Call for Papers & Posters

The Skyline of Calgary, Alberta, Canada / image credit: Eric MacDonald
The Skyline of Calgary, Alberta, Canada / image credit: Eric MacDonald

The Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation 39th Annual Meeting in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

May 25-27, 2017

Conference theme: “Big Sky, Big Landscape, Big Ideas”

The Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation (AHLP) is pleased to announce its 2017 annual meeting theme of “Big Sky, Big Landscape, Big Ideas,” to be held in Calgary, Alberta. The Program Committee invites proposals for papers and summaries of works in progress that will promote lively and thoughtful discussions about cultural landscape conservation. In particular, submissions that deal with the subjects of tourism, agriculture, and natural resource extraction are encouraged, as these themes will be reinforced by our visits to the cultural landscapes of recreation and industry in Calgary, Canada’s third largest city; Drumheller Valley, a landscape of former coal mines and agriculture in Alberta’s badlands; and Banff, the scenic birthplace of Canada’s national park system. We also encourage proposals on the wide the range of topics present in the Alberta landscape, such as:

  • Aboriginal, First Nations and Native American perspectives, interpretations and understandings of the power of place and the larger landscape.
  • Explorations of the cultural concept of “The North,” including notions and concepts of Canadian identity.
  • Topics concerning the preservation, adaptation and reuse of vernacular architecture, structures and landscapes.
  • Issues associated with the reclamation, restoration and renewal of post-industrial sites and landscapes.
  • Topics relating to the establishment, experience, influence, impact, and management of national parks. (Such topics could include: issues of resource management, conflicts between preservation and development, ecological and habitat pressures associated with global climate change, etc.).

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The 2017 HALS Challenge

Roeding Park (HALS CA-59). Grove of fan palms on east side of park. image: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, HALS CA-59
Roeding Park (HALS CA-59). Grove of fan palms on east side of park.
image: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, HALS CA-59

The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) was created in 2000 to promote documentation of our country’s dynamic historic landscapes. Much progress has been made in identifying cultural landscapes, but more is needed to document these designed and vernacular places.

For the 8th annual HALS Challenge, we invite you to document a historic city or town park. In 2016, the National Park Service celebrated its centennial with the Find Your Park movement to spread the word about the amazing national parks and the inspirational stories they tell about our diverse cultural heritage. Find Your Park is about more than just national parks! It’s also about local parks and the many ways that the American public can connect with history and culture and make new discoveries. With more than 80% of Americans living in urban areas, urban parks are becoming more important than ever.

Perhaps the city or town park you choose to document may:

  • be so popular that it is threatened by overuse;
  • be challenged with incompatible additions or updates;
  • suffer from neglect and deferred maintenance;
  • be unnoticed with its significance unappreciated; and/or
  • be documented to encourage its preservation.

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The 2016 HALS Challenge Winners

The Wilcox Park (HALS RI-1) short form historical report is the first Historic American Landscapes Survey documentation for Rhode Island. image: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, HALS RI-1
The Wilcox Park (HALS RI-1) short form historical report is the first Historic American Landscapes Survey documentation for Rhode Island.
image: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, HALS RI-1

The results of the 7th annual Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) Challenge, Documenting National Register Listed Landscapes, were announced during the HALS Meeting at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO on Saturday, October 22, 2016 in New Orleans. Congratulations to the winners!

1st Place: Empire Ranch, HALS AZ-19
Greaterville vicinity, Pima County, Arizona
By Gina Chorover, MLA, Heritage Conservation Program, University of Arizona; Helen Erickson, MLA, Drachman Institute, University of Arizona; Robin Pinto, Ph.D., Consultant; and University of Arizona Heritage Conservation Program Student Researchers: Abrar Abdullah H. Alkadi, Heather Leigh Havelka, Armando Lagunas, Gabrielle Miller, Taira Lynn Newman, Genna Renee Vande­Stouwe, Jessica Paola Estrada, Rachelle Hornby, Nicole Lavely, Kathryn Elizabeth McKinney, and Chelsea Parraga

2nd Place (Tie):
Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, Garden, HALS GA-4
Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia
By Daves Rossell, Ph.D., Professor of Architectural History, Savannah College of Art and Design, and his students: Anthony Nicholas, Stephanie Heher, Carleigh Hessian, Ricardo Chiuz, Paul Fritz, Chelsea Lyle, and Lois Watts

Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Commemorative Groves, HALS VA-66
Along the Potomac River from McLean to Mount Vernon, Virginia
By Paul Kelsch, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture Program, Virginia Tech, Washington Alexandria Architecture Center

3rd Place: Lincoln Park, Lily Pool, HALS IL-15-A
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
By Melanie Bishop and Meredith Stewart, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Historic Preservation Program with Faculty Sponsor Charles Pipal, AIA

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A Celebration of Place

Oak Alley image: Alexandra Hay
Oak Alley
image: Alexandra Hay

Historic Preservation at the 2016 ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO in New Orleans

As historic preservation professionals, we are especially well versed in ‘a celebration of place,’ the theme of the 2016 ASLA Annual Meeting. Our collective work as Historic Preservation Professional Practice Network (HP PPN) members is particularly relevant, and at its most inspiring, when we are advocating for, and planning and designing toward, a celebration of the individualistic qualities and character of each place in which we work. Please join colleagues and friends in New Orleans for discussions and dialogue on current issues and ideas related to historic places.

New Orleans is a particularly exciting place to celebrate, and explore. Be sure to join in on the many field sessions and events that reveal the city’s fabulously rich and diverse history. Education sessions offer insight into a range of relevant topics: cultural authenticity, maintenance and funding strategies, past successes that inform future needs, and more.

Special Events: Meet colleagues, connect with old friends, and make new acquaintances at these events. Let’s get the word out—historic landscapes and cultural resources are current and fundamental to landscape architecture and ASLA.

TCLF’s New Orleans Excursion: A Cultural Continuum from Antebellum to Modernist
Daylong Excursion: Friday, October 21, 9:00 am to 6:30 pm
Reception at the Curtis House: Friday, October 21, 4:30 to 6:30 pm
Tickets and waiting list available through TCLF

SITES® Workshop: Navigating the Submittal Process and Trouble-shooting Challenges with the Experts
Friday, October 21, 1:30 to 5:00 pm

Opening General Session: Shared Wisdom: Legacy, Practice and Partnership
Saturday, October 22, 8:00 to 9:00 am

Historic Preservation PPN Meeting
Saturday, October 23, 12:45 to 1:30 pm in the Jackson Square Meeting Room

EXPO Reception featuring the Professional Practice Networks
Sunday, October 23, 4:30 to 6:30 pm

Women in Landscape Architecture Walk
Monday, October 24, 7:00 to 8:30 am

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HALS Heroes Success Story

Potter's Field, Alhambra Pioneer Cemetery, Martinez, CA image: UC Berkeley students Annalise Chapa, David Koo, Yang Liu, and Mark Wessels
Potter’s Field, Alhambra Pioneer Cemetery, Martinez, CA
image: UC Berkeley students Annalise Chapa, David Koo, Yang Liu, and Mark Wessels

In 2011, the ASLA Northern California Chapter’s Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) subcommittee started the HALS Heroes initiative. Their objective was to encourage more members to create HALS drawings of culturally significant landscapes in Northern California.

The HALS program was created in 2000 through a tripartite agreement between ASLA, the National Park Service, and the Library of Congress. The program is modeled on the Historic American Buildings Survey, which began in 1933, and the Historic American Engineering Record, which began in 1969. Northern California has had an active HALS group since November 2004 and since that time they have held quarterly meetings, given talks to educate people about the program, organized numerous tours to historic landscape sites, and directly or indirectly been responsible for creating documentation for at least 65 California sites.

The HALS Heroes program offers a $1,000 stipend to anyone who produces a minimum one sheet drawing of a cultural landscape in California. The selected site must be approved by the chapter leadership and the drawing must conform to the HALS Measured Drawings Guidelines. Fred Rachman, a HALS chapter member who is trained as an architect, was the first recipient of a HALS Heroes stipend for completing a measured drawing of Rancho Los Alamitos in Long Beach.

