What's Out There Weekends

Lawrence Halprin's Legacy: Manhattan Square Park

Rochester, NY

Guide: JoAnn Beck, Landscape Architect 

Beck was a senior landscape architect and project manager for the City of Rochester for over twenty years. She managed design and capital improvement projects, including the ongoing rehabilitation of Manhattan Square Park.

Designed by Lawrence Halprin & Associates, Manhattan Square Park (now known as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Park) opened in 1974 as an element of Rochester’s urban renewal efforts. Since its inception, the multi-purpose facility has been threatened with redevelopment due to neglect and minimal use. But its recent phased rehabilitation has spurred hope that the park will see a renaissance in use and help to restore a shared value in public open space.

Beck will guide participants through the different sub-areas of the park. She will describe the original Halprin design and speak to how and why the park has changed over the years. Beck will also speak about the city’s master planning effort in 2000, and the ways in which it addressed the then-blighted park. Time will be reserved at the end of the tour for a discussion on the role of the park at the heart of Rochester’s downtown area, and the goals of the on-going rehabilitation.

This tour is part of a larger program intended to celebrate the life and legacy of landscape architect Lawrence Halprin. Learn more about the program and view other tours by returning to the event page for What's Out There Weekend: The Public Landscapes of Lawrence Halprin.