Memorialization, Commemorating the Great War

District of Columbia War Memorial / image: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, HABS DC-857-5
District of Columbia War Memorial / image: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, HABS DC-857-5

The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) was created in 2000 to promote documentation of our country’s dynamic historic landscapes. Since 2010, landscape architecture preservation enthusiasts have been challenged to complete at least one HALS short format history to increase awareness of particular cultural landscapes through the annual HALS Challenge competition. The deadline to enter this year’s HALS Challenge—Memorialization, Commemorating the Great War—is July 31, 2018.

We invite you to document a World War I memorial site to honor the centennial of the end of World War I, the war to end all wars. Not only were traditional monuments constructed across the country following the armistice, but “living memorials,” which honored the dead with schools, libraries, bridges, parks, and other public infrastructure, were designed to be both useful and symbolic at the same time.

Greene Street Historic District / image: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, HABS GA-269

For inspiration, browse the World War I Memorial Inventory Project and the National WWI Museum and Memorial Centennial Commemoration website. Perhaps you know of another monument, park, or public institution that is unrecognized. These sites are in all areas of the country, often hidden in plain sight. We challenge you to find them and document them—preservation through documentation!

Please contact your state ASLA Chapter’s volunteer HALS Liaison if possible when you have selected a site to document for the HALS Challenge to be sure no one else is already preparing a HALS historic report for it. HALS Liaisons’ contact information may be found online. If your chapter’s volunteer HALS Liaison position is vacant, please consider volunteering yourself or suggesting it to a colleague who may be interested.

Liberty Memorial / image: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, HABS MO-1936

Short format histories should be submitted to HALS at the National Park Service no later than July 31, 2018. The HALS Short Format History guidelines, brochure, and digital template may be downloaded from the National Park Service website. There have been some changes to HALS Challenge rules and Microsoft Word digital HALS Short Form History Template since 2017—these updates are included within the template itself as well as within the 2018 HALS Challenge Brochure. Please read both thoroughly before entering the 2018 HALS Challenge.

Please note: no more than 10 digital photographs may be included at the end of each HALS Challenge entry. These may ONLY consist of digital, existing-conditions photographs taken by the author(s) of the site being documented.

Your research should still include analyzing historic drawings and photos of the landscape you are documenting. Historic graphics are often the most important primary source for analytically writing about a historic landscape. Due to copyright restrictions, reproduction of historic graphics within HALS Challenge entries is not permitted. Historic graphics may still be referenced and described in the text with their repository source named. A thoroughly written analysis is even more useful to readers than a reproduced copy of historic graphic itself, and all copyright issues may be avoided. This is a writing competition!

Flanders Field American Cemetery & Memorial / image: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, HALS US-7

Winners will be announced at the HALS Subcommittee Meeting at the 2018 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Philadelphia this October. Employees of the National Park Service, American Society of Landscape Architects, and Library of Congress may submit HALS Short Format Historical Reports, but are ineligible for prizes.

Flanders Field American Cemetery & Memorial site plan / image: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, HALS US-7

For more information, contact Chris Stevens, ASLA, NPS HALS Landscape Architect, at 202-354-2146 or Chris_Stevens@nps.gov.

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