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Turning of the Wheel:

The interplay of the Unique and Universal

A Digital Collection of Events from the Humanities Colloquium Series, Turning of the Wheel,
University of Idaho | Moscow, Idaho | 2011-2012

Colloquium Talks > Stephen Drown

Stephen Drown, Chair and Professor of Landscape Architecture.

Colloquium Talk, March 27, 2012, Idaho Commons

The University of Idaho Olmsted Brothers' Master Plan: Historical Process and the Creation of Place

Click above to view a slide show of full-size images.


The University of Idaho campus and in particular the "Admin Lawn" are highly regarded by students, faculty, staffand alumni as unique places and fond symbols of their tenure at the university. During their period of contract with the university, the Olmsted Brothers, landscape architects, were also working on a number of other projects that included the Cleveland Metroparks system, Manito Park and Botanical Gardens in Spokane, Washington, Audubon Park in New Orleans, the Seattle Park System and the Washington State Capitol Master Plan in Olympia. This presentation will examine the design of the University of Idaho master plan in light of the Olmsted Brothers contemporaneous work, their design process and the legacy of their father Frederick Law Olmsted.

By doing so the presentation will demonstrate how well connected this university campus is to other significant landscapes around the world and to ancient and modern concepts of place, how our unique campus interplays with both ancient and modern concepts of universal place.


Stephen R. Drown, ASLA, is Professor and Chair of the Landscape Architecture program in College of Art and Architecture at the University of Idaho. A teacher for 35 years, Steve taught in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Ohio State University for 19 years prior to coming to the University of Idaho in 1994. His undergraduate degree is from the Philadelphia University of the Arts' College of Art, and his graduate degree is from State University of New York's SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and Syracuse University.

Throughout his teaching career, Professor Drown has been very active in public outreach and has taught a number of landscape architecture workshops nationwide. He served as a founding board member and Vice-President of Colour Columbus, a not-for-profit urban enhancement foundation, is a licensed landscape architect in Ohio and has received national awards for his professional work as a partner in the Columbus, Ohio-based firm of First Avenue Design. Steve is Director of the University of Idaho Department of Landscape Architecture Summer Study Abroad program in Italy and partner in the University of Idaho's new Building Sustainable Communities Initiative, that includes a graduate degree program in Bioregional Planning and Community Design.

Recently, Professor Drown has a new role as a College of Agriculture and Life Science Extension Educational Specialist in Bioregional Planning and Landscape Architecture to promote regionally based planning and community design throughout Idaho. The University of Idaho awarded Steve the 2009 award for Faculty Excellence in Outreach.

For more information: Rodney Frey