Design Journalism

From landscape architectural monographs to campus histories, Frank Edgerton Martin explores a range of historic and ecologically-significant places as a project writer, design journalist, and landscape historian.

savannah porch

Services and Professional Writing Expertise

Design Firm Monographs, Specialized Proposals, Project Descriptions, Program Documents, Campus and Large-Scale Master Plans, Institutional Histories

Projects, Articles, and Publications

The following is a list of selected projects and publications in a variety of monographs, design books and journals. Links are included here for several publications. He is also serving as Adjunct Professor at the University of Baltimore where, with a noted graphic designer,  he is teaching communications design and journalism for designers of all backgrounds. Please contact us with questions.


Moriah book cover

Moriah and Port Henry in the Adirondacks

Jaqueline Viestenz and Frank Edgerton Martin

Arcadia Press, 2013



Ken Smith: Landscape Architect

Monacelli Press, 2009. Winner of a 2010 ASLA National Honor Award in Communications

(Contributing writer and editor)  click on text for link to ASLA Award



The Simple Home: The luxury of enough

Sarah Nettleton and Frank Edgerton Martin

Taunton Press, 2007


Valued Places: Landscape Architecture in Minnesota

American Society of Landscape Architects, Minnesota Chapter, 2001

(Editor and contributing writer)


Selected Articles and Essays



The Puzzles and Promise of Campus Landscape Preservation: Integrating sustainability, historic landscapes and institutional change, Planning for Higher Education, April 2011.

Sculpture for Everyone: In suburban New York, Pepsico keeps the sculpture garden of its corporate campus secretly open to the public. Landscape Architecture, March 2011

Urban Fabric: Landscape architect Annette Wilkus offers unique insights on fabric opportunities in urban design. Fabric Architecture, January 2011

The Understory So Far: At the 100 Acres Art + Nature Park in Indianapolis, Ed Blake began with the subtleties of floodplain geography. Landscape Architecture, January 2011.


Revisiting Sprint: Nine years and a communication revolution later, Landscape Architecture revisits one of America’s largest corporate campuses. Landscape Architecture, September 2010.

The High Line: NYC’s Mile-Long Green Roof: An urban promenade for the 21st century, the High Line’s linear roof garden offers sophisticated drainage and planting solutions. Fabric Architecture, July 2010

The Greening of the Postal Service: New York’s Morgan Station is one of the nation’s largest green roofs. Fabric Architecture, May 2010

Randy Sharp Envisions Living Cities: A leading Canadian landscape architect discusses green roofs, walls and opportunities for new technologies. Fabric Architecture, May 2010


Campus Profile—Morgan State University: A Historically Black University connects urban ecology and social justice. Landscape Architecture, December 2009.

Towards a Living Architecture: Jeffrey L. Bruce, a leader on green roofs and landscape, speaks out on the promise of “Living Architecture. Fabric Architecture, November 2009

North America’s First Modular Living Wall Installation Opens in Vancouver: A new frontier for fabric applications begins at the Vancouver Aquarium’s new Aquaquest-Marilyn Blusson Learning Centre. Fabric Architecture, November 2009

Baltimore’s Grounds for Art: Two sculpture gardens at the Baltimore Museum of Art are modern gems. Landscape Architecture, June 2009.

Fabric Pavilion Pays Tribute to Architect’s Plan for Chicago: Zaha Hadid’s tiny Burnham pavilion captures Chicago’s grand plans. Fabric Architecture, November 2009


Metaphor’s and Materials Meet in Beijing’s National Stadium: China’s civic infrastructure and economy continues to grow at Olympian proportions. Fabric Architecture, May 2008

Educating for a Region in Change, “Campus Profile,” Landscape Architecture (2008) 7/08, pp. 40, 42, 44, 46-49

[Listed above, this article on California State University-Pomona’s landscape architecture program is the first in a series that I am writing for Landscape Architecture magazine on teaching programs with an unusual body of students and generally urban locations in North America. Pomona offers an extraordinary diversity of students who study the Los Angeles region in both graduate and undergraduate programs. In April 2009, I published a second campus profile in Landscape Architecture magazine on the graduate program at City University of New York.]

Book Review: Designing Outdoor Environments for Children: Landscaping School Yards, Gardens, and Playgrounds, by Lolly Tai, FASLA; Mary Taylor Haque, ASLA; Gina K. McLellan; and Erin Jordan Knight, “Books,” Landscape Architecture (2008) 2/08, p. 114 (reviewer)
The Road Taken, “Careers,” Landscape Architecture (2008) 4/08, pp. 34, 36-38, 40-42, 44-45, 48 (co-writer)


The following three articles provide an overview of historic landscape preservation on American college campuses and discuss the Getty Foundation Campus Heritage Plans, including those for the University of Kansas and the University of Minnesota-Morris with which I have been involved as landscape planner and historian. 

