Charles Birnbaum on the Future of Landscape Architecture

Charles Birnbaum on the Future of Landscape Architecture

By Charles Birnbaum
Charles Birnbaum, founder and president of the Cultural Landscape Foundation, makes the case that historical preservationists are finally waking up to the glories of modernist landscape architecture.

Philip Johnson famously quipped: "All architects want to live beyond their deaths." Given the right scale and materials (think the Pyramids at Giza), that desired immortality can last at least a few thousand years. But designers have another opportunity for lasting greatness that is less reliant on size and slave labor: having their work listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This designation, overseen by the National Park Service, following approval by relevant state officials, has worked fairly well for modernist buildings, Johnson’s included.

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