What's Out There Texas Program Officially Launched

WOT Texas Launch Party
Doug Reed speaks at the What's Out There Texas launch party
What’s Out There Texas officially launched February 20th with a reception at the exquisite home of Will and Catherine Rose. Our gracious hosts greeted more than 100 people from throughout the state who packed the house, including members of the media, representatives from the public and private sectors, academics, historians, TCLF Board Members, patrons and friends of landscape architecture. 


We also unveiled a What's Out There Texas (WOTTexas) booklet that proved immensely popular.  It chronicles the evolution of landscape architecture in the state from the Picturesque and Beaux Arts styles to Modern. The booklet also highlights the unique Texas commissions of George Kessler, Dan Kiley and Lawrence Halprin, among others. We are grateful to Asakura Robinson, TBG and Townscape, Inc. for their support of its production (A pdf version of the booklet can be downloaded at http://tclf.org/sites/default/files/WOT-Texas-Booklet.pdf).

WOT Texas Booklet
What's Out There Texas booklet, cover image Valley House
Sculpture Garden, Dallas, TX (Clarence Roy).
What’s Out There Texas is part of an extensive nationwide effort to document the nation’s designed landscape heritage and requires ongoing support and assistance. We are proud and honored to announce the receipt of lead gifts – each for $10,000 – from the Edward W. Rose III Family Fund of The Dallas Foundation, The John and Florence Newman Foundation in San Antonio, and Marshall and Dee Ann Payne in Dallas. In addition, buildingcommunityWORKSHOP will underwrite and host our inaugural WOTTexas paid intern to document historic designed landscapes in Dallas. We have also received generous pledges from the Texas Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and others.

Additionally, more than a dozen professional offices have offered to house student interns, while a number of regional non profits have agreed to serve as student mentors. Finally, TCLF has already received firm commitments from the Landscape Architecture programs at Texas A&M, UT Austin, and UT Arlington to help us introduce students to the What’s Out There program, and we thank Fritz Steiner, Dean of the School of Architecture in Austin, and the four faculty from University of Texas at Arlington who attended the launch event.

Heritage PArk

Museum of Fine Arts
(upper) Heritage Park, Fort Worth, TX (Lawrence Halprin); (lower)
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX (Ruth London).
“The beautiful Edward Larabee Barnes-designed home of our delightful hosts, with an elegant landscape by Reed Hilderbrand, was the perfect place in which to launch What’s Out There Texas,” said TCLF Board Member Lisa Lowry. “What guests saw that evening was great design, something of which we have an abundance in Texas and which we need to document and share with the rest of the country.”

“My students and other future practitioners gain valuable insights and understanding of designed landscapes as contributors to What’s Out There Texas,” said Jim Richards of the University of Texas, Arlington. “Walking a landscape, and understanding and documenting its history and design intent provides valuable context.”

We are very grateful to those who have stepped forward to support the program and need the assistance of others to complete it. 

The What’s Out There database, launched in late 2009 after ten years of development, currently features more than 1,300 entries complemented by more than 9,000 photographs. The Texas-based initiative is the second single state focus and follows last year’s completion of a program about Maine, which resulted in more than 100 entries. Next month, TCLF will launch a version of What’s Out There that’s more compatible with smartphones and other mobile devices, and includes a new feature – What’s Nearby – a GPS enabled feature that shows adjacent sites in the database.