Landslide2008: Marvels of Modernism

Photos courtesy Mery Bingen


Today, El Monte is threatened by lack of public (and professional) awareness as well as by lack of maintenance and, unintentionally misguided interventions.

The history of the profession of landscape architecture in Puerto Rico is one of untold stories and unsung pioneering individuals. El Monte’s heritage is no different. Even though El Monte lies within densely populated metropolitan San Juan, the site’s seclusion further fosters its “invisibility” as a historic designed landscape. This lack of recognition of the site’s heritage is largely due to the incomplete documentation of the gardens and open spaces—both of the initial plans and the alterations that have occurred over time—which hinders the landscape preservation and planning processes. Moreover, minimal maintenance of the grounds has let to over-maturity and decay. Overgrown vegetation and fencing now block its vistas and the ephemeral yet significant vegetative features that are so important to El Monte’s sense of place.

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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