Call for Center of Landscape Architecture Building Donations

To my fellow landscape architects,

I’m writing to invite you to join me in donating to an exciting project to promote the image and ethic of our great profession. The ASLA Board of Trustees has approved a plan to renovate the Society’s headquarters building and create a world-class Center for Landscape Architecture to inspire and engage our staff, our membership, allied professionals, public officials, and the general public. 

As you may know, the Society purchased our current building in downtown Washington for $2.4 million in 1997, just as the neighborhood was being revitalized. Situated halfway between Capitol Hill and the White House, today it’s an incredible location in a vibrant neighborhood. While the building is structurally sound, after 17 years of occupancy it’s in shabby condition. During that time, our membership has grown by 50 percent and our staff and programs have expanded as well. In short, the building is poorly configured for our current needs. 

After an intense RFP process, Gensler was selected to lead the design team, which includes award-winning landscape architecture firm Oehme, van Sweden, so our profession’s values will be well-represented. We plan to build to LEED Platinum™ and Well™ building standards. 

Our mortgage was paid off last summer and our building is currently valued at $6.9 million. We will finance most of the renovation project by leveraging the building’s equity, but we will also raise $1 million in donations from individuals, firms, chapters, and companies. 

Since the Board approved the project on November 20, we’ve received more than $166,000 in payments and pledges, without even asking. The more funds we raise, the better off the project will be. We’ve established giving levels and naming rights. Pledges may be paid over three years and donations will go through the ASLA Fund, making them charitable contributions. I hope you will review the information and images on the web site and give generously to establish a Center for Landscape Architecture. 

Thank you for your kind consideration and happy holidays to you and yours,

James Burnett, FASLA
Fundraising Task Force Chair
Center for Landscape Architecture

Center for Landscape Architecture Fundraising Task Force Members:

Gerdo Aquino, FASLA
Ignacio Bunster-Ossa, FASLA
Thomas Balsley, FASLA
Brian Clark, FASLA
Andrea Cochran, FASLA
Chris Dimond, FASLA
Mark Johnson, FASLA
Mia Lehrer, FASLA
Mario Nievera, FASLA
  Thomas Oslund, FASLA
Martin Poirier, FASLA
Janet Rosenberg, FASLA
Brian Sawyer, ASLA
Peter L. Schaudt, FASLA
Glen Schmidt, FASLA
Christy Ten Eyck, FASLA
James Wolterman, FASLA
Thomas Woltz, FASLA

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December 2014 Trustee Report

Greetings from Denver!  It is great to be in a City where our Rams beat the host team! Denver has been a great host. Lots of signs in downtown Denver welcoming ASLA and a vibrant downtown experience.  

A few highlights of the Trustee meeting and convention. First, big congratulations to Hunter Beckham. Hunter was inducted as a Fellow and as Vice-President for Professional Practice for ASLA. Both well earned achievements and a busy weekend for Hunter at the convention. 

 The biggest highlight of the Trustee meeting was the approval of a budget to renovate the ASLA headquarters in Washington DC. If you have been to the headquarters, you know the need for the renovation.  While ASLA’s greenroof has been a great success in raising awareness of the profession, the rest of the building is in sore need of an upgrade. Besides many needed functional upgrades, the renovation will include a more transparent first floor and better meet the public space of the street.  The entrance and façade of the building will let visitors know that they are approaching the headquarters of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Leading practitioners who have seen the early concept sketches are calling the renovated building the “Center for Landscape Architecture”.  It will truly be a worthwhile investment that will pay dividends for ASLA for years to come. You will be hearing more about the renovation next year as part of the funding will be a capital campaign. James Barnett is leading a committee of practitioners who will be spearheading the campaign. 

The other big item from the Trustee meeting was that ASLA and the USGBI are close to finalizing the agreements necessary for the USGBI to host SITES moving forward.  Again, look for more news going into next year. 

The Annual Meeting was a great success with over 5,200 attendees and the largest expo to date!  It’s amazing to see the bread and scope of our profession and all the landscape architects who come to the conference. A quick story – I ran into the president and executive director of APA at a reception while in Denver. They were impressed with our conference turnout, especially as it relates to the percentage of overall members.

There is really too much going within ASLA to quickly summarize in one report.  If you want to talk in detail about what is going on, especially with the “Center for Landscape Architecture”, feel free to call or email me anytime at 314-265-3178 or [email protected]. I’m always honored to serve as your trustee.

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