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Join the HALS Challenge!

For the 13th annual HALS Challenge competition, we invite you to document Olmsted landscapes. 2022 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, social reformer and founder of American landscape architecture. By documenting Olmsted Landscapes for HALS, you will increase public awareness of historic landscapes and illuminate Olmsted's living legacy. Any site designed or planned in part or in full by Frederick Law Olmsted Sr., his firm, and the firm continued by his sons, John Charles Olmsted and Frederick Law Olmsted Junior, is eligible.

The Olmsted Research Guide Online (ORGO) and Olmsted Online are helpful research tools. You may search for records held at the Olmsted National Historic Site and the Olmsted collections at the Library of Congress. The copyright status of some materials is uncertain, so please do not reproduce the graphics in your HALS documentation. You may analytically write about and cite them instead.

People are hereby challenged to complete at least one HALS short format historical report to document Olmsted landscapes. Preservation Through Documentation!


Cash prizes** will be awarded to the top 3 entries, and this year the National Association for Olmsted Parks (NAOP) will also award three framed certificate prizes for the best entries in the following categories:

1. Submission by a college or graduate student

2. Work of the Olmsted Firm in Ohio

3. Non-park work of the Olmsted Firm

**Employees of the National Park Service, American Society of Landscape Architects, Library of Congress, and National Association for Olmsted Parks may submit HALS Short Format Historical Reports, but are ineligible for prizes.

To enter the HALS Challenge:

Email your completed HALS short format history to:

Chris Stevens 202-354-2146


July 31, 2022


Please contact your state ASLA Chapter’s volunteer HALS Liaison, David Post ( if possible when you have selected a site to document for the HALS Challenge to be sure no one else is already preparing a HALS historic report for it.

Short format histories should be submitted to HALS at the National Park Service no later than July 31, 2022.

The HALS Short Format History guidelines and digital template may be downloaded from the NPS HALS website. NOTE: updates to HALS Challenge rules and to the MS Word digital HALS Short Form History Template are reflected within the template itself. Please download and read it thoroughly before entering the competition.

If you like to learn by example, you may view or download the HALS Challenge winners from previous years. All properly prepared HALS Challenge entries are added to the HABS/HAER/HALS Collection at the Library of Congress and will be eventually be made available online.

The biggest recent change in the rules is that no more than ten (10) digital photographs may be included at the end of each HALS Challenge entry. These may ONLY consist of digital, existing-conditions photographs taken by the author(s) of the site being documented. Your research should still include analyzing historic drawings and photos of the landscape you are documenting. Historic graphics are often the most important primary source for analytically writing about a historic landscape. Due to complicated and frustrating copyright restrictions, we are discouraging the reproduction historic graphics within HALS Challenge entries. Historic graphics may still be referenced and described in the text with their repository source named. A thoroughly written analysis is even more useful to readers than a reproduced copy of historic graphic itself, and all copyright issues may be avoided. This is primarily a writing competition. If you are interested in our drawing competitions, check out the HABS/HAER/HALS Holland Prize and Peterson Prize Competitions.

Winners will be announced at the HALS Subcommittee Meeting at the 2022 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture in Nashville, Tennessee. Employees of the National Park Service, American Society of Landscape Architects, and Library of Congress may submit HALS Short Format Historical Reports but are ineligible for prizes.


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