ASLA enthusiastically welcomes President Biden’s appointment of Lisa E. Delplace, FASLA, as the newest member of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA). Delplace is CEO of Washington, D.C.-based and award-winning landscape architecture firm Oehme, van Sweden (OvS). With her appointment, the federal agency that reviews the design of all public buildings, parks, and memorials in Washington, D.C. will once again have the expertise of a landscape architect. According to OvS’s website, Delplace’s “extensive knowledge of ecological processes and her deep commitment to their artistic execution result in a strong sculptural relationship between architecture and landscape.” OvS’s work in Washington, D.C. includes the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Francis Scott Key Memorial Park, and Virginia Avenue Garden at the Federal Reserve.
“Landscape architects are at the forefront of designing sustainable and resilient urban spaces, including parks, streetscapes, memorials, public educational landscapes, and others. We are incredibly pleased with Lisa’s appointment to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, where she will provide advice to executive departments of the Federal Government on how to best preserve and enhance the visual and cultural character of the District of Columbia,” said ASLA President Eugenia Martin, FASLA. “The Commission and our nation will benefit tremendously from Lisa’s broad expertise across multiple scales of landscape architecture and her experience with federal projects.”
Landscape architects have a storied legacy on the Commission. One of the original Commissioners was Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., one of the 11 founders of ASLA, who served on the Commission from 1910 to 1918 (1912-1918 as Vice Chair). Olmsted, Jr.’s replacement was James L. Greenleaf, a former ASLA President. With only a few lapses, the landscape architecture profession has been represented on the Commission since its founding.
In 2021, ASLA called on President Biden to ensure the Commission included a representative from the landscape architecture profession. “We thank and applaud President Biden for reaffirming the importance and value of having the counsel of a landscape architect on this important federal agency. Lisa will help shape the future of our nation’s capital, an evolving cultural landscape,” said Torey Carter-Conneen, ASLA’s Chief Executive Officer.