In Memoriam: Carol Johnson MLA ’57
On Friday, December 11, 2020, pioneering landscape architect Carol Johnson MLA ’57 passed away at age 91. She is widely remembered as a trailblazer in landscape architecture and one of the first women to reach prominence in her field. She founded her firm, Carole R. Johnson Associates, in 1959 and operated the business out of her apartment for the first 11 years of its existence. Carol was the first American woman to receive the American Society for Landscape Architecture (ASLA) Medal, in 1988.
In a memorial article dedicated to Carol’s extraordinary life and career, The Architect’s Newspaper says:
“After establishing a landscape architecture practice in an era when licensed women landscape architects were virtually nonexistent in the United States, Johnson went on to dramatically expand her eponymous firm while overseeing the design of numerous public parks, waterfront revitalization projects, and college campuses in and around—but not exclusively to—Boston. This includes the John F. Kennedy Memorial Park, a five-acre green space nestled along the Charles River in Cambridge that opened to the public in May 1987. The park is currently in need of various forms of maintenance and was included in Landslide 2020: Women Take the Lead, the latest edition of TCLF’s comprehensive annual report spotlighting imperiled landscapes. In 2006, Charles A. Birnbaum, president and CEO of The Cultural Landscape Foundation, interviewed Johnson for an extensive oral history of her life and career. … Her legacy is indelible.”