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 6, 2022
12:00 p.m.

Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architect, Caples Jefferson Architects | Weeksville Heritage Center Landscape, Brooklyn, NY, 2005. Image credit: Rob Fields/Weeksville Heritage Center

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

The League’s FF – Distance Edition, an online version of the long-running First Friday series, is returning to the first Friday of every month, with a new start time of 12 p.m. FF – Distance Edition brings participants on site, offering virtual access to practices’ workspaces and current projects. Following each presentation, join in an open conversation with the designers.

This season’s events feature design practices that are redefining the contemporary public landscape by responding to social and environmental concerns and exploring the intersections of architecture, technology, and ecology.

Founded in New York in 1994, Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architect is the oldest Black-owned and woman-led landscape firm in the United States. Over nearly three decades, EKLA has worked to preserve historic landscapes, establish cultural sites, and rethink green infrastructure. In its focus on sites of historic erasure, the firm has—in its own words—“quietly challenged mainstream assumptions about the aspirations and needs of underrepresented voices,” reimagining the intersection of landscape architecture and social justice.

Completed projects include: 

Current and upcoming projects include: 

  • The Peninsula Mixed-Use Development, a vibrant mixed-use campus on the site of a former juvenile detention center in the Bronx. 
  • Brooklyn Navy Yard Building 92 Entry Plaza, a redesigned entry plaza for the Brooklyn Navy Yard that incorporates commemorative elements from the historic site. 

The program will be moderated by Justin Garrett Moore. Moore is the inaugural program officer for the Humanities in Place program at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He currently teaches architecture and urban design at Columbia GSAPP. Read his recent interview with Urban Omnibus.

The program will be broadcast live from Weeksville Heritage Center.


Temporary landscape and the urban meadow

Julie Farris details two temporary landscape installations on vacant lots that she created in Red Hook, Brooklyn, one of which became a permanent garden and community space.

Courtroom spectacular

Founded by a designer, the Young New Yorkers program uses art and architecture to rethink young people's experience of the criminal justice system.