Linda Hall Library arboretum viburnums

Linda Hall Library Arboretum Receives PGASLA Kessler Legacy Award

The Linda Hall Library Arboretum is proud to be the recipient of the PGASLA 2024 Awards’ Kessler Legacy Award. The Prairie Gateway Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (PGASLA) has been honoring outstanding contributions to the practice of landscape architecture since the year 2000.

Eric Dorfman and Samantha Sanchez at 2024 PGASLA Annual Awards Gala

Library President Dr. Eric Dorfman (center left) and Groundskeeping Manager Samantha Sanchez (center right) accepting the Legacy Award at the 2024 PGASLA Annual Awards Gala.

The Kessler Legacy Award, which the Library received, recognizes works of Landscape Architecture that have endured in the Prairie Gateway region and are a viable component of our regional landscape heritage. The works must be located within the Prairie Gateway boundary, constructed and/or completed at least twenty years ago, and remain as viable today as they were when originally completed. Originally called the Landscape Legacy Award, the name was changed to the Kessler Legacy Award to honor George Kessler, who first helped promote the City Beautiful movement in Kansas City.

History of the Linda Hall Library Arboretum

When Herbert and Linda Hall bequeathed their estate for the purpose of establishing a public library, it was their wish that the grounds on which their former home stood be preserved and maintained so “that the surrounding trees and grass shall add beauty and dignity” to the Library. Accordingly, the Linda Hall Library’s grounds have been managed for more than 70 years as an urban arboretum, a garden of trees within the city. Complementing the Library’s mission, tree acquisition has emphasized obtaining unusual and underutilized trees that are adapted to the local environment. The grounds surrounding the Library are home to over 300 trees representing 48 genera, 130 species, 11 champion trees, and the renowned tree peonies.

Linda Hall Library Bartlett Courtyard

Linda Hall Library Bartlett Courtyard

In May 2022, the Linda Hall Library opened the Bartlett Courtyard, dedicated with appreciation and gratitude for the contributions to the Linda Hall Library by Paul Dana Bartlett, Jr. (Trustee, 1956-2000) and Joan (Jody) Jenkins Bartlett. The courtyard was a gift from Marilyn Bartlett Hebenstreit (Chair of the Library’s Board of Trustees) and James Bryant Hebenstreit. The courtyard was completed in 2020 and was awarded the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Gold Award of Excellence in 2021.

Prairie Gateway Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects

The PGASLA promotes the development, education and awareness of the landscape architecture profession throughout Kansas and Western Missouri. PGASLA members are dedicated to inspiring the public through work that enhances natural and built environments.