS short format history for a historic theme park landscape. The National Park Service HALS program has since continued this successful competition with a different theme each year to encourage individuals or groups to document particular landscapes. In response to the 2012 theme of “Documenting the American Latino Landscape,” Chris spearheaded the documentation of each of California’s 21 missions by the members of the chapter. This is the first project the chapter has undertaken in conjunction with members from Southern California.

Chris has previously served as chair of the HP-PPN.

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vermont; view from the east entry door across the veranda and the big meadow of the Billings Farm and Museum to Blake Hill. Photographed by Jack E. Boucher, 2002; HALS Field Supervisor, Norma Williams. (Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HALS, HALS VT-1).
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vermont; view from the east entry door across the veranda and the big meadow of the Billings Farm and Museum to Blake Hill. Photographed by Jack E. Boucher, 2002; HALS Field Supervisor, Norma Williams.
images: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HALS, HALS VT-1

Norma Williams is a licensed landscape architect specializing in historic landscape preservation. She has completed Cultural Landscape Reports and plans for restoration work for landscapes and gardens including several National Park Service sites.

Norma spearheaded the formation of The Connecticut Olmsted Heritage Alliance (COHA) in August 2005 in an effort to honor the heritage of Connecticut native Frederick Law Olmsted.  COHA received its 501 (c) 3 status from the IRS in July 2007 and plans to partner with others to celebrate Olmsted Day on his birthday, April 26, with an annual conference. The mission of the alliance is to preserve the Olmsted legacy of parks and landscapes in Connecticut by advocacy, research, and public education.

Norma has recently been chosen to serve on the Connecticut Historic Preservation Council, part of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).  She is the first Landscape Architect to serve on this Council.

In this position, Norma hopes to obtain more recognition for historic landscapes in the state, and the timing is right. Connecticut’s Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, David Bahlman, was the head of the National Association of Olmsted Parks (NAOP) Board of Directors. Other state officials including the Governor appear to favor historic landscape preservation.

The Council, which includes 12 citizen-volunteer members appointed by the Governor for a maximum of two four-year terms, advises Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) on critical historic preservation functions. It is also tasked with working directly with the Office of the Attorney General to prevent the “unreasonable destruction” of properties listed on, or under consideration for listing on, the National Register of Historic Places; reviewing and approving requests to perform work on properties on which DECD holds preservation restrictions; providing a model ballot for use by clerks of municipalities considering the establishment of local historic districts; and placing and maintaining suitable markers, memorials or monuments to designate places or sites of historical significance in Connecticut.

Norma supervised the very first HALS field documentation team at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vermont.

by Chris Stevens, chair of the Historic Preservation PPN

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