Updates from ASLA


ASLA's 125th: Oregon Chapter History

ASLA 2021 Professional Landmark Award. Portland Open Space Sequence. Portland, Oregon. PLACE

By Lauren Schmitt, ASLA

Becoming a Chapter

The Oregon Society of Landscape Architects (OSLA) was founded in 1941, with significant involvement from Edith Schryver, of the Lord & Schryver practice.

Lord & Schryver was established by Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver, the first women in the Pacific Northwest to own and operate their own landscape architecture firm, designing over 200 landscapes and gardens in the region between 1929 and 1969. The first meeting of OSLA took place at their home and office. Gaiety Hollow in Salem, OR. Arthur Peck, head of the joint Oregon State University-University of Oregon Landscape Architecture program, was the first chair of OSLA. All three are listed on The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s Pioneers pages.

In 1961, the OSLA became part of the ASLA Pacific Northwest Chapter, which existed until 1973 when ASLA Oregon became a chapter. Today, ASLA Oregon has four sections for geographic areas in the state:

  • The Mount Hood Section covers the Portland Metropolitan area and surrounding region.
  • The Willamette Valley Section includes Eugene, where the University of Oregon is located, Salem and surrounding areas.
  • The High Desert Section includes the Bend region and eastern Oregon
  • The Crater Lake Section includes Medford, Ashland and Southern Oregon

Notable Work

ASLA Oregon recognized five projects at the 100th anniversary of ASLA in 1999 to receive Centennial Medallions for their significance and geographic representation of Oregon.

  • Tom McCall Waterfront Park (Contributions from many landscape architects that have continued through today)
  • Ira Keller Fountain (Lawrence Halprin and Angela Danadjieva)
  • Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (many landscape architects involved)
  • Salishan Lodge (Barbara Fealy)
  • Lithia Park (John McLaren and others)

Since 1999, landscape architects have continued to work throughout the state, designing places, restoring landscapes, providing policy leadership and protecting land. Many notable and award-winning projects, plans, and policies have been completed by Oregon landscape architects, in our state and elsewhere, which are too numerous to list here.

And since then, our understanding of landscapes has also evolved. One example is the Portland Open Space Sequence, now recognized as a significant landscape that includes Ira Keller Fountain Park and the series of interconnected spaces encompassing Lovejoy Fountain Park, Pettygrove Park and Source Fountain.
The Halprin Landscape Conservancy was founded in 2008 to preserve, maintain, and activate the Portland Open Space Sequence. The Sequence was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. And in 2021, it was recognized with ASLA’s 2021 Landmark Award, expanding upon the earlier 1999 Medallion recognition.

Lauren Schmitt, ASLA, is President of the ASLA Oregon Chapter.


Leave a Comment