Rachel Leibowitz | Landscape Architecture | SUNY-ESF
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Rachel LeibowitzAssistant Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Cultural Landscape Preservation

Rachel Leibowitz

324 Marshall Hall
1 Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY 13210

315-470-6537 | 315-470-6544
leibowitz@esf.edu

Cultural landscape preservation is an integral part of any landscape design practice—it recognizes the significance of our past relationships with the environment while focusing on present conditions and planning for the future. To students in the classroom and to community members wherever I work, I emphasize the need to analyze and understand the historic cultural contexts of any site as a critical component of planning for landscape design. Every design problem presents related issues of cultural landscape conservation; therefore, I do not view historic preservation as an isolated, rarified specialization within the broader field of our profession. Preservation considerations are essential to all landscape design activities.

courses

LSA 220 — Introduction to Landscape Architecture

LSA 227 — Foundation Design Studio II

LSA 496 / 696 — Concepts in Cultural Landscape Preservation

LSA 640 — Research Methods for Landscape Architecture

education

2008        Ph.D.       University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Landscape Architecture (history and theory)

1999        M.Arch.   University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, School of Architecture (historic preservation)

1992        M.F.A.      Tulane University, Newcomb School of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana (photography)

1990        B.F.A.      Washington University, School of Fine Arts, Saint Louis, Missouri (photography)

employment

2018–present

Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture; and Co-Director, Center for Cultural Landscape Preservation, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, New York

2013–2018

Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer and Division Chief, Illinois State Historic Preservation Office, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Springfield, Illinois

2012

Visiting Instructor, Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2011–2013

Science and Research Program Manager, International Society of Arboriculture, Champaign, Illinois

2010

Visiting Instructor, School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin

2007–2011

Historian, Federal Programs, History Programs Division, Texas Historical Commission (state historic preservation office), Austin, Texas

2002

Historian and Sally Kress Tompkins Fellow in Architectural History, Historic American Buildings Survey, Heritage Documentation Programs, National Park Service, Washington, DC, and Emporia, Kansas

2000–2001

Architectural Associate, Landon Bone Architects, Chicago, Illinois

1998, 1999–2000

Architectural Associate, Eifler & Associates, Chicago, Illinois

1997

Architectural Intern, Commission on Chicago Landmarks, Historic Preservation Division, Department of Planning and Development, City of Chicago, Illinois

 

selected publications

Review of Michael R. Allen, “How Not What: Anthropocene Landscapes of St. Louis.” In Forty-Five: A Journal of Outside Research 220 (May 2019), available at: forty-five.com/papers/220

Constructing the Navajo Capital: Landscape, Power, and Representation at Window Rock. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press (book manuscript in progress).

“Urban Tree Growth and Longevity: An International Meeting and Research Symposium White Paper.” Arboriculture and Urban Forestry 38:5 (September 2012), 237-241.

“The Million Dollar Play House: The Office of Indian Affairs and the Pueblo Revival in the Navajo Capital.” In Buildings and Landscapes: The Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum 15 (Fall 2008), 11-42.   http://www.jstor.org/stable/27804881

Review of Mark Rice, Through the Lens of the City: NEA Photography Surveys of the 1970s.  In Planning Perspectives: An International Journal of History, Planning, and the Environment 22:1 (January 2007), 119-120.

Bibliography of Thomas Dolliver Church. In Thomas Church, Landscape Architect: Designing the Modern California Landscape, edited by Marc Treib (San Francisco: William K. Stout Architectural Books, 2004), 264-278.

“Landscape Perspectives in Planning History.” Reviews of Arnold R. Alanen and Robert Z. Melnick, editors, Preserving Cultural Landscapes in America; and Paul Mattingly, Suburban Landscapes: Culture and Politics in a New York Metropolitan Community.  In The Journal of Planning History 2:1 (February 2003), 94-98.

selected presentations

2019               

“‘There Are No Memorials for Our Most Famous Event’: Removal and Relevance of the 1908 Race Riot in Springfield, Illinois.” Paper accepted for presentation at Traversing the Gap: Relevance as a Transformative Force at Sites of Public Memory, second Andrew W. Mellon Conference, National September 11 Memorial and Museum, New York, New York (June 19).  (declined)   https://www.911memorial.org/mellonconference

