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Coast to Coast – Free Tours of Landscapes, from Rural to Postmodern

A broad array of landscapes from rural to Postmodern will be featured in upcoming free tours in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts and in Los Angeles. The Cultural Landscape Foundation, with support from the Boston  and Southern California ASLA chapters, is hosting What's Out There Weekend, offering free, expert-led tours of dozens of designed landscapes on September 21-22 in the Berkshires and October 26-27 in Los Angeles.

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Previous Weekends have been held in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. The Berkshires program, the first non-urban Weekend, covers nearly 30 sites that run the entire length of Berkshire County, from Williams College in the north to Bartholomew’s Cobble in the south.

Featured destinations include Naumkeag, showcasing the work of Nathan Barrett and Fletcher Steele; Edith Wharton’s The Mount, with design contributions from Beatrix Farrand; as well as important historical sites along the African American Heritage Trail, historic farmsteads, and town commons. There is also a special focus on the region’s rich legacy of golf course design featuring the work of notable golf course architects A.W. Tillinghast, Donald Ross, and Wayne Stiles. Dedicated tee times have been arranged at six area courses  (some of which are private and not normally opened to the public), and there are discounts available at area hotels. Complete details and registration information is now available at TCLF’s website.

The Los Angeles tours range from sites that feature the region’s Spanish Colonial and Asian heritage to a collection of Postmodern sites in downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena by Lawrence Halprin. Over the course of these two days, destinations include: Beverly Gardens Park and Civic Center in Beverly Hills; Fern Dell in Burbank; the Getty Villa and the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica; and the Storrier‐Stearns Japanese Garden and La Casita del Arroyo in Pasadena. Complete details and registration will go live at on September 18.

The Weekends are an offshoot of TCLF’s What’s Out There database of the nation’s designed landscapes, which currently features more than 1,400 sites, 9,000 images, and 700 designer profiles. The website has been newly optimized for smartphones and similar handheld devices and includes a GPS-enabled function called What's Nearby, which locates all sites in the database within a 25-mile radius.

Comments September 10, 2013 4:11 PM
On October 12 there will be two free tours in New Haven of National Historic District Hillhouse Avenue, with its 14 mansions and their landscape settings, all owned by Yale University, as part of a University Open House. Tours will be at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., by Channing Harris, ASLA, member of the firm Towers|Golde, who did extensive work on the landscape preservation. The work of past landscape architects A. J. Downing, Beatrix Farrand, Marion Coffin, and others will be discussed, as well as building architects. Meet at Grove St and Hillhouse Avenue.
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