Historic landscapes are interwoven with our sense of community and place. It is important to preserve these special places, especially in Southern California, where commercial and residential development respond quickly to market demands, earthquakes and fires threaten, and vandalism and neglect erase history over time. The Southern California American Society of Landscape Architects HALS Chapter promotes and supports the documentation, preservation, and appreciation of historic landscapes throughout Southern California. We collaborate with a broad base of individuals and organizations interested in historic and cultural landscapes and invite you to join us in this worthy endeavor.
ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) has an active HALS Program which engages with the National Park Service (NPS), will help support Southern California HALS and will provide guidance and resources. Their mission includes recording historic landscapes in the United States and its territories through measured drawings and interpretive drawings, written histories, and large- format black and white photographs and color photographs. ASLA has an active and supportive HALS Professional Practice Network, which shares information on cultural landscapes, supports Chapter HALS committees and assists with technical information for documentation.
The National Park Service manages the HALS National program, and formulates policies, sets standards, and drafts procedural guidelines in consultation with ASLA for HALS documentation which is submitted to the Library of Congress. The Prints & Photographs Division of the Library of Congress preserves the documentation for posterity and makes it available to the general public, making it the preeminent source of documentation for historic properties.
Examples of SoCal Historic Landscapes
“The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) mission is to record historic landscapes in the United States and its territories through measured drawings and interpretive drawings, written histories, and large-format black and white photographs and color photographs. The National Park Service oversees the daily operation of HALS and formulates policies, sets standards, and drafts procedural guidelines in consultation with the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). The ASLA provides professional guidance and technical advice through their Historic Preservation Professional Practice Network. The Prints & Photographs Division of the Library of Congress preserves the documentation for posterity and makes it available to the general public.
Documentation of HALS sites are critical to preserving historical landscapes for the benefit of future generations and can provide rationale for the planning and funding of future landscape preservation efforts. Documentation projects can be completed by any interested individuals or organizations. The HABS/HAER/HALS collection is one of the largest and well-organized architectural archives in the world.”
HALS CA-123: Documentation of Laguna Beach.
Submitted to the Library of Congress June, 2016
Database development of Southern California historic landscapes suitable for HALS documentation.