In June 2015, I was asked to give an annual report of the committee’s activities at a chapter board meeting. I brought prints of the HALS drawings that the committee members had created the previous year to the meeting. After my short presentation, I was taken aback when then-chapter president David Nelson, ASLA, proposed that the chapter provide up to five $1,000 stipends to support the program. The board members were enthusiastic and asked me to submit a formal proposal outlining how the program would work. David also stressed that the program seemed ideal for students and encouraged me to seek opportunities to engage students to participate.

I left the meeting both elated and anxious. While thrilled by the unexpected exuberant response to my report, I felt daunted by this new challenge. How would I find a group of students to engage in the program and how much effort would it take on my part to oversee their work?

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From the Hungarian Empire to Ross County, Ohio

The Driapsa Farmhouse, 2015 image: David Driapsa
The Driapsa Farmhouse, 2015
image: David Driapsa

I have such an amazing family, and I am sure you do, too. My father is first generation American; my mother is a Daughter of the American Revolutionary War; and I grew up in a European culture on my grandparents’ farm.

The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) is about histories and sometimes about the family landscapes experienced. Sometimes little is known of the past besides the fact that the owners are related; sometimes there is a large cache of precious history known by the family.

My family is fortunate to know our family and farm history. My grandfather, Emil Driapsa, and grandmother, Helen Kraus Driapsa, were born in Upper Hungary, the present-day Slovak Republic, emigrated to the U.S. and married in 1912 in Columbus, Ohio.

The couple had a goal of owning land in their new country, a dream that was almost impossible in Europe at the time. Through hard work and saving their earnings, the couple realized their dream in 1914 when they bought the 68-acre farm near the village of Bainbridge in Paxton Township, Ross County, Ohio. The local terrain reminded them of their homeland, and they sponsored other European immigrants to move onto the adjacent farms in what became the Potts Hill European Community.

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The Sunset Headquarters Landscape

image: Gordon Osmundson
image: Gordon Osmundson

The Sunset Headquarters landscape, in Menlo Park, California, was originally designed by Thomas Church, with a building by designer and developer Cliff May. The property is historically significant for its building and landscape; however, it is just as important for its association with the magazine and publishing company. Still popular as a publisher today, its place as a tastemaker in post-WWII California and the Western United States cannot be disputed. I regret to say that the property has been sold and Sunset has moved out. Some sources assure us the property won’t be changed very much, but I am skeptical of this claim, given property values in the South Bay. At least there is documentation of the property, which will reside in the Library of Congress as a result of documentation produced for the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) for the 2015 HALS Challenge competition.

I’ve looked forward to each year’s HALS Challenge. I find it’s a timely spur to pursue the very satisfying and in-depth exploration of a significant landscape. Digging in to a landscape design, so to speak, gives me an excuse to spend time understanding a place—how it was designed, where it fits in our history of landscape architecture, what it meant to people at its creation, and what it means to us now. What I learn each year continues to resonate long after I am finished with the project.

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The 2016 HALS Challenge

Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village, HALS CA-42, Simi Valley, CA image: Library of Congress, Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey Collection
Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village, HALS CA-42, Simi Valley, CA
image: Library of Congress, Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey Collection

The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) was created in 2000 to document our country’s dynamic landscapes. Much progress has been made in identifying cultural landscapes but more is needed to document these designed and vernacular places.

We are pleased to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) in 2016. The NHPA is a cornerstone of American historic preservation. It was created in the belief that too many important historic places were being lost to post-World War II development and construction, and that the federal government could (and should) play an important role in protecting places that embody the United States’ cultural heritage.

For the 7th annual HALS Challenge, we invite you to document National Register listed landscapes from your region of the country. Authorized by the NHPA, the National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Currently there are 90,540 total listings with 1,752,995 total contributing resources. Many of these listings represent or include landscapes. Search for National Register listings in your area here.

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The 2015 HALS Challenge Winners

Kaiser Center, Oakland, Alameda County, California image: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, HALS CA-3-9
Kaiser Center, Oakland, Alameda County, California
image: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, HALS CA-3-9

The results of the sixth annual Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) Challenge, Documenting Modernist Landscapes, were announced at the HALS Meeting that took place during the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Chicago on Saturday, November 7, 2015. Congratulations to the winners!

