Lawrence Halprin (1916-2009) was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. After time spent in Israel and Cornell University, Halprin pursued a Master of Science in horticulture in 1941 at the University of Wisconsin. After his marriage to Anna Schuman, he entered the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1942. Halprin’s career as a landscape architect was delayed by two years as he, like many of his peers, enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II. In the spring of 1945, he returned to California and opened his own firm in San Francisco.
By the mid-1960s, Lawrence Halprin and Associates gained recognition for their urban landscape redevelopment projects and continued to receive major commissions for another three decades. Halprin was awarded numerous honors such as the American Institute of Architects Medal for Allied Professions (1964), Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects ASLA Design Medal (2003), American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1978), the University of Virginia Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture (1979), and the National Medal of Arts (2002), the nation’s highest honor for an artist. Halprin published several books including RSVP Cycles, Taking Part, Cities, Freeways, and Notebooks.
The Graham Foundation organized Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966-1971 from the holdings of the University of Pennsylvania’s Halprin Architectural Archives, which was recently exhibited at The California Historical Society in San Francisco.