1891 - 1980

William A. Strong

Born in Joliet, Illinois, Strong attended the University of Illinois, receiving a B.A. in 1914 and a B.S. in landscape architecture in 1916. After receiving an MLA from Harvard University in 1920, he moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he worked for the City Plan Commission and then for the joint offices of A.D. Taylor and Robert Witten. In 1925 Strong and Arthur Alexander formed the firm Alexander & Strong, where he remained until 1944, at which point he established his own practice.

Over the course of his career, Strong served as the landscape architect for the campuses of several cultural and educational institutions in Ohio, including Kent State University and the Holden Arboretum, and as a consultant for Lake View Cemetery and the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Fine Arts Garden. At Kent State University, he improved large portions of the campus, devising planting plans, and, planning and designing roads, parking areas, athletic fields, storm water and sewage systems. At the arboretum, he similarly planned a circulation network and developed numerous planting plans.

In addition to his institutional work, Strong was engaged in the planning of suburbs, military institutions, and several Federal Housing Administration-approved neighborhoods, such as Woodhill Homes and Carver Park in Cleveland, and Elizabeth Park and Edgewood Homes in Akron. He developed zoning ordinances in Ravenna, Ohio, prepared a master plan for Fort Knox, Kentucky, and helped plan Greenhills, Ohio, one of the Greenbelt Communities established by the New Deal’s Resettlement Administration. With Seward Mott and Arthur Alexander, Strong oversaw the Landscape Division’s, a sub-committee of Cleveland’s City Plan Commission, Civil Works administration-funded work producing plans and surveys of Cleveland’s parklands.

Strong became a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1939 and was both a national and regional trustee. He passed away in 1980 and is buried in Lake View Cemetery.