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The Northwest Gardens of Lord & Schryver

Elizabeth Lord & Edith Schryver formed the first landscape architecture firm founded by women in the Pacific Northwest in 1929. Their complementary talents and strong social network assured their success during the economic development of the region. Val Libby, former associate professor of landscape history & public horticulture at Temple University, talks about their work based on her book The Northwest Gardens of Lord & SchryverView the video at:

Olmsted and Yosemite: Civil War, Abolition, and the National Park Idea

In their book Olmsted and Yosemite: Civil War, Abolition, and the National Park Idea, Rolf Diamant and Ethan Carr identify a connection between the civil war, abolition, and the dawn of urban and national parks via the life of Frederick Law Olmsted. In this talk presented by CGLHS on June 1, 2022, the authors describe their research into the turbulent decade during which the United States engaged in civil war, abolished slavery, and saw Yosemite emerge as a public park. View the video at:

The Garden History of the Monterey Peninsula

David Laws, past vice-president of CGLHS, presents “The Garden History of the Monterey Peninsula” based on his Fall 2016 Eden article of the same name.  From the Spanish and Mexican-era adobes of the Monterey Historic Park District to the grounds of the former Hotel del Monte, and the estates of Pebble Beach, landscaping styles across the Monterey Peninsula span basic kitchen gardens and private, walled compounds to Rudolf Ulrich’s “Cornucopia of the world’s flora” and civic projects by modernist masters Lawrence Halprin and Garret Ekbo. His talk begins after the introduction, 6 minutes into the video at:

Oral History of David Streatfield 

David Streatfield is emeritus professor of Landscape Architecture and Design and the University of Washington. He has a long and distinguished career in the teaching and practice of landscape architecture and is well known to members of CGLHS for his book California Gardens: Creating a New Eden. On May 27, 2021, David recorded an oral history on his life and career with David Laws, former Vice President of CGLHS.

Click here to read a transcript of the interview.

Click here to watch a video of the interview.

Oral History of Christy O'Hara

Christine Edstrom O'Hara, past president of CGLHS, talked about her life and career as an educator, landscape architect, and historian in a conversation with David Laws in January 2021. The influence of landscape historian David Streatfield informed O'Hara's dogged pursuit of a career practicing and teaching design and landscape preservation. 

  • Click here to view a video recording of their conversation. 

  • Landscape Photography

  • In an online talk on Wednesday, November 10th, 2021, in partnership with the California Preservation Foundation (CPF), CGLHS presented the unique approaches to landscape photography of Millicent Harvey and Stephen Schafer. Ms. Harvey’s work is familiar to CGLHS members for her luminous images of the Smoke Trees of Palm Springs in the Spring 2020 issue of Eden magazine. Mr. Schafer has recorded images for numerous HABS, HAER, and HALS reports. Capturing a historic landscape requires an intentional approach behind the camera, whether the goal is exhibition or documentation. Harvey and Schafer share insights into their professional yet distinct practices and examples of their work. View a video recording of the talk here

  • Apples & Ciders & Trees (oh, my!)

A CGLHS special event on October 13th, 2021 focused on apples, cider, and orchards with a view into the life and accomplishments of the pomologist and plant breeder, Albert Felix Etter. One of the most talented plant breeders of the 20th century, Mr. Etter established a homestead experiment station amongst the wilderness of the Lost Coast in Humboldt County where he bred new varieties of fruit, nuts, and grain. The speakers were Tom Hart co-owner of Humboldt Cider Company in Eureka, CA. and Brandon Buza is a San Francisco-based fermentation geek with a passion for cider, wine, and all things sourdough. View a video recording of the event here 

Earlier talks

San Francisco's Golden Gate Park by Christopher Pollock (November 17, 2021) A Thousand and Seventeen Acres of StoriesIn 2020, the City of San Francisco celebrated the 150th anniversary of Golden Gate Park. Rec & Park Historian-in-Residence Christopher Pollock reviewed the process of building a verdant park on a foundation of arid sand dunes and discusses early efforts to construct the Conservatory of Flowers, Sharon Quarters for Children (America's first public playground!), and de Laveaga Dell, home of the National AIDS Memorial Grove.

Japanese Gardens in California (June 16, 2021) In conjunction with the North American Japanese Garden Association, representatives from three gardens in California describe their histories, designs, and the challenges of managing them in the 21st century. The speakers and their gardens in order of presentation are Steven Pitsenbarger, Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco, Shozo Kagoshima, Hakone Estate & Gardens, Saratoga, and  Patrick Rigney, SuihoEn, Los Angeles.

