Women Taking the Lead

John Hill
1. October 2020
"Staged Gates" in Dayton, Ohio, photographed in 2020 (Photo © Andy Snow, courtesy of TCLF)

Women Take the Lead is the title of this year's Landslide, The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s (TCLF) annual program drawing attention to threatened and at-risk landscapes in the United States. An online exhibition highlights a dozen landscapes designed by "women who shaped the American landscape."

Every year since 2003 TCLF has compiled and commissioned articles, images, and videos on important or overlooked landscapes that require immediate attention. The organization's preservation efforts have helped save dozens of landscapes since, including such modern gems as M. Paul Friedberg's Peavey Plaza, Dan Kiley's Miller House Garden, and Garrett Eckbo's Tucson Convention Center.

This year's efforts focus on twelve landscapes designed by women, spanning nearly all of the 20th century. Ranging in scale from residential gardens to state parks, with parks and environmental art in between, the site's face numerous threats, but most are in need of funds for maintenance. The 2020 Landslide program not only draws attention to landscapes people might not be familiar with, it highlights the contributions of the women behind them, in turn unifying a diverse collection of American landscape design.

Children’s Park and Pond in San Diego, photographed in 2020 (Photo © Millicent Harvey, courtesy of TCLF)
The Landslide 2020 sites:

  • Anne Spencer House & Garden Museum in Lynchburg, Virginia, designed by poet Anne Spencer, ca. 1910s-1975
  • Beebe Garden in Lake Oswego, Oregon, designed by landscape architects Elizabeth Lord & Edith Schryver, 1930s
  • Children’s Park and Pond in San Diego, California, designed collaboratively by landscape architects Martha Schwartz and Peter Walker, 1988
  • Disneyland in Anaheim, California, designed by landscape architect Ruth Shellhorn, 1955

Disneyland in Anaheim, California, photographed in 2019 (Photo courtesy Walt Disney Parks and Resorts)

John F. Kennedy Park in Cambridge, Massachusetts, photographed in 2020 (Photo © Alan Ward, courtesy of TCLF)

  • Radburn in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, parks and open spaces designed by landscape architect Marjorie Sewell Cautley, 1928-1934
  • South Cove in Battery Park City, New York, NY, designed by landscape architect Susan Child and artist Mary Miss, 1987
  • "Staged Gates" at Hills & Dales in Dayton, Ohio, designed by environmental artist Mary Miss, 1979
  • Thomas Polk Park in Charlotte, North Carolina, designed by landscape architect Angela Danadjieva, 1991

South Cove in New York City, photographed in 2020 (Photo © Barrett Doherty, courtesy of TCLF)

Although a traveling exhibition was planned, as in previous years of Landslide, the coronavirus pandemic pushed this year's exhibition it into an exclusively digital format. As such, there is plenty of online content available, from articles to videos. Visit TCLF's website to learn more about the dozen at-risk landscapes and watch some of the interviews specially made for Landslide 2020: Women Take the Lead.

Thomas Polk Park in Charlotte, North Carolina, photographed in 2017 (Photo © Larry Syverson)

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