The Waterfall Building in Vancouver - Photo by Gerry Kopelow, 2011
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The Cultural Landscape Foundation Launches Oral History About Pioneering Landscape Architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander

Media Contact: Nord Wennerstrom, Wennerstrom Communications | T: 202.255.7076 | E:

Pioneers Oral History series is Winner of ASLA Award of Excellence - Communications

Washington, DC (April 19, 2011) –The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) has launched its sixth illustrated, online Pioneers Oral History, this one focused on landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander. Oberlander, whose career has spanned more than a half century, is a Fellow in both the Canadian and the American Societies of Landscape Architects (CSLA and ASLA, respectively), designed site plans for the New York Times Building (New York, NY), Cherokee Apartments (Philadelphia, PA), Robson Square (Vancouver, BC), and the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology (Vancouver, BC). She designed more than 70 playgrounds in the United States and Canada, including the Children’s Creative Center at Expo ’67 (Montreal, QC), and worked toward the establishment of Canada’s National Task Force on Play. In 30 separate segments totaling more than one and one half hours, Oberlander discusses her life, career, influences, philosophy and the significance of collaboration across disciplines.

The Oberlander Oral History includes a downloadable transcript of the interviews featured on the Web site. Also available are reflections by 14 of her friends, family, colleagues, collaborators and co-workers about Oberlander’s life, career, and legacy.

The series is an outgrowth of the Pioneers of American Landscape Design Project and currently includes oral histories with Edward Daugherty, M. Paul Friedberg, Lawrence Halprin, Carol Johnson, and James van Sweden. Collectively, these histories document and preserve the unique, first‐hand perspectives of renowned landscape practitioners, and makes them available free of charge to present and future generations of stewards, designers, researchers and others interested in the field.

“The Pioneers Oral History series is part of TCLF's overall goal of interpreting, preserving, and protecting our shared designed landscape heritage through our mission of ‘stewardship through education,’” said TCLF founder and president Charles A. Birnbaum. “These oral histories foster a richer, deeper appreciation for often invisible, typically little‐known, and, in some, instances threatened works of landscape architecture.”

The series format spotlights the designer’s personal and professional history, their overall design philosophy and how that approach was carried out in their most emblematic projects. Richly edited, the video segments include never before seen archival footage, new photography, and on‐location videography.

Currently in production is an oral history on the career of Stuart O. Dawson. The Pioneers Oral History series is winner of the ASLA 2010 Award of Excellence (Communications Category) and the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Design Arts grant. ASLA serves as the series official education partner.

About The Cultural Landscape Foundation
The 12-year old Cultural Landscape Foundation ( provides people with the ability to see, understand, and value landscape architecture and its practitioners, in the way many people have learned to do with buildings and their designers. Through its Web site, lectures, outreach, and publishing, TCLF broadens the support and understanding for cultural landscapes nationwide to help safeguard our priceless landscape heritage for future generations.