At the beginning of my career as a Landscape Architect I took my mother, Jean Barbour, to the Ravine Gardens State Park back in 1990.  She took this picture and said to me,

“Look like a Landscape Architect.”

Twenty-five years later I continue to practice my profession. While attending a local chapter meeting at the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Chairman, Kevin White asked the question,

“Are there any volunteers”… he had me right there in an instant; my arm went up involuntarily.

I can’t help myself. I love a noble cause… and mamma has since passed but is always in my heart.

I did not realize what I was signing up for; however, I was about to embark on a journey that would lead me to delineate this historic document for the National Park Service – Department of Interior. Also, I discovered that it will be entered into the United States of America’s Library of Congress.

Historic American Landscape Survey Number FL-11 Ravine Gardens State Park Delineated by Gary R. Crumley ASLA 2014

On this journey, I found myself going back in time to 1930’s Palatka, Florida, to a time of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce and people needed a place to escape from their day to day problems. The country needed a “New Deal”.

Creating National and State Parks were the answer.

This then and now montage of Ravine Gardens was produced in Photoshop by Historic Landscape Architect David Driapsa by combining the hand-colored photograph with the 2014 black & white large format photograph created by HALS photographer Bill Lutrick from the same location.

It was 1932. The President, Franklin Deleanor Roosevelt, was newly elected, His congress enacted legislation to begin putting millions of people back to work. The WPA and the CCC were ambitious programs that made it possible for this small town park to be transformed into the Ravine Gardens State Park.

This then and now montage of Ravine Gardens was produced in Photoshop by Historic Landscape Architect David Driapsa by combining the hand-colored photograph with the 2014 black & white large format photograph created by HALS photographer Bill Lutrick from the same location.

Our mission for the Historic American Landscape Survey: to document the history and origins of the “New Deal Parks of Florida”. Here was my chance to be a part of history, this is my story…

Photo Imagery by Bill Lutrick  2014
The ASLA Jacksonville Chapter meets monthly to share local and regional issues facing our profession and the Haskell Company has hosted our group on several occasions bringing in guest speakers and sometimes a lunch sponsor. Upon an invitation from Chairman Kevin White I attended a lunch there and walked out with a desire to get reacquainted with my professional colleagues and step out of my comfort zone into uncharted waters.

The Historic American Landscape Survey (HALS) Challenge (created in 2010) is a nationwide competition that invites the best and brightest in the field of landscape architecture to voluntarily create submissions for a Library of Congress display and record of Historic Landscapes that may have gone undocumented or in need of being updated in their documentation. Their significance dictates which areas are selected and in the fifth installment of the annual competition there were a record forty-seven entries. Here is the link to the site announcing the winners of the 2014 competition, however, the article recognizes our team only by state in the honorable mentions.


The honorable mention recipients from Florida include:

Our Team’s Reward

I asked each of the team about their participation and here are their responses in their own words: Team captain David Driapsa ASLA from Naples,“David, I would like to know when your first HALS Challenge was?”

The very first HALS Challenge was in 2010, “Revisiting Cultural Landscapes of Childhood”. HALS colleague Chris Pattillo came up with the idea. I was there from the beginning, supporting the Challenge, as ASLA HALS Coordinator. My first submittal to this juried national competition was in 2012, “Documenting the American Latino Landscape.” I have donated a Challenge submittal every year since then. The Historic American Landscape Survey (HALS) was created in 2000 to document historic landscapes of our nation and its territories. 

Much progress had been made in HALS first decade, but more submittals were needed, and a Theme Park Challenge was launched in 2010, on the tenth anniversary of HALS. Participation has grown exponentially each successive year.

2010 HALS Challenge: Revisiting Cultural Landscapes of Childhood2011 HALS Challenge: Celebrating Cultural Landscapes of Diversity2012 HALS Challenge: Documenting the American Latino Landscape2013 HALS Challenge: Documenting the Cultural Landscapes of Women2014 HALS Challenge: Documenting Landscapes of the New Deal2015 HALS Challenge: Documenting Modernist Landscapes


Kale Hicks ASLA from Tallahassee.

“Kale, as the youngest among us, tell us what peaked your interest?”While in college at the University of Georgia I got to study abroad in many parts of Italy. I was able to tour amazing historic landscapes, that have changed my life forever. From the ruins of Pompeii to the Coliseum in Rome, the rich history is all encompassing. I think that’s why the HALS challenge appealed to me. I am realizing the full importance of preserving the past for future generations to experience.

William “Bill” Lutrick ASLA Emeritus from Orlando.“Bill, as the photographer, what entices you to film such incredible work?”

I began in 1962 with a Range Finder camera given to me by a friend.My friend would say that “photography is not about recording the visible, but to make visible”.My version is “photography is about isolation and interpretation”;which lends itself to the single sheet of film in a large format camera,I became devoted to exploring its full potential upon acquiring one, exploring the intricacies of the medium, in 1970. This allowed the application of the zone system to the single exposure and the use of non-traditional processing for pre-visualized control over the next ten years.

By 1980 I was having breakfast at a place frequented by Ansel Adams, and we became acquainted.I gained a great deal of inspiration from our continuing conversations, and joined his Yosemite Workshop where I was introduced to photographers possessing a lifelong dedication to the art and craft of the black & white imagery; it provided a major impact on my commitment to my craft.
Forty-five years after my first photographic experience, the artistic process has departed from the traditional wet darkroom and into the digital world, allowing the continuation of the use of the large format film process and the exploration of a vast archive of imagery.
To view photographs in the archives of the Library of Congress go to:http://www.loc.gov/picturesKevin White ASLA from Jacksonville
“Kevin, when did you start historic landscapes and why”?

Landscape Architect Dan Kiley’s design for the Bank of America Building and Plaza in Tampa, Florida was considered an endangered historic cultural landscape listed by Charles Birnbaum FASLA of the The Cultural Landscape Foundation, so I went to help with the clean up and preservation there a few years ago. I have been interested in this subject ever since then. Here are a few links for you.

https://www.asla.org/lamag/lam04/April/feature3.htmlhttp://tclf.org/profile/staff/charles-birnbaumhttp://tclf.org/pioneer/dan-kiley/biography-dan-KileyGary R. Crumley ASLA and author.“Why are you passionate about these projects and the stewardship they provide”?

I enjoy telling a good story and sharing what this wonderful profession offers, and to make our world we live in a better place. I like being recorded in history for something worthwhile that I have achieved, not for myself, but for the people and community I serve. I hope that the joy I am receiving in my works is a joy shared and given to others. That I may create or preserve places worth living in. 


Thanks for sharing the journey with me.


Here are a few more links to photos from Google’s Ravine Gardens State Park web images:



A View of the Formal Gardens by Florida Rambler


A View of the Court of Flags by TD Giddings


Follow up: Saturday February 1st, 2015

I take my girl, Mary Lewis, for a ride to the park and we photograph the azaleas in bloom.

I meet the ranger on duty and presented her with the original rendering of the FL-11 Master Plan and a copy of the award. I was greeted with total amazement and delight. I was asked to pose with the rendering.

Superintendent Mark Giblin will arrange for the plan to be enlarged and displayed.Bill Lutrick has agreed to print archival prints for display as well.

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