1st Place:
Sunset Headquarters, HALS CA-115, Menlo Park, San Mateo County, California.
by Janet Gracyk, ASLA, Terra Cognita Design and Consulting; Chris Pattillo, FASLA, PGAdesign, Inc.; and Jill Johnson, Historic Preservation Services with bonus measured drawings delineated by Sarah Raube, Janet Gracyk, Lorena Garcia Rodriguez, Genny Bantle, and Chris Pattillo.

2nd Place:
Marin General Hospital, HALS CA-118, Greenbrae, Marin County, California.
by Denise Bradley, ASLA, with bonus measured drawings delineated by Janet Gracyk.

3rd Place:
Union Bank of California Plaza, HALS CA-119, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California.
by Hannah Dominick.

Honorable Mentions:
Six Moon Hill, HALS MA-3, Lexington, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.
by Pamela Hartford and Marion Pressley, FASLA, Principal, Pressley Associates.
&
Valley House Gallery and Sculpture Garden, HALS TX-10, Dallas, Dallas County, Texas.
by William Hartman, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, Louisiana Tech University and Patrick Boyd Lloyd, David Rolston Landscape Architects.

Sponsored by the National Park Service, cash prizes were awarded to the top 3 submissions. This challenge resulted in the donation of 18 impressive HALS short format historical reports and 3 sets of drawings to the HALS collection.

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Historic Preservation in Chicago

The Arthur B. Heurtley House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, in Oak Park, Illinois, the subject of an ASLA Annual Meeting field session image: Alexandra Hay
The Arthur B. Heurtley House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, in Oak Park, Illinois–the subject of an ASLA Annual Meeting field session
image: Alexandra Hay

I look forward to seeing all our members and new colleagues in Chicago for the 2015 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO, and I hope you will attend the Historic Preservation Professional Practice Network (HP PPN) meeting on Saturday, November 7 from 12:45 to 2:15pm. We will be sharing the new initiatives that the leadership group has been working on, and we hope to hear about the work of members as well.

Storytelling Your Project. Please consider submitting a brief paragraph describing one or more of your current or recent projects. We will a few submissions and ask that you prepare 3 images and present these in a brief 3-minute story to the members at the HP PPN meeting in Chicago. Submit your paragraph to Alexandra Hay, Professional Practice Coordinator at ASLA, by this Friday, October 23.

Share Your Perspectives in Chicago!

‘Perspectives,’ the theme of the Annual Meeting, is particularly relevant to our PPN’s collective work in cultural resources and historic preservation, providing multiple tours and sessions on landscapes of contrast and comparison. Please join colleagues and friends in Chicago for discussions and dialogue on current issues and ideas in our design and planning for historic places.

Many field sessions and events explore Chicago’s rich history and cultural development from ‘Paris on the Prairie’ to the ‘Second City.’ Education sessions offer insight into a range of relevant topics: cultural authenticity, maintenance and funding strategies, past successes that inform future needs, and more.

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The Gardens of August: Wyndygoul

Lantern slide of Seton’s manor house at Wyndygoul, Cos Cob, Connecticut, circa 1900 image: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-DIG-ggbain-01507
Lantern slide of Seton’s manor house at Wyndygoul, Cos Cob, Connecticut, circa 1900
image: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-DIG-ggbain-01507

Part of a Research, Reachout & Restore series on historic and cultural landscapes

A century after the start of the First World War and 53 years since The Guns of August was published, the garden where Barbara Tuchman wrote her Pulitzer Prize-winning work reveals itself.

Barbara Tuchman’s daughter once mentioned the garden to me in passing, recalling a Japanese maple—or was it a weeping cherry, with layered limbs cascading over stone walls onto the smooth surface of the pond? It was her grandfather’s, Maurice Wertheim’s, garden. This frugal recollection, like a grudging haiku, conjured an elegant landscape. I couldn’t shake it.

Since our conversation many years ago, I pieced together the few threads and clues that I remembered. Earlier this spring, I finally found the elusive garden and learned about its storied past. It remains extant, albeit threadbare. Originally it was the property of Ernest Thompson Seton, a wealthy naturalist and Englishman who bought up six old farmsteads in the village of Cos Cob, Connecticut, creating his country estate in 1900 and naming it Wyndygoul, Scottish for windy glen.

