2017 Year in Review

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Feature Stories

2017 Year in Review

2017 Year in Review
Nov 16, 2017
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With you as our champion, The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) built an extraordinary record of accomplishments in 2017. On the eve of TCLF’s twentieth year, we are moving forward with even more ambitious projects, programs, conferences, events, and other initiatives to increase the understanding of and support for our shared landscape legacy and for landscape architecture and its practitioners. 

Here are highlights from the ‘2017 Year in Review’ that your generosity made possible:

  • A FIRST – This year TCLF received its first-ever $1 million gift. Within only a few weeks, the gift was matched by TCLF’s Board of Directors, a great show of faith in the foundation, its mission, and its work;
  • ORGANIZED – sold-out conferences: Leading with Landscape III: Renewing San Antonio’s Brackenridge Park and Landscape as Catalyst: Lawrence Halprin’s Legacy and Los Angeles; and, What’s Out There Weekends in New Orleans and Indianapolis drew thousands of attendees;
  • ADVOCATED Landslide 2017: Open Season on Open Space focused on threats to large- and small-scale sites, from national monuments protected under the Antiquities Act to the iconic Greenacre Park in NYC;
  • EXPANDED – TCLF’s What's Out There (WOT) database of North America’s cultural landscapes surpassed 2,000 sites. TCLF unveiled new WOT guidebooks and online guides to New Orleans and Indianapolis; added significantly to the Washington, D.C., and Chicago online guides; and released the WOT Cultural Landscapes Guide to Boston—produced in partnership with the National Park Service in honor of its 100th anniversary;
  • INCREASED ­­– A video oral history with William “Bill” Johnson, the fourteenth subject in the Pioneers of American Landscape Design Oral History series, was completed; and filming was completed with Joe Karr, one of three Dan Kiley principals currently being documented;
  • CONTINUED Three traveling photographic exhibitions (one each about Lawrence Halprin, Oehme, van Sweden, and Dan Kiley) were hosted at myriad cultural institutions throughout the U.S., including the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts. They have been seen by more than 85,000;
  • RECOGNIZED ­The Landscape Architecture of Lawrence Halprin exhibition received an Honor Award in Communications from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and TCLF’s President and CEO, Charles A. Birnbaum, received The ASLA Medal, the Society’s highest award.
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The Landscape Architecture of Lawrence Halprin Exhibition at the A+D Museum, Los Angeles, CA - Photo by Barrett Doherty, 2017

Here are some details from the 2017 Year in Review:

Landslide, our annual thematic report about threatened and at-risk landscapes, continues to be one of our most high-profile and effective initiatives. Landslide 2017: Open Season on Open Space included a broad range of sites, from national monuments protected under the Antiquities Act to Chicago’s Olmsted-and-Vaux-designed Jackson Park.

TCLF now has three monographic Landslide exhibitions traveling concurrently: In 2017 The Landscape Architecture of Lawrence Halprin was at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, CA, and is currently at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles, CA, through Dec. 31. The New American Garden: The Landscape Architecture of Oehme, van Sweden was hosted at the Cylburn Arboretum in Baltimore, MD, the Nassau County Museum in Roslyn Harbor, N.Y., the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, and, next, Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS. The Landscape Architecture Legacy of Dan Kiley was hosted by The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design in Richmond, VA, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and is currently at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Collectively, more than 85,000 people have viewed the exhibitions.

Several individual Landslide sites also continue to be priorities: Pershing Park in Washington, D.C., substantially altered by a new World War I Memorial; Freeway Park in Seattle, WA, which could be marred by incompatible construction; Fort Negley Park in Nashville, TN, some 40% of which could become a mixed-use development; and numerous other examples.

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Landslide 2017: Open Season on Open Space landing page

What’s Out There, the searchable online database of designed landscapes, has grown to include more than 2,000 entries, 11,000 images, and 1,100 designer profiles, making it the nation’s most comprehensive guide of its kind. TCLF held What’s Out There Weekends in New Orleans and Indianapolis and, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), released a Cultural Landscapes Guide to Boston (with Guides to Richmond and Baltimore underway for 2018). 

Pioneers oral histories now include a fourteenth online video oral history, this one about the life, career, and design philosophy of Michigan-based landscape architect William "Bill" Johnson, FASLA; and filming has begun for the next oral history with three pioneers who worked in the Office of Dan Kiley.

Garden Dialogues, now in its sixth year, explores how great gardens are created. Working within the theme "Artist in Residence," the 2017 Dialogues explored how artists interacted with and/or shaped landscapes, with featured destinations in California, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Wisconsin, and elsewhere. The Dialogues were made possible by the continued support of Seibert & Rice, along with ABC Stone, Bartlett Tree Experts, Stone Farm, and Cottages & Gardens Media.

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Garden Dialogues, VT with Robin Key

Symposia, Conferences, and Technical Assistance: TCLF organized sold-out conferences: Leading with Landscape III: Renewing San Antonio’s Brackenridge Park and Landscape as Catalyst: Lawrence Halprin’s Legacy and Los Angeles; and technical assistance was provided for Forsyth Park, Savannah, GA; Moore Square, Raleigh, N.C.; and Peckerwood Garden, Hempstead, TX.

Publications: What's Out There guidebooks were published for New Orleans and Indianapolis. The final manuscript for Shaping the Post-War Landscape: New Profiles from the Pioneers of American Landscape Design Project was submitted to the University of Virginia Press for publication in 2018.

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Covers for the two What's Out There Guidebooks published in 2017

Online Growth: TCLF’s website has seen unprecedented growth over the past year: total unique visitors and page views each grew by more than 20 percent; and our YouTube channel viewership skyrocketed with a nearly 40-percent increase over 2016.

Media Coverage: included The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, NPR, Indianapolis Star, New Orleans Times Picayune, Newsday, Providence Journal and such specialty media outlets as Architect’s Newspaper, Curbed, Dezeen, NextCity, Planetizen, Rivard Report, TreeHugger, 99%, and more.

Fellowships: The Sally Boasberg Founder's Fellowship supported its sixth Fellow, Margo Barajas, and TCLF hosted three Cultural Landscape Fellows: Kristi Lin worked in our Washington, D.C., office, Marc Ansel worked in the Indianapolis office of storrow|kinsella, and Alayna Jordan was based in TBG’s San Antonio, TX, office.

Honors: The Landscape Architecture of Lawrence Halprin received an Honor Award in Communications from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA); and TCLF’s President & CEO Charles Birnbaum received The ASLA Medal, the Society’s highest award.

Thank You. This past year would not have been possible without the support of many individuals, organizations, and others, including ASLA and our Season of Events Sponsors ABC Stone, Bartlett Tree Experts, and Victor Stanley. 

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Olana Garden Dialogue, Hudson, NY - Photo by Joseph Hibbard, 2017