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Glenn LaRue Smith

“Out of the Shadows: Black Landscape Architects, 1898–1965”

Glenn LaRue Smith.

Mellon Fellow in Urban Landscape Studies, Spring

The focus of Smith’s research is to chronicle the cultural climate, areas of practice, and significant accomplishments of Black graduates of landscape architecture programs in the United States. Smith will argue that the work of these early Black landscape architects, with some exceptions, was directed by the post-Reconstruction and Civil Rights–era political and cultural climate in the United States. This research will fill a knowledge void in landscape architecture history about the lives and professional work of Black landscape architects who practiced between 1898 and 1965. Initial research indicates that many of these Black designers were active at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and community-based work within Black communities.

Glenn LaRue Smith, ASLA, is cofounder and principal of PUSH studio in Washington, DC, and founder and current president of the Black Landscape Architects Network (BlackLAN). His work has ranged from private-sector garden design to urban waterfronts and community redevelopment to community playgrounds and, most recently, memorial monument design. He has directed graduate landscape architecture programs at two HBCUs, Florida A&M University and Morgan State University. He has been an invited design charrette critic in major American cities, a juror on architecture and landscape design competitions, and a book reviewer and periodical article writer for numerous architecture and landscape architecture publications.  Since 2010, He has been chronicling the history of Black landscape architects in the United States. Smith holds an MLA degree from the University of Michigan and a BLA degree from Mississippi State University. He is a Loeb Fellow-Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) where he focused on environmental justice.