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Documenting Landscapes in Perpetuity: The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS)

  • May 12, 2021
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Online via Zoom
  • 0


  • Current CGLHS Members
  • Available to the general public

Registration is closed

As many preservationists grapple with saving historic landscapes threatened by development, climate change, or neglect, preservation through documentation is a wise strategy. Baseline documentation is useful for maintenance and interpretive needs, and this academic record can outlast the landscape itself. This talk by Chris Stevens will demystify the documentation process and share its benefits and opportunities.  

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 photographs - preservation through documentation. The National Park Service (NPS) 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 Library of Congress preserves the documentation for posterity and makes it available to the general public. Together with the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), this collection is among the largest and most heavily used in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress.  

This special lunchtime talk is free. Registration is limited to 100 people. 

Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village HALS CA-42-11 (Stephen Schafer, photographer, August 2009). Library of Congress.

About our Speaker

Chris Stevens is currently the acting Chief of the National Park Service Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) and has been the Landscape Architect for the HALS Program since 2008. HALS is a small program with a big impact, and Chris is grateful to collaborate with the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and many professionals and volunteers all over the country to expand the HALS Collection at the Library of Congress. Chris first joined the National Park Service in 2000, after obtaining his MLA and Certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Virginia School of Architecture. Chris worked as a historical landscape architect for the NPS Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation from 2000-2006. There he prepared Cultural Landscape Reports and Inventories and served as a cultural landscape adviser for many Northeast Region parks. From 2006-2008, Chris served as the Cultural Landscape Inventory (CLI) Coordinator for the National Capital Region in Washington, DC. 

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