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Berkeley Campus Landscape Honored

By Cathy Cockrell, Public Affairs
Posted September 1, 1999

Photo: Strawberry Creek

Strawberry Creek is one of the campus's naturally landscaped features. Jane Scherr photo.

The American Society of Landscape Architects recently named the Berkeley campus as one of 362 recipients of its "once-in-a-century" Medallion Award, a program honoring "America's places of the heart."

One of 22 university sites around the country to receive the award, Berkeley was nominated by the society's northern California chapter as a landscape design that improves the quality of life in its community.

The chapter cited the initial contributions of Frederick Law Olmsted Sr., the founder of American landscape architecture, who prepared the Berkeley campus plan in 1865-66.

"The trustees had a plan for the buildings [of a private college in Berkeley that later became the UC campus]," it noted in its nomination, "and commissioned Olmsted to landscape between them." Olmsted -- who also designed New York's Central Park and the Capitol Grounds in Washington, D.C. -- "convinced the trustees of the inappropriateness of such a plan and drew up a comprehensive scheme for the whole site. ... He also set aside 27 acres as a lush park."

Today, says campus architect Jim Horner, "the age of the campus and the maturity of its trees give it a quality that most other campuses can't compete with. The blending of several different types -- picturesque, classical Beaux Arts, modern, rural and natural -- altogether make the Berekely campus unique."

The society also noted the contributions of Thomas Church, responsbile for the siting and integration of ten major new buidlings in the early '60s, and Lawrence Halprin, who designed the Student Union/Sproul Plaza area.


September 1 - 7, 1999 (Volume 28, Number 4)
Copyright 1999, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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