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Shaping the Postwar Landscape

New Profiles from the Pioneers of American Landscape Design Project
Edited by Charles A. Birnbaum and Scott Craver

BUY Cloth · 280 pp. · 7 × 9 · ISBN 9780813941738 · $65.00 · Nov 2018

Shaping the Postwar Landscape is the latest contribution to the Cultural Landscape Foundation’s well-known reference project, Pioneers of American Landscape Design, the first volume of which appeared nearly a quarter of a century ago. The present collection features profiles of seventy-two important figures, including landscape architects, architects, planners, artists, horticulturists, and educators.

The volume focuses principally on individuals whose careers reached their height during the period between the end of World War II and the American Bicentennial. In that postwar era, landscape architects played an important part in the revitalization of American cities, introducing new typologies for public spaces in the civic realm. Among these were parks that capped freeways, plazas and gardens atop buildings, promenades on revitalized waterfronts, "vest pocket" parks on tiny urban plots and derelict sites, and pedestrian-friendly downtown malls. Practitioners were also active on the new suburban frontier, their influence extending as far as Levittown and mobile-home communities. They created new outdoor living environments tailored to the California climate, and their work shaped landscaped in the American South, East, West, and Heartland.

At a time when interest in midcentury architecture is flourishing, Shaping the Postwar Landscape offers a substantial parallel contribution to the field of landscape studies. It belongs not only on the bookshelves of serious students and scholars but in the office of every landscape architect sensitive to significant works of the recent past.


Shaping the Post-War Landscape represents a significant contribution to the body of literature on landscape architecture and to the scholarly writings on design of the Modern era in general.... This book offers critical information for those of us who seek to identify and protect the best examples of our Modern heritage and allows us all to be better informed while we still have a chance to make a difference. It will stay at the top of my favorites list long after it is no longer new and I’m certain it will be used regularly. I’ve been waiting for it for such a long time.


[A]n excellent resource for anyone interested in American landscape design’s roots.... As founder and CEO of the Cultural Landscape Foundation, few individuals have done more to increase awareness of American landscape design than Birnbaum. His crusade has produced the sort of work that edifies and anchors a discipline, work that should not be taken for granted.

ASLA's "The Dirt"

Shaping the Postwar Landscape...brings the "Pioneers of American Landscape Design" series closer to the present by featuring around 75 landscape architects, educators, architects, and artists who have shaped the American landscape over the last half-century. Although considerably slimmer than the previous two books...the new book is just as thorough with its biographical and bibliographical information on important practitioners.

A Daily Dose of Architecture Books

The handsomely-illustrated specialist volume focuses on the rich legacy of post-Second World War landscape architecture in America.... Luminaries such as Thomas Church, Lawrence Halprin, Daniel Urban Kiley, Isamu Noguchi and Christopher Tunnard are among the well-known designers featured in the book, alongside dozens who will be new to most readers, both British and American. The volume includes a list of sites open to the public, among them Battery Park and other well-known outdoor spaces.


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