“Tradition and Modernity.” Session chair and moderator at Landscapes of Succession, the annual meeting of the Vernacular Architecture Forum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (June 1). (invited)  http://www.vernaculararchitectureforum.org/Philadelphia-2019 

"Repairing National Register Nominations: The Struggles and Challenges of Maintaining Accurate Documentation in a Changing World.” Discussant in working group session at "Repair Work," the annual meeting of the National Council on Public History, Hartford, Connecticut (March 28). https://ncph.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2019-Annual-Meeting-Preliminary-Program-Web.pdf 

“The Japanese Influence in American Postwar Design: Loving the Alien in an Age of Anxiety.” Paper presentation in session, "Regional Designs and Cross-Cultural Influences," at Preserving the Recent Past 3 conference, National Park Service / Historic Preservation Education Foundation / University of Southern California School of Architecture, Los Angeles, California (March 15). https://www.prp3.org/program

2017                

“Lathrop Homes: Compromise, Collaboration, Community.” PastForward 2017: The National Conference on Historic Preservation, the annual meeting of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Chicago, Illinois. (invited panelist)

“The Regulatory Role of the State Historic Preservation Office.” Guest lecturer in Preservation Planning class (HP 972), Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois. (invited)

“Section 106 Programmatic Agreements: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Lessons Learned.” Meeting of the Committee on Historic and Archaeological Preservation in Transportation (ADC 50), Transportation Research Board, U.S. Department of Transportation, Minneapolis, Minnesota. (invited panelist)  http://www.adc50.org/assets/mn_2017.pdf

“Administration of Preservation Law in Illinois.” Guest lecturer in Preservation Law class (HP 523), Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois. (invited)

2016

“Preservation and Maintenance of Historic Buildings and Landscapes in Public Parks.” Presented at the joint annual conference of the Illinois Association of Park Districts / Illinois Parks and Recreation Association, Chicago.

2015

“What Is the National Register of Historic Places?” Guest lecturer in Historic Preservation in the United States class (HIS 5060 419), Graduate Program in Historical Administration, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston. (invited)

“Modernism in Landscape Architecture.” Guest lecturer in From Lustron to Neon: Preservation of the Recent Past (HP 1632), Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, School of the Art Institute of Chicago. (invited)

“Preservation and Maintenance of Historic Buildings and Landscapes in Public Parks” (3-hour workshop) and “Historic Preservation 101” (75-minute session). Presented at the joint annual conference of the Illinois Association of Park Districts/Illinois Parks and Recreation Association, Chicago.

2014

“What Is the SHPO?” Lecture presented at the Cultural Resources Compliance workshop, Preservation Services Division, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, Springfield, Illinois. 

2012                

“Reconstructing the New Deal: Towards a National Inventory of New Deal Art and Public Works.” Discussant in working group session held at the Milwaukee Public Museum at the joint annual meetings of the National Council on Public History and the Organization of American Historians, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

2011                

“Emphasizing Cultural Landscapes.” Lecturer and moderator of panel session at the Annual Historic Preservation Conference, Texas Historical Commission, Austin, Texas. 

2010                

“Texas Players.” Moderator for panel at Landscapes for Living: The Postwar Years in Texas, a symposium of The Cultural Landscape Foundation, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas. (invited)   https://tclf.org/sites/default/files/microsites/pioneers/dallas/index.html 

“Cultural Landscapes: Looking at the Ground for New Perspectives.” Lecturer and moderator of roundtable discussion at the Annual Preservation Texas Summit, Austin, Texas. (invited)

2009                

“Understanding Cultural Landscapes: An Introduction.” Lecture presented at the Annual Historic Preservation Conference, Texas Historical Commission, Lakeway, Texas.

2008                

“Indigenous Architecture and Landscape: Memory, Performance, and Place.” Chair of affiliate session of the Society of Architectural Historians, College Art Association Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas. (invited)

2006                

“Creating Window Rock: Fantasy and Federal Indian Policy at the Navajo Capital." Paper presented at the Annual Fellows’ History Colloquium, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

2005                

“‘Indigenous’ by Design: The Pueblo Revival Style and Federal Occupation in the Capital of the Navajo Nation.” Paper presented at the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.

