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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.


About the Author: 

Charles A. Birnbaum, founder, president, and CEO of The Cultural Landscape Foundation, is the editor of Shaping the American Landscape (Virginia), among many other volumes. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, which in 2017 awarded him the ASLA Medal, its highest honor. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome. Scott Craver, Ph.D., is the editorial director of the Cultural Landscape Foundation and a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome.

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