Buffalo-born cultural landscape architect Patricia O'Donnell has been honored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation with its highest award.
O'Donnell, who grew up in Central Park and attended Holy Angels Academy and SUNY Buffalo State, received the Louise Du Pont Crowninshield Award, making her the first landscape architect to be so honored in its more than 60-year history.
Her work with Heritage Landscapes, which she founded in 1987, has completed more than 600 cultural landscape preservation planning and implementation projects around the world. They include hundreds of places listed in the National Register of Historic Places, 40 National Historic Landmarks and eight World Heritage Sites.
Locally, O'Donnell developed a cultural landscape at the Richardson Olmsted Campus, where she determined most of the existing landscape was part of Frederick Law Olmsted's original design for the grounds. She also developed a cultural landscape report for Graycliff, the former summer estate in Derby designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and created a master plan for Forest Lawn to reverse a half-century of canopy loss.
Mark Sommer covers preservation, development, the waterfront, culture and more. He's also a former arts editor at The News.