Jens Jensen: Maker of Natural Parks and Gardens
Jens Jensen was one of America's greatest landscape designers and conservationists. Using native plants and "fitting" designs, he advocated that our gardens, parks, roads, playgrounds, and cities should be harmonious with nature and its ecological processes--a belief that was to become a major theme of modern American landscape design. When Jensen died in 1951 at the age of 90, the New York Times called him "the dean of American landscape architecture." In Jens Jensen: Maker of Natural Parks and Gardens, Robert E. Grese evaluates Jensen's work against the background of landscape design traditions that included Andrew Jackson Downing and Frederick Law Olmsted, as well as earlier movements in Europe. Grese examines Jensen's part in the Chicago cultural renaissance that occurred just prior to World War I, a movement that brought social reform, a new understanding of ecology, organic trends in architecture, and great strides in American literature. Drawing on Jensen's writings and plans, interviews with people who knew him, and analyses of his projects, Grese presents a clear picture of Jensen's efforts to enhance and preserve "native" landscapes. Jens Jensen worked with some of the leading architects of his day--Sullivan and Wright among them--so many of his projects involved the extravagant estates of wealthy entrepreneurs in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and elsewhere. But Jensen also worked on schools, parks, playgrounds, hospitals, institutional homes, and government buildings. Long before environmental activists took over the idea, he foresaw the need to preserve the dunes, forests, prairies, and wetlands native to the Middle West. He championed the network of forest preserves around Chicago, protection of the Indiana Dunes (now a national lakeshore), the state park system in Illinois, and numerous parks in Wisconsin. Jens Jensen: Maker of Natural Parks and Gardens offers a compelling look at Jensen's visionary work and remarkable career.
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Jensens Early Background
A Cultural Context for Jensens Work
The European Roots of American Native Landscape Design
Frederick Law Olmsted and the Natural Style
Formalism and the Search for an American Style
The Chicago Landscape
The Prairie as a Regional Style
The Emphasis on Native Plants in Design
Light and Shadow
Time and Change
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Alfred Caldwell architecture beauty became Born building Central Park Charles Chicago Park District Cleveland Columbus Park council rings Courtesy of Jensen created Date Place Architects developed early Edsel Ellison Bay Figure flowers Ford formal Frederick Law Olmsted Friends Fulkerson Genevieve Gillette Glencoe Graceland Cemetery hawthorn Henry Highland Park Humboldt Park ideas Illinois included Indiana Dunes Jens Jensen Jens Jensen 1939 Jensen Collection Jensen's design Lake Forest land landscape architect landscape design landscape gardening later Lincoln Highway Lincoln Memorial Garden meadow Miller Morton Arboretum Name of Project Native Landscape native plants natural noted O. C. Simonds Oak Park Olmsted's outdoor Park System Perkins Place Architects Source(s playgrounds Prairie Club preserve Project Date Place published Ravinia region River scenery served South Park Springfield studied style suggested tion trees and shrubs Union Park vegetation Waugh West Park wild William woods Wright