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

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NCSU College of Design Announces Richard C. Bell Annual Lecture September 2, 2011

Dick Bell in his beloved Pullen Park.

To honor a lifetime of achievement in and for the profession and practice of landscape architecture


PRESS RELEASE – September 2, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) — The Department of Landscape Architecture at the North Carolina State University College of Design has announced the First Annual Richard C. Bell Lecture Series.


“The Department of Landscape Architecture wishes to honor Dick Bell for his professional achievements, leadership, and many landscape legacies through this annual lecture in his name,” said Gene Bressler, FASLA, NCNLA, head of the department and Professor of Landscape Architecture, who refers to Bell as a “North Carolina landscape architecture icon.”


Dick Bell, FASLA, will kick off the new series himself on September 19 at 6 p.m. in the College of Design’s Burns Auditorium located in Kamphhoefner Hall with a lecture entitled “Bridge Building.”


“The essence of my practice has been making friends and building relationships with colleagues in order to get landscape architecture projects done,” said Bell, who has completed over 2000 projects throughout his long career.


A few of his best-known projects in Raleigh are NC State University’s “Brickyard” and Student Center Plaza, the City of Raleigh’s Pullen Park, the Amphitheatre at Meredith College, St. Mary’s College and Peace College’s campus master plans, the Legislative Building grounds, and his own “Water Garden” mixed-use development on Highway 70-West (which has now been destroyed).


Dan Howe, chair of the Department of Landscape Advisory Board, underscores the relevance of Bell’s topic. “Many would argue that the future [of the profession] seems less about narrowing our focus and ‘defining our turf’ to more about making new synergies with our associated professions and colleagues,” he said.


A multi-award-winning designer, Dick Bell graduated from the NCSU School of Design (now College of Design) in 1950 as part of Dean Henry Kamphoefner’s first class.


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 person to receive the Prix de Rome, which allowed him to travel and study in Europe for two years.


Bell founded his first firm in Raleigh, NC, in 1955, introducing the practice of landscape architecture as a registered profession to the state. (He was the first person appointed to the registration board.) He has been a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) since 1954 and was elected to Fellowship in 1980. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome and was the first recipient of the ASLA North Carolina’s Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement. He was inducted into the Raleigh Hall of Fame in 2008. He now lives with his wife, Mary Jo, in Atlantic Beach, NC, where he continues to work on select projects.


The Annual Richard C. Bell Lecture is part of The NC State University 2011-12 Landscape Architecture Lecture Series, “Collaboration – Beyond the Silo.” Dan Howe defines the overall theme as “an exploration of how collaborative synergies contribute to the making of healthier sustainable places and beautiful landscapes for our future.”


The lectures are free. NC State University students may earn one elective credit hour by registering for the lecture series under LAR 582.004.  Registered landscape architects may receive one CEU credit per lecture pending State Board approval.


For more information on the entire lecture series, go to