Landscape Series: Charles Eliot and the Modernization of Boston's Landscape

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Charles Eliot was the son of Harvard President Charles William Eliot, a visionary landscape architect, and protégé of Frederick Law Olmsted. He inspired the 1891 Trustees of Public Reservations — what is now the oldest regional land trust in the world — and had a central role in shaping the Boston Metropolitan Park System. He was the guiding vision behind the transformation of the banks of Charles River in Cambridge and, although he did not live to see his plans reach fruition, his work accelerated the rescue of the Charles from a virtual sewer to one of the most picturesque features of region’s landscape. Professor Berizbeitia will talk about Eliot’s work and his legacy in landscape design.

Anita Berrizbeitia is Professor of Landscape Architecture and Director of the Master in Landscape Architecture Degree Programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her research focuses on design theories of modern and contemporary landscape architecture, the productive aspects of landscapes, and Latin American cities and landscapes. Berrizbeitia has taught design theory and studio, most recently at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, where she was Associate Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture. Her studios investigate innovative approaches to the conceptualization of public space, especially on sites where urbanism, globalization, and local cultural conditions intersect. From 1987 to 1993, she practiced with Child Associates, Inc., in Boston, where she collaborated on many award-winning projects. She was awarded the 2005/2006 Prince Charitable Trusts Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture. A native of Caracas, Venezuela, she studied architecture at the Universidad Simon Bolivar before receiving a BA from Wellesley College and an MLA from the GSD.

The Landscape Architects series has been made possible by the generous underwriting of Stephen Stimson Associates Landscape Architects and is cosponsored by the Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Nichols House Museum.