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Oral History Project

In addition to advancing historical research, the Pioneers of American Landscape Design® initiative fosters a richer, deeper appreciation for often invisible, typically little-known, and, in some instances, threatened works of landscape architecture.

Pioneers Oral Histories help identify designed landscapes that require special care or consideration in their management and maintenance decisions. In addition, these interviews often help identify a designer's involvement when it cannot be determined by more traditional methods of historical research. Oral histories allow us to capture and preserve important aspects of the human experience that would otherwise go undocumented.

  • Often collaborating with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Quennell has helped to instill value and preserve many historically significant spaces throughout New York City.

  • Her work in post-World War II American cities, in a profession traditionally dominated by men, is an indispensable and inspiring chapter in the history of landscape architecture.

  • The oral history of this acclaimed and influential Seattle-based landscape architect covers a career that spanned more than fifty years.

  • A recent recipient of the National Medal of the Arts, Olin has profoundly influenced practitioners and the general public through his extensive body of built works and more than forty years of teaching.

  • The San Diego-based landscape architect's oral history is the ninth in the series and the first in high-def.

  • On lands with thousands of years of history, landscape architect Shlomo Aronson has spent more than forty years helping shape the modern nation of Israel.

  • Recognized as a national treasure in Canada and recipient of the 2012 ASLA Medal, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander has been creating innovative landscapes for more than sixty years.

  • As a Founding Principal at Sasaki for more than fifty years, his career encompassed hundreds of projects for university campuses, museums, resorts, and corporate headquarters.

  • James van Sweden has been a leader in landscape architecture for more than 35 years. In a series of interviews he shares his philosophy about an enduring design legacy.

  • Creating landscapes for over 60 years, Halprin designed spaces which brought his knowledge and love of nature, movement, and social ideas into urban spaces.