Born in Ansonia, Connecticut, Peck received a B.S. from Massachusetts Agricultural College and a B.A. from Boston University, which he completed in 1904. He began his career in private practice in Boston and Montreal leaving to teach at Kansas State Agricultural College from 1907 to 1908.
Peck relocated to Oregon to take a position as Floriculturalist and Landscape Gardener at Oregon State Agricultural College (now Oregon State University) in 1908. In 1909, John Charles Olmsted wrote a sixty-page report outlining the look and feel of the campus. Olmsted traveled without a draftsman, so Peck drew the first plan for the campus based upon Olmsted’s ideas. Peck’s role at Oregon would expand to Campus Landscape Architect, then Professor of Landscape Architecture, and Department Head a title he maintained until his retirement in 1948. While at Oregon, Peck was instrumental in establishing the landscape architecture program, one of the first professional degree programs in the subject in the western U.S. Peck took a brief hiatus from teaching from 1911 to 1913 to engage in private practice. His projects during this period included a plan for Julia Davis Park in Boise, Idaho. He continued to take private commissions throughout his career, designing the site plan for the Visitor’s Center at Oregon Caves National Park in 1923, and serving as landscape architect for the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon, completed in 1930. A writer, as well as an educator, he authored the book Landscape Gardening, which was published in 1917.
Image courtesy Harriet’s Collection, Special Collections & Archives Research Center, Oregon State University Libraries.