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An Open Space Sequence in Los Angeles?


 Ira Keller Fountain, photographed by Jeremy Bittermann.
Ira Keller Fountain, photographed by Jeremy Bittermann.

The pioneering work of landscape architect Lawrence Halprin will be explored at “Landscape as Catalyst,” an upcoming seminar at the A + D Museum to be held on November 4, 2017.


During his fifty-year career Halprin designed many well-loved places. He is perhaps best known for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, DC, and for the amazing participatory fountains he designed for Portland, Oregon. The fountains in Portland were commissioned by the city’s redevelopment agency with the goal of revitalizing downtown Portland, and were constructed between 1966 and 1970. Today, these landscapes are under the stewardship of the Halprin Foundation.


Halprin built on the idea of a landscape sequence in the work he did in Los Angeles, for the Community Redevelopment Agency and then for developer Robert Maguire. This sketch below shows the idea of two of the public spaces, the garden at the Central Library and the Bunker Hill Steps, connected by a richly landscaped Grand Avenue.



“The Los Angeles Open Space Network” drawing by Lawrence Halprin. Courtesy Lawrence Halprin Collection, The University of Pennsylvania.

While the plan for Grand Avenue wasn’t realized, Halprin did build four landscapes in downtown Los Angeles. In our next blogs, we’ll feature these places: Grand Hope Park, Wells Fargo Plaza, Maguire Gardens and the Bunker Hill Steps.


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Lisa Gimmy Landscape Architecture