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The 2021 HALS Challenge Winners: Historic Black Landscapes

First Place 2021 HALS Challenge Winner: Golden Gate Village, HALS CA-158 / Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

The results of the 12th annual Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) Challenge, Historic Black Landscapes, were announced at the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture in Nashville on November 21, 2021. Congratulations to the winners!

Sponsored by the National Park Service, cash prizes were awarded to the top four submissions (there was a tie for third place). This challenge resulted in the donation of 26 impressive HALS short format historical reports and a few measured drawings to the HALS collection for sites in 19 different states from coast to coast.

First Place: Golden Gate Village, HALS CA-158
Sausalito, California
By Douglas Nelson, ASLA, RHAA Landscape Architects
Golden Gate Village is significant as a post-World War II public housing project that was created with a goal of providing a racially integrated community based on progressive social and environmental ideals.

Second Place: River View Farm, HALS VA-87
Charlottesville, Virginia
By Liz Sargent, FASLA, Principal, Liz Sargent HLA, with Steve Thompson, Dede Smith, and Nell Boeschenstein
Situated on a hill above the South Rivanna Reservoir five miles from the center of Charlottesville, River View Farm affords an unusual opportunity to understand an African American family farm of the post-Emancipation era.

Third Place (Tie):
Beltane Ranch, HALS CA-162

Glen Ellen, California
By Arthur Dawson, of Baseline Consulting, Kara Brunzell, of Brunzell Historical, and Janet Gracyk
Beltane Ranch is significant for its association with civil rights advocate and businesswoman Mary Ellen Pleasant, and the fact that Beltane has been run largely by women ever since she bought the property 125 years ago.

City Hall Park (Oscar Grant Plaza), HALS CA-157
Oakland, California
By Cecilia Distefano, Kelly Flairty, Cathy Garrett, ASLA (CA PLA, NVLA, LEED AP, CLARB), Evan MacGregor, Petra Marar, ASLA, Adrienne Newton, ASLA (CA PLA), Grace Tada, Assoc. ASLA, and Kari Tanaka (CA PLA, ULI)
Oscar Grant Plaza—unofficially eponymously named in honor of the Black East Bay resident killed by San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police in 2009—served as a central destination for protests, civil disobedience, vigils, art, and other public actions of the summer 2020 Black Lives Matter uprising for racial justice.

Honorable Mentions:

Eleutherian College, College Hill Cemetery, and Lyman and Asenath Hoyt House, HALS IN-16
Lancaster, Indiana
By Dorna Eshrati, Jeremy Merrill, Peter J. Ellery, Malcolm Cairns, FASLA, and Christopher Baas (Department of Landscape Architecture, Ball State University); J.P. Hall (Department of Architecture, Ball State University); Sean O’Neill (Classical Studies Department, Hanover College) and Darrin L. Rubino (Biology Department, Hanover College)

Evergreen Cemetery, HALS VA-86
Richmond, Virginia
By Laura L. Knott, FASLA, MSHP, for The Enrichmond Foundation

Val Verde, HALS CA-163
Val Verde, California
By Libby Simon

See The Field for the full list of 2021 HALS Challenge entries and for more information on the 2022 HALS Challenge, Olmsted Landscapes.

Thank you to all the entrants for expanding the HALS collection and raising awareness of the historic Black landscapes you documented.

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