Wurtheimer Residence sketch
Barbara Fealy
1903 - 2000

Barbara Vorse Fealy

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Fealy exhibited a passion for plants and drawing from childhood. Her father, Albert Justin, owned one of Utah’s largest wholesale plant nurseries, where she often volunteered her time. She earned a B.S. in landscape architecture from the University of Illinois in 1925, studying under luminaries Stanly White and Jens Jensen, the latter a visiting professor who instilled in her an appreciation for native plants. After graduation, Fealy worked at the landscape architecture firm McCrary, Culley and Carhart in Denver, Colorado, from 1926 to 1930. In 1932 she served on the first Utah State Planning Commission. Around that time, she opened her own practice in Utah working there until moving to Portland, Oregon, in 1947, where she practiced landscape architecture until 1995.

Known as a “matriarch of landscape architecture in the Pacific Northwest,” Fealy designed the landscape for the Salishan Resort in Gleneden Beach, Oregon, which brought her wide recognition. Most of her projects were, however, private residences, as was her earliest documented professional work, the Howard & Marian Bennion House in Salt Lake City (listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2013). Notable public projects include the Timberline Lodge near Oregon’s Mount Hood (listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977) and the “Portland Garden” in Yarigihara Park in Sapporo, Japan.

Fealy’s professional records are held in the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives. She was named a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1985. She died in 2000 in Beaverton, Oregon.