Momentum for What's Out There Virginia

Unversity of Virginia campus, Charlottesville, VA
Unversity of Virginia campus, Charlottesville, VA -

The Commonwealth of Virginia’s exceptional designed landscape legacy is being chronicled through a state-specific What's Out There Virginia initiative and will be showcased during What’s Out There Weekend Richmond tours October 25-26, 2014.

The former, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts – Art Works Program, the Sara Shallenberger Brown Cultural Landscapes and Sites Initiative Endowed Fund, and Bartlett Tree Experts, will add approximately 150 sites to What’s Out There, the nationwide database that now houses more than 1,500 site entries, 900 designer profiles and 10,000 images.


James River
(upper) Altria Reynolds International, photo by Katherine Canella; (lower)
James River Park System, photo by Jennifer Livingston.
What’s Out There Virginia, launched in June 2013, is being conducted in conjunction with the landscape architecture programs at the University of Virginia (UVa) and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). The program has already added a diverse group of landscapes including: The Colonial Revival Berkeley Plantation in Charles City, one of the first settlements in the Commonwealth that features ten acres of formal terraced gardens along the James River; Barboursville Vineyard, the earliest commercial vineyard to establish vines in Virginia, which includes the stabilized ruins of a house modeled on a design by Thomas Jefferson and 900 acres of undulating Piedmont topography; and Richmond’s James River Park System, designed by the landscape architecture firm of Danadjieva and Koenig Associates in the late 1970s to connect the downtown area with the river and highlight the natural rapids and island gardens.

The What’s Out There Virginia program engages students directly by paying them to work on the documentation of significant sites, and is a prototype for other university partnerships. TCLF’s 2014 Boasberg Fellow Shannon Leahy is also working on the project. With faculty supervision by newly appointed Dean of the UVa School of Architecture Beth Meyer and Virginia Tech Chair and Associate Professor Brian Katen and Associate Professor Terry Clements, the students research, photograph, and write about a diverse array of cultural landscapes. The first product to come from that research is the What’s Out There Virginia guidebook, which outlines the range of sites and designers across the state, represented through photographs, diagrams, maps, and concisely-written narratives. TCLF is working on similar projects with four university landscape architecture programs and a historic preservation program in the Lone Star State on What’s Out There Texas and, with generous support from the firm Design Workshop, we are working with the University of Colorado at Denver in preparation for the annual meeting of the American Society of Landscape Architects in November 2014.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Advisory Council
(upper) Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, photo by Jennifer Livingston;
(lower) Advisory Council meeting at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden,
June 2, 2014.
Important to the success of the What’s Out There Virginia program and What’s Out There Weekend Richmond is TCLF’s strong partnership with two dozen local landscape architects, architects, preservation non-profits, and government agencies as advisors. The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, which will display TCLF’s Every Tree Tells A Story photographic exhibition September 26-November 5, 2014, recently hosted a meeting of the group—which includes representatives from Scenic Virginia, the National Park Service, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, and the Virginia Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects—to provide guidance on the selection of tour sites and discuss logistics for the Weekend. Among the site recommendations are the Picturesque Chimborazo Park, the Beaux Arts Monument Avenue, and the Modernist Kanawha Plaza

What’s Out There Weekends, which offer free, expert-led tours of culturally rich landscapes, have been held in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. Each Weekend enables participants to discover the design history of places they may pass every day but don’t necessarily know about, as well as learn about the people who designed them, and more broadly, about landscape architecture and city shaping.


What’s Out There Virginia Advisory Council

William “Billy” Almond, FASLA, Vice President and Principal-In-Charge, WPL Site Design | Virginia Beach
Sara Lee Barnes, Development Events & Stewardship Coordinator, University of Virginia Library | Keswick  
Margaret Page Bemiss, Garden Club of Virginia | Richmond
Missy Benson, Playworld Systems, American Society of Landscape Architects Virginia Chapter  | Richmond
Kent Brinkley, FASLA, Founder and Principal, Brinkley Landscape Architecture | Williamsburg  
Sally Guy Brown, Chair, Restoration Committee, Garden Club of Virginia | Alexandria   
Roger Courtenay, FASLA, Principal, AECOM Alexandria | Arlington    
Lynn Crump, ASLA, Environmental Programs Planner, VA Department of Conservation and Recreation | Richmond
Sarah Driggs, Architectural historian | Richmond       
Robert Easter, AIA, NOMA, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Architecture | Hampton
Dick Gibbons, FASLA, Former Chief of Planning, VA Department of Conservation and Recreation | Richmond 
Eleanor Gould, Curator of Gardens, Monticello | Charlottesville     
David Hill, ASLA, Founder and Principal, Hill Studio | Roanoke   
James Hill, Principal Planner, Department of Planning and Development Review, City of Richmond | Richmond
Mary Hughes, FASLA, University Landscape Architect, Office of the Architect, University of Virginia | Charlottesville
Jay Hugo, ASLA, AIA, Principal, 3North | Richmond      
Randee Humphrey, Director of Education, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden | Richmond
Kathleen S. Kilpatrick, Executive Director, Capitol Square Preservation Council | Richmond 
Elizabeth Kostelny, Executive Director, Preservation Virginia | Richmond
Lucy Lawliss, Supt., Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, National Park Service | Fredericksburg
Calder C. Loth, Former Director & Senior Architectural Historian, Virginia Department of Historic Resources | Richmond
Roddy Moore, Director, Blue Ridge Institute and Museum | Ferrum    
Glenn Oder, Executive Director, Fort Monroe Authority | Hampton
Leighton Powell, Executive Director, Scenic Virginia | Richmond    
John Reynolds, FASLA, Former Deputy Director, National Park Service | Crozet
Selden Richardson, Board President, ACORN | Richmond  
Will Rieley, Founder and Principal, Rieley& Associates Landscape Architects | Charlottesville   
Frank Robinson, President and CEO, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden | Richmond    
Joseph Siepel, Dean, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts | Richmond
Jimmy Shepherd, President, American Society of Landscape Architects Virginia Chapter | Richmond  
Glenn Stach, RLA, Preservation Landscape Architect & Planner, Virginia Department of Historic Resources | Richmond
Christopher Stevens, ASLA, Landscape Architect, HALS, National Park Service | Washington, DC  
John C. Watkins, Senator, Senate of Virginia; Chairman of the Board, Watkins Nurseries, Inc.; Board Trustee, CJW Medical Center; Board Chair, Essex Bank and Community Bankers Trust | Midlothian

For more information, please contact Dena Tasse-Winter at dena@tclf.org.