Landscape Architects: Please Don't Call Us 'Architects'

There's an important distinction here!

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This morning Atlantic Cities published a wonderful longform reported piece on the ongoing transformation of Youngstown, Ohio, by regular contributor Dan Denvir. If you haven't yet, you should take some time and read it.

We've received a lot of great feedback on Dan's story today, but none quite so wonderful as the correction request below from Karen Trimbath at the American Society of Landscape Architects. In his piece, Dan makes reference to Youngstown's Mill Creek Park, the city's "sprawling complex of forests, lakes and rose gardens" that was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Olmsted, of course, is America's most famous designer of urban park space, responsible for New York's Central Park and Prospect Park, the Grand Necklace of Parks in Milwaukee, the Emerald Necklace in Boston, and Jackson Park and Washington Park in Chicago, just to name a few.

Regrettably, in Dan's piece, we referred to Olmsted as a "famed architect," which is incorrect (even more regrettably, we initially misspelled "Olmsted.") As Trimbath was kind enough to point out, Olmsted was in fact a landscape architect (among his myriad pursuits), not some dolt who designed mere buildings. Licensed architects generally must complete about seven years of study, including a master's degree. Licensed landscape architects, on the other hand, study a quite different curriculum and typically have a choice between completing a four or five-year bachelor's degree or a two-year master's degree (or both — requirements vary among states). So a hearty mea culpa to you, American Society of Landscape Architects. Henceforth we shall never mistake you with architects again.

Hi Sommer,
 
I just read Daniel Denvir’s article about Youngstown, Ohio. It’s extremely compelling and really highlights the ongoing work to transform the city.
 
I do have one comment, though. The article refers to Frederick Law Olmsted as a “famed architect” when it should really be a “famed landscape architect”.
 
There really is a distinction between landscape architecture and architecture. Both are separate professions that require years of rigorous and distinct training, education, and licensure. More information is available in our media guide.
 
May I request that a correction be made? Thank you for your consideration.
 
Best,
Karen
 
Karen Trimbath
Public Relations Manager
American Society of Landscape Architects

Top image: Randym/Shutterstock.com

About the Author

  • Sommer Mathis is editor of CityLab. Previously she spent five years editing and reporting on the D.C. metro area at DCist.com and TBD.com.