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American Society of Landscape Architects

 

July 2004 Issue

One Park, One Artist
A landscape architect and a sculptor team up to rehab a neighborhood park.

By Marty Carlock

One Park, One Artist
Photo courtesy Bruce Rogovin, Courtesy Cambridge Arts Council

Sculpture has for centuries been used to accent landscape design, but sculptors and landscape architects have traditionally plied their trades separately. The gap has closed in recent decades: Earthworks artists encroach on landscape architects' turf, and landscape architects have begun to include artists in their preliminary plans, integrating works of art into the fabric of the design.

A textbook example is the rehab last year of Franklin Street Park, a pocket park in a densely populated neighborhood not far from busy Central Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The site was not promising: a grubby, miniscule lot measuring 4,400 square feet—much like the plots of the three-decker apartments crowding it on either side. Downsloping from the street and darkly overgrown, it had become a campsite for the homeless. "People perceived it as not very safe down there," recalls landscape architect Rob Steck.

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