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ASLA Marks Centenary of Rome Prize

The American Academy in Rome image: James O'Day
The American Academy in Rome
image: James O’Day

Centennials are occasions upon which to reflect and bestow honor. This year, the American Society of Landscape Architects has an important, historic event to observe—the centenary of Edward Lawson, FASLA, winning the prestigious Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture at the American Academy in Rome in 1915. Lawson was the first landscape architect to win the coveted prize, which was sponsored by ASLA. It was a turning point for the profession as well as for this newly-minted Cornell graduate.

At the July meeting of the Potomac Chapter of ASLA, Brett Wallace, ASLA, and Shawn Balon, ASLA, of the Executive Committee endorsed the proclamation submitted by James O’Day, ASLA, the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) Chapter Liaison, to recognize the achievements and historic importance of Lawson’s ASLA-sponsored fellowship at the American Academy in Rome.

The presence of Lawson at the academy was a coup de main for ASLA. After years of striving, the nascent and evolving profession would be accorded the same recognition that its “sister” arts—architecture, painting and sculpture—had enjoyed since the academy’s inception in 1894. The new fellowship in landscape architecture made it possible for young professionals to join the collaborative dialogue that was shaping city planning and urban design.

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Documenting Modernist Landscapes

One of Sunset Magazine's temporary demonstration gardens image: Chris Pattillo
One of Sunset Magazine’s temporary demonstration gardens
image: Chris Pattillo

The theme of the 6th annual Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) Challenge is to document a Modernist Landscape—preferably a site that reflects the unique landscape from the region you live in. Luckily for us Californians, we have much to choose from. Thomas Church, Garrett Eckbo, Lawrence Halprin, Robert Royston and Theodore Osmundson all lived and practiced in the San Francisco Bay Area and created memorable modernist designs. When an email went out announcing the theme of this year’s challenge, one of our HALS Northern California Chapter members responded promptly to alert us that one of Church’s most well known and most visited landscapes is potentially threatened.

If one posed the question, “what one thing has influenced California gardens more than anything?” myriad responses would result. Our varied and generally temperate climate would be one good answer. But upon reflection, I’m certain many would agree that Sunset Magazine has done more to influence how our gardens look, what plants we try, and how creatively we imagine our outdoor living spaces than anything else. Just to prove my point, try Googling Sunset Magazine—78 million hits pop up instantly.

In 1951, magazine owner Larry Lane commissioned local architect Cliff May to design the headquarters building for Sunset Magazine. At the same time, he looked to Thomas Church, the premier local Landscape Architect, to partner with May to design the setting. The result of their collaboration is a powerful representation of idealized California living. Visiting the property, one enters through oversized, wooden double doors into a high-ceilinged and spacious lobby and at the same time into Church’s landscape. Opposite the doors is a glass wall the full length of the lobby, so that upon entering the building one feels they are instantly in the garden.

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The 2015 HALS Challenge

Skyline Park, HALS CO-1, Denver, CO image: Library of Congress, Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey Collection
Skyline Park, HALS CO-1, Denver, CO
image: Library of Congress, Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey Collection

Documenting Modernist Landscapes

“How do you design an environment where man can grow intellectually…a total environment that encourages and develops the self expression of every individual in it?”
–Robert E. Marvin

The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) was created in 2000 to document our country’s dynamic landscapes. Much progress has been made in identifying cultural landscapes but more is needed to document these designed and vernacular places.

For the 6th annual HALS Challenge, we invite you to document modernist landscapes unique to your region of the country. During the mid-20th century, landscape architects responded to the regional environment using design as an agent of social change, creating human scale space, modern forms, and sculptural compositions, which were intended to be experienced rather than simply viewed.

The designs of renowned modernist landscape architects like Church, Eckbo, Kiley, Halprin, and Rose face developmental threats despite growing national awareness. The lesser known works of many other regional designers must be documented to encourage their preservation.

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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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The 2014 HALS Challenge

Galena Forest CCC Camp, Mount Baker National Forest, Washington, 1936 image: National Archives
Galena Forest CCC Camp, Mount Baker National Forest, Washington, 1936
image: National Archives

Documenting the Landscapes of the New Deal

The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) was created in 2000 to document our country’s dynamic landscapes. Much progress has been made in identifying cultural landscapes but more is needed to document these designed and vernacular places.

