John O. Simonds

John O. Simonds

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John O. Simonds

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John Ormsbee Simonds was born in Jamestown, North Dakota on March 11, 1913. He was a visionary landscape architect, planner, educator, and environmentalist. Simonds was an original modernist landscape architect and one of the most influential and well-known of his time.


In 1935 he graduated with a B.S. in Landscape Architecture from Michigan State University. He went on to receive a Master’s from Harvard Graduate School of Design. After finishing school, Simonds and his brother Phil established their company, Simonds and Simonds, later known as Environmental Planning and Development Partnership. While continuing his company he published his first book, Landscape Architecture: The Spacing of Man’s Natural Environment. In 1973 Simonds received his first and most honorable award, the ASLA medal. Shortly after being awarded, Simonds released another publication titled, Earthscape: A Manual of Environmental Planning. In 1983 and 1998 he released the second and then third edition of his publication Landscape Architecture. Before his death in May 2005, Simonds received his last award, the ASLA President’s Centennial Medal in 1998.


The first most important influence was Simonds' father, Guy Wallace, a Presbyterian minister. Simonds' father helped him to develop a love and appreciation for nature, and the ability to speak to others with great enthusiasm. As his designs developed, the use of incorporating nature with quality and balance became his...
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