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The HALS Challenge

Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village, HALS CA-42, Simi Valley, Ventura County, CA / image: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

The annual Historic American Landscapes Survey (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 report can be supplemented with measured drawings or large-format photographs.

All competition entries are archived in the HALS collection at the Library of Congress, where they contribute to the nation’s largest repository of documentation on American architecture, engineering, and landscapes.

The 15th annual HALS Challenge is an open competition. We invite landscape architects, historians, students, and other interested parties to document any landscape that you feel would make a good addition to the HALS collection.

Historic landscapes encompass a vast array of diverse property types and places from formal gardens, parks, and public spaces to traditional cultural places, vernacular communities, and residential districts. Regardless of the site selected, please focus your HALS report on the landscape as a whole.

Information how to describe and analyze historic landscapes for the HALS collection can be found in the HALS History Guidelines.

Entries must be submitted by July 31, 2024 to be included in the competition.

See The Field for more on the 2024 HALS Challenge.

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