Landslide2008: Marvels of Modernism








Lawrence Halprin and Associates designed Manhattan Square Park in 1972 and the park opened to the public in 1974.


The five-acre park, located in the southeast corner of downtown Rochester, was designed to serve people of all ages. The park was built as designed and included a children’s play area with a wading pool, regulation-size hockey rink which converted to tennis and basketball courts in the warmer months, football field-sized meadow for active play, berm garden, promenade, park drive (Manhattan Square Drive), and sky-lit pedestrian underpass below Chestnut Street. The focal point of the site was a plaza and 2,000-person amphitheater with a restaurant, waterfall fountain, and overhead space frame with an observation tower.

The design is a complex multi-level structure, defined by strong landforms, concrete steps and walls, and angular patterns. At the time of its opening the park was celebrated as Halprin’s most multi-purpose facility—adding a “forth dimension” —extending upward with a huge space frame. A staircase within the frame provided a unique experience for visitors to engage the design’s myriad levels and views.

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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