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Lockwood deForest

Forest, Lockwood de, Jr. (American landscape architect, 1896-1949)

Lockwood de Forest III was born in New York City, son of the atmospheric landscape painter and furniture designer Lockwood de Forest, Jr. The younger de Forest (known professionally as Lockwood de Forest, Jr.) shared his father’s eye for nature and his artistic sensibilities. In 1912, he was sent west to attend Thacher School in California, where he became deeply attached to the West Coast landscape. After graduating from Thacher School, de Forest attended Williams College in Massachusetts. At this time, he took his first landscape design class at Harvard University. After World War I, he returned to the University of California at Berkeley, where he completed one year in the new landscape architecture program. De Forest left school to begin work, and never completed his degree, but he was eventually licensed in California as a landscape architect and he became a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Lockwood de Forest and his wife, Elizabeth Kellam de Forest, practiced landscape architecture together in southern California beginning in the 1920s. They also established, edited, and published The Santa Barbara Gardener from 1925 to 1942. Publication ended when Lockwood de Forest left to serve in World War II. After the war, de Forest returned to landscape architecture until his death in 1949, but the magazine was not revived.

Informed by his California childhood and several trips to Europe, de Forest crafted a landscape architecture aesthetic defined by bold effects, asymmetrical elements juxtaposed with formal details, and painterly designs. His work was represented in private estates and public gardens around the state, including Casa del Herrero, the Val Verde estate, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. At the Botanic Garden, de Forest at times worked side-by-side with Beatrix Farrand, who also consulted on the gardens there. Of his private work, the Val Verde estate is considered the only garden that remains as de Forest designed it.



Churchill, Maria. “The Landscaping Artistry of Lockwood de Forest.” Montecito Magazine, reprinted by Richard Mann Real Estate. Accessed August 5, 2014. (accessed August 5, 2014).

Cultural Landscape Foundation. “Lockwood de Forest, III.” Accessed August 5, 2014.

Herold, Ann. “A Glorious Sight Unseen.” Los Angeles Times. June 2, 2005.

Michelson, Alan. “De Forest, Lockwood.” Pacific Coast Architecture Database. Last modified January 24, 2014.