For the 2014 HALS Challenge, we invite you to document landscapes of the New Deal. People from every state are hereby challenged to complete at least one HALS short format history to document the landscapes created during the Great Depression. These great public works were typically funded by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and built by programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Workers planted nearly 3 billion trees to help reforest America, constructed more than 800 new parks nationwide, upgraded most state parks, restored countless historic sites, and built a network of service buildings and public roadways across the nation. Many of these landscapes remain in all 50 states, but their history may go unnoticed.

The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), a companion program to HALS and  the sole surviving New Deal program, was created  80 years ago in 1933, the same year as the CCC!

Short format histories should be submitted to HALS at the National Park Service no later than July 31, 2014. HALS Short Format History guidelines, brochure and digital template may be downloaded from the HALS website.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top 3 entries, which will be announced at the 2014 ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo in Denver during the HALS Meeting. 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.

All HALS documentation is permanently archived and publicly accessible at the Library of Congress.

For more information, please contact Chris Stevens at 202-354-2146 or Chris_Stevens@nps.gov.

by Chris Stevens, ASLA, Landscape Architect and Past Chair of the Historic Preservation PPN

The 2013 HALS Challenge Winners

Gaiety Hollow. Center of Parterre Garden with the Arbor in the background.  image: Laurie Matthews, 2010
Gaiety Hollow. Center of Parterre Garden with the Arbor in the background.
image: Laurie Matthews, 2010

Congratulations to the 2013 HALS Challenge Winners!

The results of the 4th annual HALS Challenge, Documenting the Cultural Landscapes of Women, were announced at the HALS Subcommittee and Chapter Liaisons Meeting during the ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo in Boston on Saturday, November 16, 2013. Sponsored by the National Park Service, cash prizes were awarded to the top 3 submissions. This challenge resulted in the donation of 30 impressive HALS short format historical reports and 2 HALS drawing sets to the HALS collection!

  • 1st Place: Gaiety Hollow HALS OR-5, Salem, OR
    by Laurie Matthews
  • 2nd Place: The Arizona Inn HALS AZ-9, Tucson, AZ
    by Gina Chorover, Jennifer Levstik, and Helen Erickson with University of Arizona Student Researchers: Jae Anderson, Crystal Cheek, and Ryan Sasso
  • 3rd Place: Gypsy Camp for Girls, HALS AR-5, Siloam Springs, AR
    by Benjamin Stinnett and Kimball Erdman

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Historic Preservation at ASLA 2013

Water Celebration on Boston Common, October 25, 1848 image: New York Public Library
Water Celebration on Boston Common, October 25, 1848
image: courtesy of The New York Public Library

If you still haven’t decided whether or not to attend the ASLA 2013 Annual Meeting & EXPO, you might benefit from a few minutes clicking around ASLA’s The Landscape Architect’s Guide to Boston. It will hopefully tip the balance in favor of attendance. This online guide highlights the diversity of the landscapes one can experience in and around Boston. And there is surely something for everyone.

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Responses to the 2013 HALS Challenge

Mayflower Cottage with Lake George views image: Lisa Tonneson-McCorkell
Mayflower Cottage with Lake George views
image: Lisa Tonneson-McCorkell

We’re very excited to announce that our members successfully completed the HALS Challenge this year, “Documenting the Cultural Landscapes of Women.” So far, we’ve received information from only a few of those who submitted projects. Please send us your entries if you also completed the challenge so we can share your hard work with your fellow PPN members.

One of the submissions was from Lisa Tonneson-McCorkell, of the Saratoga Springs, New York-based LA Group. Her entry documents the Wiawaka Holiday House on Lake George. Established as an affordable retreat for working women during a time of increased women’s rights and factory conditions activism, Wiawaka is still in operation today, making it the oldest continuously operating facility of its kind in the United States.

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Futuristic Preservation

Study model for the Living Museum at Atturaif, a UNESCO World Heritage site northwest of Riyadh and site of the Saudi capital in the 18th century  image: Ayers Saint Gross Inc.
Study model for the Living Museum at Atturaif, a UNESCO World Heritage site northwest of Riyadh and site of the Saudi capital in the 18th century
image: Ayers Saint Gross Inc.

