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Monday, April 18, 2011

Garrett Eckbo

Garrett Eckbo (1910-2000) was born in New York but grew up in Alameda, California. He received an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture from the University of California, Berkeley in 1935. In 1936 he entered Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. Having lost interest in the landscape architecture courses being taught at the time, he chose instead to study architecture with Walter Gropius and developed his Modernist ideas along multi-disciplinary lines. Together with classmates Dan Kiley and James Rose, he helped start the modern movement in landscape design.

He moved back to California and worked briefly with landscape designer Thomas Church, and then he took a job with the Farm Security Administration, designing migrant worker camps. Throughout his career, Eckbo saw landscape design as a vehicle for social change.

In 1964 he started the firm of Eckbo, Dean, Austin & Williams, known as EDAW. He taught at the University of Southern California and was chair of the University of California, Berkeley's Department of Landscape Architecture from 1965-1969. In 1975 he was awarded the American Society of Landscape Architects' Medal of Honor.

From and

Eckbo sketches

Tucson Convention Center

Ambassador College, Pasadena, CA

Ocotillo Lodge, Palm Springs, CA

Fulton Mall, Fresno, CA

Residential garden in Berkeley, CA

Residential landscaping in Los Angeles, CA


  1. So fantastic. I've been to the Pasadena Ambassador college grounds.

  2. @Rhan: I read that some of the college buildings, as well as some of Eckbo's landscaping, were scheduled for demolition. I hope that's been avoided.