Pebbles In The Pond: News & Musings by Landscape Architect Dick Bell

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NC Landscape Architect’s Work Featured In National Press November 8, 2010

Filed under: Press Releases — Blueplate PR @ 3:43 pm
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November 8, 20101 (ATLANTIC BEACH, NC) – Master landscape architect Richard C. “Dick” Bell, FASLA, was honored recently to have one of his favorite projects included in Landscape Architect magazine’s Centennial Issue and to have his career praised in Architects + Artisans, an online magazine dedicated to “thoughtful design for a sustainable world.”


A resident of Atlantic Beach, NC, now, Bell was in Raleigh visiting his daughter recently when he picked up a copy of Landscape Architect’s October edition and discovered his drawing for the NC State University Student Plaza, also known as “The Brickyard,” in the section on Design. Landscape Architecture is the official publication of the American Society of Landscape Architects.


“I had no idea,” he said. “I was truly surprised and honored.”


The Design section spotlights landscape architecture projects that embraced modernist design, rather than European-inspired formalism or classicism. Three blocks long and one block wide, The Brickyard’s flowing, curvilinear design exemplifies the modern aesthetic in landscape architecture and has become an iconic gathering place for NC State students, faculty and visitors since it was competed in 1970.


Concurrent with the appearance of his design in Landscape Architecture, Architects + posted an article entitled “A Life In Landscape Architecture” on October 26. 


“New Yorkers may claim Frederick Law Olmsted as their own, and Virginians might cling to the gardens that Charles Gillette once molded and shaped, but North Carolinians today can embrace their own living icon of the landscape architecture profession,” wrote A+A editor Mike Welton with staff writer Cheryl Wilder about Bell and his career, which began in the 1950s and continues today.


In the A+A article, Bell names The Brickyard as one of his favorite projects among over 2000 projects he has completed. A+A also notes:


“When [Bell] was inducted into the 2008 Raleigh Hall of Fame, the non-profit group noted that he’s driven by a single professional mission: ‘To leave a little beauty behind wherever I go.’ Over a long and successful career, that’s the very least he’s achieved.”


Architects + Artisans is located at


For more information on Dick Bell, visit and


About Dick Bell:


A native of Manteo, NC, award-winning landscape architect Richard C. Bell is a fellow of both the American Society of Landscape Architecture and the American Academy in Rome. He was educated at the North Carolina State University School of Design, graduating as a member of its School’s first graduating class in 1950. He apprenticed under Simonds & Simonds of Pittsburgh, PA, and Frederick B. Stresau of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. At the age of 21, he was the youngest designer to receive the Prix de Rome. He founded his first firm in Raleigh, NC, in 1955, introducing the practice of landscape architecture as a registered profession to the state and was the first person elected to the registration board. He has completed over 2000 landscape architecture projects ranging from major city and highway corridors to city parks, university plazas and amphitheatres, mixed-use beachfront developments, and individual residences. A recognized leader in environmentalism and sustainable design long before the words became part of the general lexicon, he was inducted in the Raleigh Hall of Fame in 2008 and continues his practice in Atlantic Beach, NC.


A History of Landscape Architecture in North Carolina June 25, 2009

brochure cover from the Sixties...

brochure cover from the Sixties...

By Richard C. Bell, FASLA, FAAR, at the request of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects —

Part I:
Toward Registration & Establishing a North Carolina Licensing Board for Landscape Architecture –General Assembly, House Bill 521, 1969 —

Landscape architecture in this state began in the 1930s, during the Great Depression, at North Carolina State College as course work. There were few graduates but two were quite notable: John Harris and E.G. Thurlow. Both men were determined to build a profession the South.

John Harris remained in the College and became “The Tar Heel Gardener,” the host of an early-morning, weekly radio program which informed the public about  the horticulture department and North Carolina nurserymen. His was a “one man approach” to educating all of us about landscape architecture.

Edwin G. “Gil” Thurlow went to war from 1941-45, serving as a naval officer on board a sub-chaser on The Murmanx run. That one, single service on the crucial lifeline from the United States to Russian on an attack vessel established a work ethic in Thurlow that stayed with him throughout his life: “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” He later served on the search committee to bring in a dean for the new “School of Design,” which would now be comprised of faculties from architecture (mechanical engineering) and landscape architecture (horticulture), which Thurlow was resurrecting as a program.