Updates from ASLA


2023 HALS Challenge Results: Working Landscapes

2023 HALS Challenge First Place Winner: Mailboat Harbor, Tangier Island, HALS VA-88 / image: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

The National Park Service and ASLA are pleased to congratulate the winners of the 14th annual Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) Challenge competition. The winners were announced at the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture on Sunday, October 29, 2023, during the Historic Preservation Professional Practice Network (PPN) Meeting. (See The Field for more highlights from the conference’s PPN events.)

Administered by the National Park Service in collaboration with the ASLA and Library of Congress, the HALS Challenge competition encourages landscape architects, students, and other interested parties to document historic landscapes in their communities. To enter the competition, participants must complete a historical report that highlights the history, significance, and character-defining features of the surveyed landscape.

This year’s competition focused on working landscapes. Participants were challenged to survey working or productive landscapes with entries ranging from agricultural and industrial sites to public infrastructure and transportation networks.

A jury composed of National Park Service historians and landscape architects reviewed the entries and selected the following winners:

First Place: Tangier Island Watermen Working Landscape, HALS VA-88
Tangier, Accomack County, Virginia
By Lincoln L. Lewis and William A. Packwood, University of Virginia

Second Place: Foster City Levees, HALS CA-173
Foster City, San Mateo County, California
By Andrea Gaffney, based on original research and analysis prepared by Vicki Beard

Third Place: Weeden Farm, HALS RI-4
South Kingston, Washington County, Rhode Island
By Elena Pascarella, RLA, ASLA

Honorable Mention: Ritchie Farm, HALS NC-11
Mt. Pleasant, Cabarrus County, North Carolina
By William Lutrick, ASLA, and David Driapsa, FASLA

See The Field for more about the winners and the full list of submissions for the 2023 HALS Challenge. More information is also available in the video announcement from Scott Keyes, Chief of the Heritage Documentation Programs and acting Chief of the Historic American Landscapes Survey at the National Park Service. The video was recorded for the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture.

This challenge resulted in the donation of 13 impressive HALS short format historical reports to the HALS collection. Thank you to all entrants for expanding the HALS collection!

Stay tuned for more on the 2024 HALS Challenge, which will be an open competition. Beginning next year, HALS Challenges will no longer have themes. Instead, all HALS short format historical reports submitted each year will then be eligible. There are 14 years’ worth of themes and entries to turn to for inspiring examples. By not having a theme, we hope to encourage more entries from more states, and professors that teach HALS will be able to plan their curricula years in advance.

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