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ASLA Launches The Landscape Architect’s Guide to Boston

From the Emerald Necklace to the Freedom Trail Sites, Boston’s green spaces are revered by tourists and locals alike. The Landscape Architect’s Guide to Boston, launched today by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), offers insider information about these designed landscapes and others you may not have heard of. It is located at

Twelve million people visit Boston annually, but most of those visitors possess only a rudimentary knowledge of the city’s landscapes and restrict their travel to the well-established tourist routes. With a tap of their smartphones, people can deepen their knowledge through expert commentary and more than 1,100 photos provided by 28 landscape architects.

Thomas R. Tavella, FASLA, president of ASLA, says that the guide is the first-ever website that describes 100 historic, modern and contemporary landscapes in Boston, Cambridge and Brookline—and explains why they captivate. It highlights historic monuments and parks and examples of new sustainable works—including Raymond V. Mellone Park, a cutting-edge park that also manages stormwater, and Condor Street Urban Wild, which caps toxic soils to create a new wildlife habitat and urban respite.

“This guide will answer questions you didn’t know you had about your favorite neighborhood parks and other landscapes,” says Tavella. “Boston’s vibrant public realm didn’t just magically appear but was carefully designed over the years, and is continually evolving, through interactions among elected leaders, communities and landscape architects.”

Boston has long been a trendsetter when it comes to urban design and sustainability. Its landscape architects have played a crucial role in making the city a better place to live, starting in the late 19th century, when Frederick Law Olmsted designed the Emerald Necklace, to today's generation of landscape architects who are creating waterfront parks and beloved green spaces. Boston ranks in the top 10 nationally for sustainability, park space and quality of life, in large part because its designed landscapes are integral to its urban fabric.

The guide is divided into 26 distinct tours in diverse neighborhoods in Boston, Cambridge and Brookline. Each tour covers multiple neighborhoods, and includes a printable walking or biking map for easy exploration.

The guide was created by ASLA in partnership with 28 nationally recognized landscape architects, all of whom are designers of the public realm and leaders in sustainable design. The guides were asked to explain the sites from a landscape architect’s point of view and show how the design of these sites influences how people interact with or even feel about these places.

The guides are:

  • Cathy Baker-Eclipse, ASLA, Boston Parks and Recreation Department
  • Maria Bellalta, ASLA, Boston Architectural College
  • Deneen Crosby, ASLA, Crosby | Schlessinger | Smallridge
  • Melissa Desjardins, ASLA, Dan Gordon Associates
  • Joe Geller, FASLA, Stantec Consulting
  • Lynne Giesecke, ASLA, Studio2112 Landscape Architecture
  • John Haven, ASLA, Keith LeBlanc Landscape Architecture
  • Gary Hilderbrand, FASLA, Reed Hilderbrand
  • Carol Johnson, FASLA, Carol R. Johnson Associates
  • Cortney Kirk, ASLA, Copley Wolff Design Group
  • Mary Lydecker, ASLA, Hargreaves Associates
  • Bill Madden, ASLA, Mikyoung Kim Design
  • Jeremy Martin, ASLA, Hargreaves Associates
  • Kaki Martin, ASLA, Klopfer Martin Design Group
  • Grace Ng, Student ASLA, Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, National Park Service
  • Marion Pressley, FASLA, Pressley Associates Landscape Architects
  • Robyn Reed, ASLA, Landworks Studio
  • Susannah Ross, ASLA, Sasaki
  • James Royce, ASLA, Studio2112 Landscape Architecture
  • Michael Sadler, ASLA, Boston Architectural College
  • JP Shadley, FASLA, Shadley Associates Landscape Architects
  • Cynthia Smith, FASLA, Halvorson Design Partnership
  • Laura Solano, ASLA, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
  • Laura Tenny, ASLA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Kenya Thompson, ASLA, Boston Redevelopment Authority
  • Jennifer Toole, ASLA, Toole Design Group
  • Robert Uhlig, ASLA, Halvorson Design Partnership
  • Gabrielle Weiss, Copley Wolff Design Group

Media wishing to interview the guides or learn more about the website should contact Karen Grajales, public relations manager, at [email protected] or (202) 216-2371. Images are available here. Please refer to the image titles for credit information.


List of Sites Featured in the Guide


Back Bay

Financial District / Government Center

Copley Square Granary Burying Ground
First Church King’s Chapel Burying Ground
City Hall Plaza

Boston / Cambridge Bike Network

The Garden of Peace
Faneuil Hall Marketplace


Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park
Fairsted, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Long Wharf
Site Central Wharf Plaza
Post Office Square Park


Cambridge Commons

Harbor Islands

John F. Kennedy Memorial Park Georges Island
Longfellow House Little Brewster Island and Boston Light
Mount Auburn Cemetery Peddocks Island
Spectacle Island

Cambridge: Harvard University

Harvard Yard

Jamaica Plain

The Plaza South Street Mall
Tanner Fountain Allandale Woods
LISE and Science Center Courtyards
Northwest Laboratory Courtyard

Lower Alston

Rockefeller Hall Raymond V. Mellone Park
Cabot Courtyard and Frisbie Place

Mission Hill

Cambridge: MIT

Levinson Plaza
Ray and Maria Stata Center Landscape Kevin W. Fitzgerald Park
North Court and Main Street
MIT's Public Art Collection

North End

Killian Court Paul Revere House Plaza and North Square
The Prado


Copp's Hill Burying Ground and Terrace
Bunker Hill Monument
John Harvard Mall

Public Alleys Bicycle Tour

City Square Park
The Harborwalk

Rose F. Kennedy Greenway

Charlestown Navy Yard Chinatown Park
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Dewey Square
Fort Point Channel Parks and Urban Arboretum

Charles River

Wharf District Parks
Charles River Esplanade Armenian Heritage Park
Nashua Street Park North End Parks
Lechmere Canal Park
North Point Park


Paul Revere Park Forest Hills Cemetery



JFK Presidential Library and Museum Cedar Street Gardens
Pope John Paul II Park Highland Park and Fort Hill

Malcolm X Park

East Boston

Horatio Harris Park
East Boston Greenway Puddingstone Garden
Piers Park

Southwest Corridor Park

Condor Street Urban Wild Southwest Corridor Park

Emerald Necklace

South Boston

Boston Common Fort Point Channel and Boston Children's Museum
Boston Public Garden South Boston Waterfront
Commonwealth Avenue Mall Pleasure Bay and Castle Island
Back Bay Fens Broadway
The Riverway William Day Boulevard and Carson Beach
Olmsted Park Harborwalk
Jamaica Pond
Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University

South End

Franklin Park Harriet Tubman Park
Berkeley Community Garden

Fenway / Kenmore

Fenway Park and Yawkey Way Blackstone Square and Franklin Square
Fenway Victory Gardens
The Robert McBride House

West Roxbury

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Courtyard Millennium Park
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Brook Farm
Christian Science Center Plaza

The Boston guide is the second produced by ASLA. The Landscape Architect’s Guide to Washington, D.C. was launched last year and so far has received more than 100,000 page views.

About the American Society of Landscape Architects

Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 15,000 members in 49 professional chapters and 76 student chapters. The Society's mission is to lead, to educate and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning and artful design of our cultural and natural environments. Members of the Society use the “ASLA” suffix after their names to denote membership and their commitment to the highest ethical standards of the profession.

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