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2020 HALS Challenge Winners: Vanishing or Lost Landscapes

First Place 2020 HALS Challenge Winner: Harvard Botanic Garden, HALS MA-6, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Aerial view. / image: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

The results of the 11th annual Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) Challenge, Vanishing or Lost Landscapes, were announced at the annual ASLA HALS Meeting, held virtually on December 8, 2020. Congratulations to the winners! Sponsored by the National Park Service, cash prizes will be awarded to the top four submissions (there was a tie for second place). This challenge resulted in the donation of 27 impressive HALS short format historical reports and a few measured drawings to the HALS collection for sites in 11 states.

Many historic American landscapes are under threat or have been lost. Threats include development pressure, neglect, and climate change. By documenting vanishing or lost historic landscapes for HALS, participants have increased historic landscape awareness by illuminating these nearly forgotten vestiges of America’s past.

First Place: Harvard Botanic Garden, HALS MA-6
Cambridge, Massachusetts
 
Prepared by Allison A. Crosbie, ASLA, Preservation Administrator, Cambridge Historical Commission. This site was significant as one of the earliest botanical gardens in the United States and for its association with Asa Gray (1810-1888), a prominent botanist, educator, and writer.

Second Place (Tie):
Jerome Relocation Center, HALS AR-9

Jerome, Chicot, and Drew Counties, Arkansas
 
This HALS report and accompanying maps were completed by a team from the Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design and the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, both at the University of Arkansas. The project was led by faculty member Kimball Erdman, ASLA, with the assistance of fellow faculty member Greg Herman, staff member Angie Payne, and students Justice Barnes, Trevor Brown, Student ASLA, Vanessa Castaneda, Nate Cole, Amanda Davidson, Student ASLA, Alec Fischer, Chloe Harris, Cayla McGrail, Mary Nell Miskin, Kelsey Mork, Stephen Sines, and Jenna Whitmire. This site was significant as a Farm Security Administration (FSA) farming community, then a War Relocation Authority (WRA) Japanese internment camp, and finally as a United States prisoner of war (POW) camp housing German soldiers and officers.

University Mound Nursery, HALS CA-153
San Francisco, California
 
Prepared by Stacy Farr and Eleanor Cox. This site is historically significant for its association with the commercial flower-growing industry (floriculture) in San Francisco and because it includes the last extant commercial greenhouses in a district that was once so thoroughly characterized by nurseries it was known as the city’s Garden District.

Third Place: Henry Schumacher Farm, HALS WI-19
Waunakee, Dane County, Wisconsin
 
Prepared by Megan Turner, ASLA, with photographs by Rona Neri. This site is locally significant to the early settlement of Dane County and the Village of Waunakee.

Thank you to all entrants for expanding the HALS collection and raising awareness of the historic vanishing or lost landscapes you documented!

See The Field for the full list of all 2020 entries and for more information on the 2021 HALS Challenge, Historic Black Landscapes.

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