- Garrett Eckbo, a landscape architect whose work on new towns,
gardens, homes, parks and other public spaces made him a leader
of the modern landscape movement, has died at the age of 89.
he's one of the stellar figures of this century in the field,"
said Linda Jewell, professor of landscape architecture at
the University of California, Berkeley, where Eckbo taught.
service for Eckbo is planned for Nov. 12 at UC Berkeley. The
service will coincide with a landscape architecture symposium
on the campus where he taught and chaired the landscape architecture
best known works include housing for migrant farmworkers in
the 1940s, the plaza in Old Monterey, Berkeley 's waterfront,
and "firsts" such as the downtown pedestrian mall
in Fresno designed to reclaim for people the space previously
devoted to cars. Other projects included the Ladera planned
residential community near Stanford University and gardens
for cinema greats Gary Cooper and Louis B. Mayer. Eckbo also
was a major author of the state's open space master plan.
of the American Society of Landscape Architects, he was the
first professional environmental planner and urban designer
to be assigned by the government to help solve the Niagara
Falls erosion problem.
his bachelor's degree in landscape design from UC Berkeley
in 1935, after transferring from Marin Junior College in Kentfield.
He received a master's degree in landscape architecture from
Harvard University in 1938.
emotionalizes the intellect. Science intellectualizes the
emotions. Together, they bring order to nature and freedom
to man," he wrote in his 1969 book, "The Landscape
one finds the center of city or town only by the increasing
height of buildings, the increasing clamor of lights and signs,
and the increasing congestion of traffic," he wrote.
"We still build temples and palaces and many other splendid
structures, but they are lost in the modern urban jungle."
by Eckbo include "Landscape for Living" and "Urban
Landscape Design." In 1997, the UC Berkeley Art Museum
mounted a "Garrett Eckbo: Landscape for Living"
said Eckbo's books always contained numerous illustrations
of his observations and theoretical positions. Some of the
illustrations reflected actual projects, others were proposals
that Eckbo thought should be real, she said.
was always an advocate for the underclass," she said.
"Everything he did had a social agenda behind it."
him imaginative, artistic, modest about his talent while adamant
about his views and always willing to collaborate, sometimes
to his detriment. "Some of his work is spotty, some of
it extraordinary...," Jewell said. "I think it was
because he was always so accommodating of the needs and preferences
of the owner. When he had more freedom, that's when the projects
request of UC Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies,
Eckbo wrote "Public Landscape," ranking architectural
and planning successes and failures from the public arena.
He described the UC Berkeley campus in 1978 as a "melange
of unrelated and ill-assorted buildings."
a founding partner in Eckbo, Dean, Austin and Williams in
San Francisco before going into solo practice. He joined the
landscape architecture faculty at UC Berkeley in 1965 and
was a professor until 1978. He served as department chair
for four years.
numerous awards, including UC Berkeley's College of Environmental
Design Distinguished Alumnus of 1998, the American Society
of Landscape Architects Medal of Honor in 1975, the Architectural
League of New York's gold medal in 1950 and the American Institute
of Architect's merit award in 1953. In 1970, he won an American
Society of Landscape Architects' merit award for Lodi Park
in New Delhi, India.
had that way of making you feel special," said Jewell.
"First, last and always, I think everyone knew Garrett
as a first-class human being."
on May 14 after a stroke. He is survived by his wife, Arline,
of Oakland; daughters Marilyn Kweskin and Alison Peper of
Los Angeles; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.