Updates from ASLA

Olin, Neal Are Honored

The National Building Museum will present the 2017 Vincent Scully Prize to Laurie Olin, FASLA, founding principal of the Philadelphia-based OLIN studio and esteemed professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Olin has created award-winning, people-centric landscapes in cities around the world, including the grounds of the Washington Monument and the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., and Bryant Park in New York City.

“It is an unexpected great honor to receive this year’s Vincent Scully [Prize] from the National Building Museum,” said Olin. “It’s widely known that in addition to educating generations of architects Scully encouraged thousands who weren’t design students to look appreciatively at architecture and to care about the nature of the world we make.”

A public program celebrating the award and Olin will be held on October 16, 2017 from 6:30 to 8 pm at the National Building Museum. Titled “Conversation with a Reflective Practitioner,” Olin will be joined by James Corner, ASLA, founder and director of James Corner Field Operations. Corner is a former student of Olin’s and later became his colleague at Harvard University.

“[Olin’s] work has left (many) cities invaluably richer in terms of public space, civic pride, and quality of life,” Corner wrote in his nomination of Olin. “[He is] a prolific writer and thinker, advancing the history, theory, and visibility of the field…all hallmarks of everything Vincent Scully deeply represented.”

The Vincent Scully Prize recipient is selected by a jury, including members James Corner, Maurice Cox, Ellen Dunham-Jones, Blair Kamin, and led by chair Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. The event in October will also feature a tribute to David M. Schwarz, who founded the Prize and acted as chair until last year.

Among those recognized by the Penn State Alumni Association with the lifelong title of Alumni Fellow, the highest award given by the Alumni Association, is Darwina Neal, FASLA.

The Alumni Fellow program is administered by the Penn State Alumni Association in cooperation with the university's academic colleges, campuses, and the office of the president. Alumni are nominated by a college or campus as leaders in their professional fields and accept an invitation from the president of the university to return to campus to share their expertise with students, faculty, and administrators.

Neal, a 1965 graduate of the College of Arts and Architecture, is a longtime National Park Service (NPS) administrator who retired as chief of Cultural Resource Preservation Services for the National Capital Region (NCR) in 2009. The first woman elected president of the American Society of Landscape Architects, she has been a leader within the NPS and the landscape architecture profession overall, serving as an advocate for women and applying her expertise to projects throughout the Washington metropolitan area. Neal began her career with the NPS in 1965 as a staff landscape architect, working on Lady Bird Johnson’s Beautification Program. She served as chief of NCR Design Services from 1989 to 1996, and then was appointed chief of Cultural Resource Preservation Services.

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