Landscape architect, urban planner, teacher, and social visionary: over the course of a sixty-year career, Lawrence Halprin (1916-2009) reshaped the spaces we inhabit and our ways of moving through them.
The New York Times called him "the tribal elder of American landscape architecture" and the critic Ada Louise Huxtable credited him with creating what "may be one of the most important urban spaces since the Renaissance." His bold use of abstract imagery could evoke the landscape of the American West in a sequence of city squares and fountains, while his plan for repurposing an abandoned factory near San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf showed how adaptive use of a historic structure could turn commercial development into urban theater.
A man who deeply loved cities, he left as one of his most important legacies the five thousand acres of coastline, hedgerows, and meadows that became Sonoma County's environmentally sensitive and enormously influential Sea Ranch. Featuring more than ninety black-and-white and one hundred color reproductions of photographs, plans, and sketchbooks, A Life Spent Changing Places is Halprin's own account of how a young boy who listened to the fireside chats of FDR on the radio became the man who designed the memorial to that president in the nation's capital.
It is a book about the invention and reinvention of an extraordinary man over the span of decades and how he helped to reframe the world around him.