FF – Distance Edition: Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architect

The longest-operating Black-owned and woman-led landscape firm in the country presents its work at Weeksville Heritage Center.

May 31, 2022

Recorded on May 6, 2022.

The League’s FF – Distance Edition events are informal online studio visits offering a behind-the-scenes look at leading design practices.

In this video, Elizabeth Kennedy, director of Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architecture, presents three of the firm’s keystone projects: Weeksville Heritage Center Landscape, the landscape restoration of a nineteenth-century African American agricultural settlement in Brooklyn; The Peninsula Mixed-Use Development, a vibrant mixed-use campus on the site of a former juvenile detention center in the Bronx; and Inwood Sacred Sites, a commemorative space honoring the histories of an enslavement burial and a Lenape occupation site. Through these projects, Kennedy shares her firm’s guiding principles: upholding a sense of earth, designing from a perspective informed by experience, and engaging with complex histories.

Streamed live from Weeksville Heritage Center, Kennedy’s presentation folds into an ongoing conversation between her and program moderator Justin Garrett Moore about placemaking and architectural practice. Following the presentation, they discussed the process of defining parameters for the development of a given space, as well as making strategic decisions—and living with the consequences. 

Justin Garrett Moore is the inaugural program officer for the Humanities in Place program at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in New York City. He currently teaches architecture and urban design at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.


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