Landslide2008: Marvels of Modernism



Though the significant character-defining elements of the site retain remarkable integrity, just weeks after landmark designation took place in spring 2008, the City of Kent began construction to raise the height of the earthen berm by two feet. The project was undertaken in response to a new Washington State Department of Ecology regulation meant to prevent catastrophic flooding. (The new dam spillway meets a 10,000 year storm requirement, Bayer’s design addressed a 100 year storm requirement.) City of Kent staff and King County Historic Preservation staff are working closesly with environmental engineers to minimize the visual impact and oversee construction.


Photos courtesy Cheryl dos Remédios

The City’s Parks Department maintains the site. Today, intensive maintenance is not conducted due to regulatory and funding restrictions related to the local salmon population. When the Earthworks was constructed, the visual delineation between what was “natural” and what was built was distinct, due in large part to the minimal plant palette of the lawn and the poplar trees. The simple plantings contrasted strongly with the richly textured foliage and forms of the adjacent wild forest. Insufficient maintenance has the potential to significantly alter the site and return portions of it back to a “natural” state which would quickly diminish its integrity.




back | next


List of Marvels

Boston City Hall Plaza
Boston, Massachusetts

Estates Drive Reservoir
Oakland, California

Heritage Plaza
Heritage Park
Fort Worth, Texas

Kaiser Roof Garden
Kaiser Center
Oakland, California

Lake Elizabeth
Allegheny Commons
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Manhattan Square Park
Rochester, New York

Mill Creek Canyon

Kent, Washington

Miller Garden
Columbus, Indiana

El Monte
Hato Rey, Puerto Rico

Pacific Science
Center Courtyard

Seattle, Washington

San Francisco, California

Peavey Plaza
Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, Minnesota

education partners
Garden DesignGeorge Eastman House
Additional Sponsors

American Society of Landscape Architects’ Indiana, Pennsylvania/Delaware, Minnesota, Northern California, Texas, Upstate New York, and Washington Chapters • Astorino • Charles Butt • Design Within Reach • Topher Delaney • Sandy Donnell & Justin Faggioli • Fathom • Tom Fox • Hillman Foundation • Indianapolis Museum of Art • Lorraine Osmundson • Richard T. Murphy • National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Northeast, Southwest, and Western Offices- with funds from the Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation of New York, Dodge Jones Foundation Intervention Fund, and Eastern Massachusetts Preservation Fund • James Richards • Seibert & Rice • Diana & Bruce Shuman • Ann Stack • SWA Group • TBG Partners • Michal and Jeffrey William Tincup • Unilock Inc. • The Woltz Charitable Trust