Peter Schaudt, FASLA, FAAR, in the Office of Dan Kiley - Photo courtesy of Peter Schaudt
Editor's Note: This Pioneers biography is published on the occasion of Peter Schaudt's passing on July 19, 2015. In addition to his talents as a landscape architect, Schaudt held a deep commitment to the stewardship of cultural landscapes. From 2008 to 2012, he served on the Board of Directors of The Cultural Landscape Foundation, spoke at the Foundation’s Second Wave of Modernism and Pioneers conferences in Chicago (in 2008 and 2010, respectively), led Garden Dialogues and What's Out There Weekend tours, and contributed numerous entries to the What’s Out There database during its infancy. Funeral arrangements have been made through Steuerle Funeral Home in Villa Park, Illinois.
Peter Lindsay Schaudt was born on May 10, 1959, in La Grange, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He was raised in nearby Villa Park. He loved art at an early age, but was also drawn to a career in architecture, as was his father’s wish. In 1982 he earned his B.Arch. from the University of Illinois at Chicago and then went on to Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, receiving his M.L.A. there in 1984.
Among Schaudt's professors at Harvard was Michael Van Valkenburgh, with whom he would later collaborate. While still a student at Harvard, Schaudt sought work during the summer in the office of celebrated Modernist landscape architect Dan Kiley, in Vermont. Upon graduation, Schaudt worked full-time as an associate in Kiley’s office from 1984 to 1987, a period that Schaudt called “the most amazing three years of my professional life.” He worked with Kiley on the NationsBank Plaza (later called the Kiley Garden) in Tampa, Florida, completed in 1988.
Illinois Institute of Technology, 2005 ASLA Design Honor Award - courtesy of ASLA
In 1991 Schaudt founded Peter Lindsay Schaudt Landscape Architecture, a firm whose work included (along with Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates) the campus landscape at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and the Midway Plaisance, part of Chicago’s South Park system designed by Olmsted and Vaux. In 1996, he worked on the renovation of Daley Center Plaza in Chicago, and he would also serve on two Chicago mayoral design committees. Schaudt enhanced green spaces along the city’s lakefront in 2003 by adding seventeen acres of new parkland and by using innovative green-roof techniques atop a parking garage for the North Burnham Park-Soldier Field Redevelopment Project. His landscape designs for NFL stadiums advanced the “stadium in a park” theme and also included work on the Bank of America stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a recently dedicated plaza outside Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. In 2008 Schaudt became a partner in Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects, whose many projects included the revitalization of Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto (with PLANT Architect) and the McGovern Centennial Gardens, located in Hermann Park in Houston, Texas. As a member of the team for Chicago’s 2016 Chicago Olympic Design Committee, he designed several alternatives for the Olympic stadium.
Peter Schaudt, FASLA, FAAR, and Joseph Karr, FASLA, at Pioneers Conference, TCLF and Chicago Architecture Foundation (2010)
Schaudt was among the most honored practitioners of his generation. In 1990 he won the coveted Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture from the American Academy in Rome. For work at IIT, his firm received an Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) in 2005; and Schaudt became a Fellow of the ASLA in 2006. In 2010 he was named a ‘Chicagoan of the Year,’ and the American Institute of Architects bestowed its Collaborative Achievement Award on him in 2011. In that same year, Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects won the ASLA Honor Award in the category of analysis and planning for “The Dignity of Restraint: A Historic Landscape Preservation Study for the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.” In support of Schaudt’s nomination for fellowship in the ASLA, landscape architect Laurie Olin wrote: “… I consider Peter Schaudt to be a friend, a peer, and one of the leaders of our field, whose career has been one based upon fine design and the highest standard of ethical and professional endeavor…” Suffering a heart attack, Schaudt died at his home in Villa Park at the age of 56.
Peter Schaudt, FASLA, FAAR, and fellow speakers Thomas Woltz, FASLA, and Andrea Cochran, FASLA, at Second Wave in Chicago (2008)