Professional Practice
Documented Historic Landscapes

Since HALS was established in 2000 to document our country's dynamic landscapes, much progress has been made in identifying and documenting historically significant designed and vernacular cultural landscapes. As documentation is submitted, the full list of HALS sites continues to grow. At the start of 2014, information on more than 450 sites was accessible on the Library of Congress’ website. There are more than 600 sites on the current list.

Below are a selection of documented HALS sites from across the United States that focus on a shared theme or feature, with links to the selected landscapes' documentation on the Library of Congress’ website. This page will be updated periodically to highlight different themes.

HALS Highlights:

2016 HALS Challenge: Documenting National Register Listed Landscapes

Since 2010, landscape architecture preservation enthusiasts from every state have been challenged to complete at least one HALS short format history to increase awareness of particular cultural landscapes. The 2016 HALS Challenge, Documenting National Register Listed Landscapes, was announced at the 2015 ASLA Annual Meeting, and highlighted below are National Register listed sites that have already been documented.

Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village, HALS CA-42
Simi Valley, CA
Significance: It is a folk art environment of structures, sculptures, gardens, and walkways all made form various found objects, notably 16 house-like structures with walls made of bottles placed in mortar. With no formal training in art or architecture, Prisbrey began Bottle Village construction at age 60, proceeding to create it by herself, mostly from materials gleaned through daily visits to the dump. The national history, Bottle Village is important because it is a significant folk art environment created by an American folk artist of high acclaim and also because it is a rarity created out of actual mass consumer throwaway from everyday lives of Americans in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This environment has achieved serious acclaim by scholars, critics, curators and students as an important American folk art environment and as perhaps the prime folk art environment in art history created by a female self-taught artist. [From the National Register nomination.]

St. Elizabeths Hospital West Campus, HALS DC-11
Washington, DC
Significance: Advocated for as early as the 1830s and initially developed in the 1850s, the West Campus of St. Elizabeths Hospital is a nationally and perhaps internationally significant historic resource that documents in physical form the evolution of medical treatment for mental health patients in the United States. Positioned on the bluffs overlooking the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, this approximately 176-acre property commands an impressive panorama. The site selection, site planning for the buildings, and development of the hospital grounds integrate the landscape with the medical treatment of patients. This was a remarkable innovation in this type of institution marking a shift away from incarceration treatment toward active therapeutic treatment of mental illness. The historic significance of St. Elizabeths Hospital is nationally recognized by incorporation on national and local historic district registers. The campus including the cultural landscape is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The campus was designated a National Historic Landmark (NHL) in 1991, and received District of Columbia Historic District Designation in May of 2005.