Landslide2008: Marvels of Modernism

Manhattan Square Park

Rochester, New York

Designed by Lawrence Halprin

“Forms are drawn from nature but are abstracted in a man made way; nevertheless the final design is as enticingly tempting as a mountain brook.”
- Lawrence Halprin, Process Architecture, No. 4 (1978)

A pioneer in the field of Modern landscape architecture, Lawrence Halprin designed and executed the plans for Manhattan Square Park as part of downtown Rochester’s urban renewal during the early 1970s.

The amphitheater plaza, space-frame, berm garden, and promenade—all elements of Halprin’s original plan— remain intact today. The park has received renewed attention due to recent renovations of the play area and skating rink. However, if such improvements are carried out without a true understanding of the park’s significant design, they could threaten its most unique elements. 


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