“Building ‘The Center of the Navajo World’: Regionalism and Revival in Window Rock, Arizona.” Paper presented at the 25th Annual Meeting of the Vernacular Architecture Forum, Tucson, Arizona.

“‘Playing Indian’ on the Reservation: The Pueblo Revival Style and the Federal Construction of Indigenousness at Window Rock.” Paper presented at the 4th Biennial Savannah Symposium, Architecture and Regionalism, Department of Architectural History, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia.

2004                

“Landscape and Power at Window Rock.” Paper presented at the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian History, Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois.

“The Rise of the Japanese Vogue in Postwar Suburbia: Constructing the Alien in an Age of Anxiety.” Paper presented at the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association Annual Conference, San Antonio, Texas.

Panelist respondent to keynote speaker Lucy R. Lippard at Far Afield: Experiencing the Landscape: Intersections Between the Cultural and the Personal, a colloquium in honor of Professor Robert B. Riley, held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Landscape Architecture and the Center for Advanced Study. (invited)

selected cultural resource documents

National Historic Landmark nominations

2016                Casa José Antonio Navarro, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas

National Register of Historic Places nominations

2014                Woodward Park and Gardens Historic District, Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma

2011                Wallace Pratt Residence (“Ship on the Desert”), Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Hudspeth County, Texas

2011                Delwood Duplex Historic District, Austin, Travis County, Texas

2010                Triangle Motel (Route 66), Amarillo, Potter County, Texas

2010                Lott-Canada (Rosenwald) School, Beeville, Bee County, Texas

2010                Westgate Tower, Austin, Travis County, Texas

2010                Alden B. Dow Office, Lake Jackson, Brazoria County, Texas

2009                Zidell House, Taylor, Williamson County, Texas

2008                Chambers County Courthouse, Anahuac, Chambers County, Texas

2008                Washburn Tunnel, Houston, Harris County, Texas

Historic American Buildings Survey reports

2002                William Allen White House (“Red Rocks”), Emporia, Lyon County, Kansas (HABS KS-81-A)

2002                William Allen White House, Mother’s House, Emporia, Lyon County, Kansas (HABS KS-81-B)

2002                William Allen White House, Garage, Emporia, Lyon County, Kansas (HABS KS-81-C)

selected grants, honors, and awards

2006–2007      

Center on Democracy in a Multiracial Society, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Graduate Fellowship

Graduate College, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dissertation Completion Fellowship

2006

Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History and Smithsonian American Art Museum, Predoctoral Fellowship 

2005                

Vernacular Architecture Forum, 25th Annual Conference Presenter’s Fellowship

2004–2005      

American Council of Learned Societies / Henry Luce Foundation, Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in American Art

Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Graduate Fellowship (declined)

2004                

American Philosophical Society, Phillips Fund Grant for Native American Research

Newberry Library, D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies, Graduate Fellowship in American Indian Studies

Pittsburgh Foundation, Walter Read Hovey Memorial Fellowship in Art History

2003                

Landscape Architecture Foundation / Garden Club of America, Douglas Dockery Thomas Fellowship in Garden History and Design

2002                

Society of Architectural Historians / Historic American Buildings Survey, National Park Service, Sally Kress Tompkins Fellowship in Architectural History

Included on “Incomplete List of Teachers Rated Excellent by Their Students” (for Landscape Architecture 233), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2001–2003      

Vincent Bellafiore Fellowship for Doctoral Studies in Landscape Architecture, Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1999    

Earl Prize for Design Thesis in Historic Preservation, School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1998                

Allerton American Traveling Fellowship for Architectural History, School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

professional affiliations

2018–present  Preservation Association of Central New York

                            Board Member, 2019–present

                            Advocacy Committee Member, 2018–present

2013–2018      National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers

2009–present  Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation

                            Board Member, 2011–present

                            Chair, Annual Conference, Fort Worth, Texas, April 6–9, 2011  http://ahlp.org/2011-fort-worth-texas/

                            Co-chair, Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, June 1–4, 2016  http://ahlp.org/meeting-2016/

2009–present  National Council on Public History

1999–present  Vernacular Architecture Forum

                            Editorial Board, Special Series in Vernacular Architecture, University of Tennessee Press, 2006–2011

                            Executive Board, 2009–2012