Point Cloud Surveys of Historic Landscapes

When the US Secretary of the Interior first introduced the Standards and Guidelines for Architectural and Engineering Documentation: HABS/HAER  in 1983, Ronald Reagan was in the White House and most of us did not yet know how to type—let alone know how to work on a PC.  This document was formulated in a pre-digital age and is, not-surprisingly, pre-digital in orientation; specifying such parameters for the documentation of historic structures as the use of black and white photography, the requisite submission of film negatives and consistency of hand-lettering.  Today, some of the specific requirements seem almost quaint: “Level I measured drawings will be lettered mechanically (i.e., Leroy or similar) or in a hand printed equivalent style.”  Incidentally, these standards served as a prototype for the Historic American Landscape Survey (HALS) when it was initiated in 2000.

In the decades since 1983, we have witnessed a revolution in Information Technology.  It has resulted in fundamental changes to the way that disciplines such as landscape architecture and history are practiced.  In the 1990s, Computer-Aided Design transformed the workflow of landscape architectural practice from design and documentation through construction.  A second wave of transformation has arrived with Building Information Management (BIM) / Site Information Management (SIM) applications and is beginning to transform the roles of designer and contractor in project delivery.  In the study of history today, the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for research and analysis is not uncommon.  Other new technologies and software applications are now emerging with the potential to transform a wide array of disciplines from ecology to historic preservation.   What follows is a discussion of one of these tools in particular—the digital “Point Cloud Survey”—and a review of its use in the context of a preservation and adaptive reuse project in Saudi Arabia.

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Documenting the Cultural Landscapes of Women

The view from Elmshaven's front porch looks out over the garden to the vineyard.image: Chris Pattillo
The view from Elmshaven’s front porch looks out over the garden to the vineyard.
image: Chris Pattillo

At first I was stumped when this year’s Historic American Landscapes (HALS) Survey Challenge to “document historic landscapes that reflect the heritage of women” was announced. The purpose of this year’s challenge is to increase awareness of the role of women in shaping the American landscape. My first thought was to record the Berkeley City Women’s Club, designed by the first woman Architect, Julia Morgan for the women of Berkeley – but our Northern California chapter of HALS had already done that site.  I thought of noteworthy women landscape architects who have practiced in California – Mai Arbegast and Gerri Knight Scott.  Both had done work at the Oakland Museum but that site had already been done as well.  Each had a role in the development of UC Berkeley’s Blake Estate in Kensington, where I’d worked as a student gardener.  Blake felt like too much to tackle and deserves more than a short form HALS.  I wanted a site that was nearby, had integrity, and was not too large for a one-person volunteer to take on.

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The 2013 HALS Challenge

Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC, designed by Beatrix Farrandimage: www.doaks.org
Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC, designed by Beatrix Farrand
image: http://www.doaks.org

The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) was created in 2000 to document our country’s dynamic landscapes.  Each year the HALS office at the National Park Service issues a challenge, encouraging landscape architects and preservation professionals to document historic landscapes related to a new theme.

The theme of the 2013 challenge is “Documenting the Cultural Landscapes of Women.

Individuals and groups from every state are encouraged to complete at least one HALS short format history for a cultural landscape related to this theme, whether vernacular or designed, in order to increase awareness of the role of women in shaping the American landscape. The top three submissions will receive awards and be announced at the 2013 ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo in Boston during the HALS Meeting.

If you have not already begun a submission, there is still time to start. Short format histories should be submitted to HALS at the National Park Service no later than July 31, 2013 (c/o Paul Dolinsky, Chief of HALS, 202-354-2116).   All HALS documentation is permanently housed and publicly accessible at the Library of Congress.

Click here for more information: HALS Challenge

by  Jonathan Ceci, Chair of the Historic Preservation PPN

Congratulations 2012 HALS Challenge Winners!

Mission La Purisima Concepcion Site Plan (Douglas Nelson, 17 July 2012, HALS CA-79)
Mission La Purisima Concepcion Site Plan (Douglas Nelson, 17 July 2012, HALS CA-79)
image: LOC

Results of the 3rd annual HALS Challenge, Documenting the American Latino Landscape, were announced at the HALS Meeting of the Phoenix, Arizona ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo on Saturday, September 29, 2012. Sponsored by the National Park Service, cash prizes were awarded to the top 3 submissions. This challenge has resulted in many valuable donations to the HALS collection.

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