HALS Reports

2021 HALS Competition

Each year, the Historic American Landscape Survey (HALS), through the National Park Service Heritage Documentation Program, sponsors a competition to document a significant landscape.

This year's theme is Historic Black Landscapes. The deadline is July 31st. CGLHS encourages everyone to participate. This is an important and little-known part of our culture.

"For the 12th annual HALS Challenge, we invite you to document historic Black landscapes. Black people have built and shaped the American landscape in immeasurable ways. Examining these histories and spaces will expand our understanding of America's past and future. From plantations to segregated cities, the nation's landscapes retain the physical manifestations of our racial history. Yet historic Black landscapes also represent creative achievements and reflect Black culture, as seen in residential gardens, parks, and college campuses across this country. Documenting historic Black landscapes will reveal patterns of community that have been built over the course of four hundred years."

Information and the report template are located at NPS.gov/hdp/competitions/HALS_Challenge.html

The Historic American Landscapes Survey uses both a short-form report, supported with some research and a few digital photos, and a much more involved long-form format with detailed drawings and in-depth research. The short-format HALS report used for this competition is the easiest and most accessible form of recordation. The program also provides flexibility, and a short-format report may be expanded at a later date. 

Please see below for members' previous submissions.

For help in choosing sites and to avoid duplication for the 2021 Challenge, please contact:

Libby Simon, CGLHS Board Member, Southern California ASLA committee member


The HALS Mission

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 Prints & Photographs Division of the Library of Congress preserves the documentation for posterity and makes it available to the general public. For more information visit the NPS site here.

Chris Stevens, acting Chief of the National Park Service Historic American Landscapes Survey and Landscape Architect for the HALS Program since 2008 described the benefits and opportunities of the project and process of documenting a landscape for submission to the NPS in his talk Documenting Landscapes in Perpetuity: The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) to CGLHS members on May 12, 2021. 

HALS Reports by CGHLS Members 

Members of CGLHS have contributed to many HALS projects in California and beyond. Documentation on Californian locations prepared by CGLHS members is listed below with links to the Library of Congress repository.

Griffith Park Zoo, Los Angeles - Report by Libby Simon (2014) 

Sutter’s Fort, Sacramento - Report by Janet Gracyk (2016)

Wellesley Park, Redwood City - Report by Diana J. Painter (2005)

Sunset Headquarters, Menlo Park - Report by Janet Gracyk, Chris Pattillo, Jill Johnson, Sarah Raube, and others (2015) 

Olompali State Historic Park, Marin County - Report by Carol Roland (2019)

Links to reports submitted by members in the 2020 HALS Challenge "Vanishing or Lost Landscape" are highlighted below. Links to Library of Congress documentation will be added when they are available. The University Mound report tied for 3rd place in the  Challenge.

Balboa Park, Golden Hill Fountain Grotto by Nancy Carol Carter (HALS CA-150-A July 15, 2020)

Degnan-Guerra Residence by Gina Guerra (HALS CA-151 July 15, 2020)

University Mound Nursery by Stacy Farr and Eleanor Cox (HALS CA-153 July 31, 2020)

Perkins Park by David A. Laws (HALS CA-155 June 20, 2020)