Editor's Note: This Pioneers biographical profile is being posted in honor of C. Glenn Allen's passing.
Chester Glenn Allen was a leader in the profession of landscape architecture, both in practice as one of the original principals of Hargreaves Associates and as a tenured Professor at Louisiana State University.
Glenn AllenAllen was born in Memphis, Tennessee, where his father was a leading urological surgeon. He received his undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia in 1973 and was a 1977 graduate of the Louisiana State University M.L.A. program. His first job was with Myrick Newman Dahlberg in Dallas, Texas, after which he worked for The SWA Group in Sausalito, California. While there, he worked with George Hargreaves on the design of Harlequin Plaza, a seminal example of postmodern landscape design. Allen partnered with Hargreaves in the 1983 founding of the landscape architecture firm Hargreaves Allen Sinkosky & Loomis in San Francisco, California. The firm was incorporated as Hargreaves Associates soon thereafter. One of the firm's first projects, on which Allen had an integral role, was the design of Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater, an early earthwork project that helped to establish the firm's national notoriety.
As Hargreaves Associates grew in size and prominence, Allen helped establish additional offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts; New York City and London, where he was Principal-in-Charge. In 2009, he moved from London to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to take on a tenured position as the head of graduate studies at the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture at Louisiana State University where he taught design studios and seminars and held the Marie M. Bickham Chair from 2009 to 2010.
While a Principal with Hargreaves Associates, Allen was a significant contributor to award-winning projects including the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas; Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Villa Zapu in Napa, California; Candlestick Point in San Francisco, California; the Cincinnati Art Museum and the 21st Century Waterfront Park in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In addition to these projects, he was principal for the Louisville Waterfront Park Phase III and the University of Cincinnati UC/21 Master Plans and for such international projects as the London 2012 Olympics in the United Kingdom, the Sydney 2000 Olympics in Australia, and Parque do Tejo e Trancão in Lisbon, Portugal. The Northern Water Feature for the Sydney Olympics, an iconic feature for the Games was not only visually striking with its large scale arcing jets, but was also a major component of the 'Green Games.' The design utilized bio-engineered wetlands to treat and re-use stormwater for the entire site.
Allen served as a visiting juror at many universities and lectured extensively worldwide. He received dozens of honors, including awards of excellence from the American Society of Landscape Architects and the American Institute of Architects. He was a Fellow in the Institute for Urban Design in New York and was a member of the Peer Review Committee of the General Services Administration.
Allen passed away on July 30, 2011 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A memorial scholarship has been established in his name through the Louisiana State University College of Art and Design and the LSU Foundation.
Photos courtesy of Hargreaves Associates