Thomas Dolliver Church

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Thomas Dolliver Church (born April 27, 1902 in Boston , Massachusetts , † August 30, 1978 ) was an American landscape architect . He was called "Dolliver" by his family and "Tommy" by friends.


Church grew up in Ojai and Berkeley , California. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Agriculture at the University of California, Berkeley in 1923 . Church received his Masters from the Harvard Graduate School of Design . Here he was strongly influenced by Walter Gropius . Between 1929 and 1930, Church taught at UC Berkeley. In 1932 he moved to San Francisco and opened his office at 402 Jackson Street in 1933. After a trip to Europe in 1937, during which he visited France and Finland, he taught for a year at Ohio State University . He received the Prix ​​de Rome for landscape architecture in 1960 . In 1973 he became an Associate Member ( ANA ) of the National Academy of Design . He kept the San Francisco office until he retired in 1977. Shortly before his death in 1978, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences .


When Church began his studies, neoclassicism dominated garden design. Church learned the sense of classical form at the University of California, Berkeley, at Harvard and during a trip to Europe. He was heavily influenced by the work of Le Corbusier and Alvar Aalto . But cubist and Art Deco elements can also be found in his work. Church was considered to be one of the inventors of modern American landscape architecture, which became known as the California Style . This was dominated by paving, wooden terraces, bridges and raised beds and adapted to the often irregular shape of the plots. The gardens were designed to be "easy to maintain". In his book Gardens are for Peoples , he described the four principles of his designs:

  • unit
  • function
  • simplicity
  • scale


Individual evidence

  1. Past Academicians "C" / Church, Thomas Dolliver ANA 1973 ( Memento of the original from March 20, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (accessed on June 18, 2015) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /


  • Gardens are for people, how to plan for outdoor living. New York, Reinhold Publishing Corporation 1955 (new editions 1983, 1995)
  • Your private world; a study of intimate gardens. San Francisco, Chronicle Books 1969.


  • Guy Cooper, Gordon Taylor 1996. Paradise transformed. The private garden for the 21st century. New York, Monacelli Press, Nov.
  • George Plumptree 1994, Great gardens, great designers. London, Seven dials, 67-69.

Web links