The Glamorous Gardens of Tommy Tomson by Steven Keylon (May 19, 2021)  Steven takes us on a tour of the highlights of prolific landscape architect Thomas Tomson's career, from the stately estates for 1930s and 40s film stars, his forty years at Santa Anita, and other iconic prewar work including the Pan-Pacific Auditorium, and Union Station and his post-war large-scale projects.

Documenting Landscapes in Perpetuity: The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) by Chris Stevens (May 12, 2021)  Chris Stevens, acting Chief of the National Park Service Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS), and Landscape Architect for the HALS Program since 2008 describes the benefits and opportunities of the project and process of documenting a landscape for submission to the NPS. 

"How to Research 201: a review guide to researching people" by Stewart Traiman (April 21, 2021)   Stewart Traiman describes the research he has undertaken in the fields of genealogy and medicine for 30 years. He presents a wide breadth of source knowledge about historical research, using both online and off-line resources.

  • “The Modern Landscapes of Robert Royston” by JC Miller (March 24, 2021) Landscape architect, writer, and educator JC Miller presented “The Modern Landscapes of Robert Royston” for the 2021 CGHLS Lecture Series on March 24, Mr. Miller’s talk covered the career of Royston (1918–2008) who was one of America's most distinguished landscape architects during the post-war period. His design work and university teaching helped define and establish California landscape modernism. Royston is best known for his public works, especially city parks, however, he also designed innovative gardens over the course of his long and productive career. 

  • "Shaping Landscape Architecture in the Early 20th Century" by Thaisa Way (February 17, 2021)  Thaïsa Way Program Director for Garden & Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, a Harvard University research institution located in Washington DC presented an online lecture "Shaping Landscape Architecture in the Early 20th Century: Race, Gender, and Difference" to CGLHS members on February 17, 2021. For a downloadable pdf of the works cited click here

  • "The Olmsted Brothers: Innovative Ecological Designs for California" by Christine Edstrom O’Hara (October 21, 2020)  Christine lectures on the Olmsted Brothers' prescient approach to planning in California, with innovative landscape designs that addressed both issues of on-going water shortage and water inundation. Founded by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. (1870–1957) and his brother John Charles Olmsted (1852–1920), the firm was at the forefront of sustainable design, following design principles that connected people to nature within the city, responding to the regional conditions of a site, and, when possible, affecting environmental restoration. As the Zoom app failed to record the opening minutes of this talk, following is a link to the full set of presentation slides: CGLHS Olmsted Brothers lecture_10.21.20. 

  • Hayes Perkins, The “Magic Carpet” Man by David Laws (August 19, 2020)  David describes the life and times of  Hayes Perkins, the "Magic Carpet Man" of Pacific Grove, who after 50 years of working his way around the world as a manual laborer transformed a poison oak infested ocean bluff over looking Monterey Bay into a fluorescent springtime carpet of pink succulent blooms. 

  • “Landscapes Lost or Forgotten” by Nancy Carol Carter, Eleanor Cox, & Stacy Farr (November 18, 2020)  Historic landscapes are ephemeral in nature and often lost through redevelopment or simply forgotten through neglect. In this online lecture, Nancy Carol Carter, Eleanor Cox and Stacy Farr describe a grotto in San Diego and a plant nursery site in San Francisco and the fate of these two historically significant sites. 

  • "Landscapes for Leisure" by Steven Keylon (September 23, 2020)  Steven explores the rich history of the designed landscape of the Coachella Valley during the 20th Century. Landscape architects working in this resort village created informal yet functional spaces for active outdoor living. Using examples from the 1920s through the 1960s, Steven will explore the landscapes and practitioners responsible for the evolution of modernist landscape design within the broader context of 20th-century modernism

  • "Julia Morgan: Asilomar and Beyond" by Mimi Sheridan (September 1, 2020)  Architect Julia Morgan is best known for her work at Hearst Castle. However, her unique talents appear throughout California and one of her greatest works is the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove. More than 50 years after her death, the American Institute of Architects awarded her its Gold Medal, hailing her as "the first great female American architect." CGLHS member and historical preservation expert Mimi Sheridan presented this online talk highlighting the master works of a legendary Californian for OLLI/CSUMB.

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