As part of the Modern Conversations series, DOCOMOMO NY/Tri-State will host a talk with landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg. One of the celebrated landscape architects who introduced Modernism to the design of outdoor space, Friedberg will discuss how he turned sometimes limited public spaces into places of activity and community. Establishing his practice in 1958, he pioneered in the design of innovative plazas, main-street malls, and playgrounds. Born in New York and educated at Cornell, he founded the urban landscape architecture program at City College. His contributions have earned him the ASLA Medal, the highest honor of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Friedberg will discuss the purposes, designs, and execution of his public spaces in New York, elsewhere in the US, and abroad. He will speak as well about the vulnerability of designed public spaces to the ravages of poor maintenance, ill-considered alterations, even bulldozing. Among the specific projects discussed will be his threatened accomplishments at Peavey Plaza in Minneapolis and Pershing Park in DC, along with the once-extensive Riis Houses Plaza in New York, of which only vestiges remain. He’ll be taking part in a wide-ranging conversation of urban open space design with John Morris Dixon, one of the first architectural journalists to publish and inspire admiration for Friedberg’s works.