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ASLA Celebrates National Women’s History Month

In commemoration of National Women’s History Month, the American Society of Landscape Architects honors the women who made important contributions to the development of the landscape architecture profession in the United States. Women have been active in ASLA since its formation in 1899 and have played major roles in its governance and membership, including renowned American landscape architect Beatrix Jones Farrand, one of the 11 founding members. Female membership in ASLA has grown from 15 in 1899 to 5,301 today. 

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While by no means comprehensive, the following list features several women landscape architects who were pioneers in their field.

Beatrix Jones Farrand (1872–1959)—American landscape architect (“landscape gardener” by her reference) trained at the Arnold Arboretum in Massachusetts. She was a founding member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and is known for her work on the Yale University quadrangles and the grounds of Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C.

Marian Cruger Coffin (1876–1951)—American landscape architect, writer, and lecturer who designed numerous projects on the East Coast. She is known for her work on the gardens of Winterthur, gardens for the New York Botanical Garden, and landscapes for such schools as the University of Delaware. She was elected as an ASLA Fellow in 1918.

Ellen Biddle Shipman (1869–1950)—American landscape architect named “dean of American women Landscape Architects” by House and Garden in 1933. Her notable projects included Longue Vue Gardens in New Orleans, the Cummer Estate (now the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens in Jacksonville, Florida), and Stan Hywet Hall in Akron, Ohio.

Annette Hoyt Flanders (1887–1946)—American landscape architect, writer, and lecturer who established a major practice in the Midwest. Her work ranged from institutions to small gardens throughout the United States and included the Phipps Estate, the Morven Farm Gardens, and the McCann Estate French Gardens. She was elected as an ASLA Fellow in 1942.

Marjorie Sewell Cautley (1891–1954)—American landscape architect, writer, and lecturer known for her use of native plants and community design projects for middle-class families. Her best known work included four garden city projects in the New York metropolitan area: Sunnyside in Queens, Radburn in New Jersey, Phipps Garden Apartments adjacent to the Sunnyside community, and Hillside Homes in Brooklyn.

Martha Brookes Hutcheson (1871–1959)—American landscape architect, writer, and lecturer who advocated for the landscape architecture profession. She opened her practice in Boston in 1902, and some of her projects included large residential estates, farms, and private gardens in New England and New Jersey. She was elected as an ASLA Fellow in 1942.

For a more complete overview of women important to the development of landscape architecture, please refer to Unbounded Practice by Thaisa Way, ASLA, published by University of Virginia Press, 2009, or to Women, Design, and the Cambridge School by Dorothy May Anderson, published by the Preservation Press, 1989.

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