Updates from ASLA


ASLA's 125th: Texas Chapter History

Texas ASLA Chapter Section Map; 2023 updated

By Clifton Hall, Karl VonBieberstein, FASLA, and Mark Smith (retired)

Even before his entry for the Central Park design competition was submitted, Frederick Law Olmstead was busy documenting the diverse landscape of the Lone Star State in his detailed narrative, A Journey Through Texas (1857). The Texas Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recommends Olmsted’s book as a must read in an effort to better understand the true spirit of our State through the eyes of a Landscape Architect.

Exactly 80 years after Mr. Olmsted’s visit, the Texas Chapter began its own history as part of the Midwest Region, established in 1937 by the then ASLA National Board. In 1948, ASLA Trustees decided to move away from regions in favor of more locally organized chapters. It was in 1957 that the Southwest Chapter was organized and included the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas Mississippi, and Louisiana. Finally in 1976 the leadership and members in Texas split from its neighboring states and organized itself as the Texas Chapter. Today, the Chapter comprises five Sections each operating independently within the Texas Chapter and hosting local tours, family -friendly events, and numerous educational CEU opportunities throughout the year.

Given that we are such a large and diverse state, it would be a challenge to include in this brief article the abundance of history and all of the distinguished members who have contributed over the 48-year history. We would, however, like to recognize ‘pioneer’ design firms and our academic organizations that have contributed to the Chapter in the early years (1937-1990) and made it possible for us to prosper and grow into a Chapter of 859 Full, Associate, Affiliate, and International members (as of May 2024), as follows:

Dallas/Fort Worth:

  • Arthur and Marie Berger
  • Lamberts
  • Myrick Newman Dahlberg
  • Johnson Johnson and Roy
  • Mesa
  • Newman Jackson VonBierberstein

Central Texas:

  • Planned Environments
  • Stephen K. Domigan and Assoc.
  • Richardson Verdoorn Inc.
  • Bechtol-Hoffpauir
  • TBG

Houston/Gulf Coast:

  • Fred Buxton & Associates
  • McDugald Steele
  • Smith Locke Asakura
  • SWA
  • Office of James Burnett
  • Clark Condon

South Texas:

  • Bender Associates
  • The Sage Group

Landscape Architecture Programs each funded with a TX ASLA Endowment over $100,000:

  • Texas A&M University (Undergraduate and Graduate)
  • Texas Tech University (Undergraduate and Graduate)
  • University of Texas at Arlington (Graduate)
  • University of Texas – Austin (Graduate)

Clifton Hall is the current Treasurer and served as President in 2017-2018 for the Texas Chapter. An abundance of information and historical data provided by Karl VonBieberstein, FASLA and Texas Chapter President from 1980-81. Additional information and edits provide by Mark Smith (retired)

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