Joanna C. Diman (1901–91): A “Cantankerous” Landscape Architect at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill presents a biographical overview of Diman's career as a landscape architect. Using hitherto unpublished sources, Nicholas Adams traces Diman's progress from her training at the Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture for Women (from which she graduated in 1923) through her early work for individual practitioners. For a decade beginning in 1934, she worked for the New York City Department of Parks. In 1944, she joined the New York office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, where she worked until her retirement in 1967. Archival sources at SOM reveal that she was involved to differing degrees in nearly all projects that passed through the firm's New York office, from the relatively small garden at Lever House to the great works of “pastoral capitalism,” such as that at Connecticut General in Bloomfield, Connecticut (1957). Adams raises questions of stylistic individuality and places them alongside the larger issue of what influence an in-house landscape department had on design at SOM during these years.

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