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.