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Meet Lawrence Halprin, Designer of the 8th St. Water Feature

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Plaza 8, including the water feature next to Mead Public Library (pictured, left), was designed by the firm of noted landscape architect Lawrence Halprin.

Fountain Park

The Sheboygan Bicentennial Committee commissioned Halprin Associates to design the commemorative fountain in Fountain Park, installed in 1976 (pictured at right).



Halprin was born in Brooklyn, New York City, in1916. He attended Cornell University, earned a master's in horticulture at the University of Wisconsin, and a landscape architecture degree from Harvard University in 1942. He held an apprenticeship with Thomas Church in San Francisco and during that time he helped develop the contemporary California garden concept.

Halprin opened his own office in 1949. Since 1976 he has been a partner with Sue Yung Li Ikeda.

According to Muriel Emmanuel, in "Contemporary Architects," Halprin worked at a series of scales from sculptural fountains to urban renewal schemes to regional planning. He created landscapes available to all segments of society and generated on the basis of final user needs. The organic, free flowing, romantic people spaces that Halprin created owe everything to the lessons of nature and the needs of the twentieth century user.

Halprin is one of the most celebrated among environmental designers.

His projects range from designs for rapid transit systems to university campuses, from new cities to civic redevelopment, from large-scale land developments and inner-city parks to small private gardens. Among them are Sea Ranch on California's central coast, representing the application of town planning principles to a rural landscape; San Francisco's Ghirardelli Square, which involved restoring old buildings for new uses; Seattle's Freeway park, a re-making of a freeway into recreational space; and the Walter & Elise Haas Promenade in Israel, a 1-1/2 mile stone walkway overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem.

He was selected by the FDR Memorial Commission in 1974 to design the FDR Memorial. His design encompasses 7.5 acres in a park-like setting.


Conservation/preservation/restoration of existing installations:
Information re Denver, CO and Richmond, VA Halprin installations 
Project description for the Denver, CO, Halprin installation renovation project
Olympia, WA, Halprin installation saved

Sites about Lawrence Halprin:
Lawrence Halprin & Associates
Lawrence Halprin biographical information
The Lawrence Halprin collection
Lawrence Halprin - great buildings online

Print Resources at Mead Library:
"Preserving Modern Landscape Architecture: Making Postwar Landscapes Visible." Spacemaker Press, 2004. Includes essay by Lawrence Halprin.

"Cities" by Lawrence Halprin

"The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial" by Lawrence Halprin

"Notebooks, 1959-1971" by Lawrence Halprin

"The RSVP Cycles: Creative Processes in the Human Environment" by Lawrence Halprin

"Sketchbooks of Lawrence Halprin" by Lawrence Halprin

"Taking Part: A Workshop Approach to Collective Creativity" by Lawrence Halprin and Jim Burns.