Getting Involved in Campus Preservation, “Historic Preservation,” Landscape Architecture (2007) 7/07, p. 90
Learning Landscapes, “Historic Preservation,” Landscape Architecture (2007) 7/07, pp. 82, 84, 86-91
Tools for Effective Preservation Plans, “Historic Preservation,” Landscape Architecture (2007) 7/07, p. 88


Beacon of Arts and Landscape, Landscape Architecture(2006) 6/06, pp. 122-135
Design for Danger, Landscape Architecture (2006) 6/06, pp. 136-143
Industrial Revolution, Landscape Architecture (2006) 7/06, pp. 56, 58-60, 62-65
Moving Beyond Mies, Landscape Architecture(2006) 9/06, pp. 124-133
Preemptive Park, Landscape Architecture(2006) 11/06, pp. 94-101


Art Yard, “Design,” Landscape Architecture (2005) 1/05, pp. 40, 42-47

Capital Planning, “Planning,” Landscape Architecture (2005)  2/05, pp. 56, 58-65

Challenges and Solutions for Ottawa, “Planning,” Landscape Architecture (2005)  2/05, p. 59

Negotiating Nature, “Shared Wisdom,” Landscape Architecture (2005) 1/05, pp. 112-115

Partners in Art, “Changing Places,” Landscape Architecture (2005)  12/05, pp. 60-65

Responses to “An Apocalyptic Manifesto,” “Letters,” Landscape Architecture (2005)  6/05, p. 15

Rethinking Riverside, “Editor’s Choice,” Landscape Architecture (2005)  10/05, pp. 44, 46, 48, 50-55

Updating Olmsted, “Planning,” Landscape Architecture (2005)  3/05, pp. 66, 68-70, 72-74


Advocate for Habitat, “Shared Wisdom,” Landscape Architecture (2004) 8/04, pp. 126-129

Artistic Grounds, “Planning,” Landscape Architecture  (2004) 3/04, pp. 58, 60, 62, 64

Bringing Land Ethics to Life, “Shared Wisdom,” Landscape Architecture (2004) 6/04, pp. 118-121

The CEOs of Academia, “Editor’s Choice,” Landscape Architecture (2004) 10/04, pp. 38, 40, 42, 44-45

City Symmetries, “Design,” Landscape Architecture (2004) 6/04, pp. 46, 48-51

Gaining Ground, “Design,”Landscape Architecture (2004) 5/04, pp. 48, 50, 52

A Garden Palette for a Northern City, “Design,” Landscape Architecture (2004) 5/04, p. 52

Lessons for Future Mining Reclamation, “Ecology,” Landscape Architecture (2004) 2/04, p. 54

Lessons for Updating Pedestrian Malls, “Urban Design,” Landscape Architecture (2004) 5/04, p. 82

Master Excavator, “Shared Wisdom,” Landscape Architecture (2004) 11/04, pp. 124-127

Mining for Open Space, “Ecology,” Landscape Architecture (2004) 2/04, pp. 50, 52, 54, 56-57

A Softer Side of Formalism, “Shared Wisdom,” Landscape Architecture (2004) 5/04, pp. 126-129

Tips [on mining reclamation and land-use planning], Landscape Architecture (2004) “Shared Wisdom,” 11/04, p. 127

With or Without Civic Memory, “Urban Design,” Landscape Architecture (2004) 5/04, pp. 76, 78, 80, 82, 84-85

Working with a Restoration Ecologist, “Shared Wisdom,” Landscape Architecture (2004) 6/04, p. 121


Farming a New Frontier – Peck Farm Park tells a story that most suburbs choose to forget. Landscape Architecture. 93, no. 11, (2003): 74

Understanding a “Comfortable Wilderness” – At National Park sites such as Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, can we accept cultural landscapes as part of nature? Landscape Architecture. 93, no. 10, (2003): 94

Pragmatic Partnerships – The Mississippi River Greenway is a model for park planning. Landscape Architecture on the Prairie – Two recent projects at the Chicago Botanic Garden showcase new approaches to shoreline plantings in American gardens. Landscape Architecture. 93, no. 9, (2003): 82

Design for Learning – Can a landscape architect take the lead in planning a campus? Landscape Architecture. 93, no. 7, (2003): 92

In the Driver’s Seat – How can a landscape architect find success as an entrepreneur? Landscape Architecture. 93, no. 5, (2003): 92

The Necessity for Ruins – Industrial vestiges recapture Minneapolis’s milling past, Landscape Architecture. 93, no. 4, (2003): 36 93, no. 2, (2003): 40

Parks for a Zenith City – Duluth rediscovers Skyline Parkway. Landscape Architecture. 93, no. 1, (2003): 48


Doctor’s Diagnosis – The design of many “therapeutic gardens is based on misconceptions, says physician/landscape architect Joanne Westphal. Landscape Architecture. 92, no. 12, (2002): 82

Campus on the Hill – The University of Cincinnati forges a new model for campus planning. Landscape Architecture. 92, no. 10, (2002): 118

Boomtown Landscape – San Jose blends many cultures and periods. Landscape Architecture. 92, no. 10, (2002): 102

Cast in Bronze – Minneapolis sculptors bring a lost civic space to life. Landscape Architecture. 92, no. 7, (2002): 26

Access for All – Cleveland reconnects with Bus Rapid Transit. Landscape Architecture. 92, no. 6, (2002): 44

Two Campuses Silicon Built – The boom and bust cycles of Silicon Valley demand a different, more flexible workplace. Landscape Architecture. 92, no. 5, (2002): 82

The Consolation of Open Spaces – In an insecure age, the Minneapolis Federal Reserve is a case study for landscape architects Landscape Architecture. 92, no. 3, (2002): 30

Field Trips Into History – William Tishler, FASLA, teaches us the cultural values of everyday landscape. Landscape Architecture. 92, no. 2, (2002): 80


Before New Urbanism – Postwar subdivisions offer surprising lessons

Landscape Architecture. 91, no. 12, (2001): 48

Above the Falls. Minneapolis redefines its working river architecture. Landscape Architecture. 91, no. 11, (2001): 50

Making Pictures – Photographer Chris Faust encourages new questions. Landscape Architecture. 91, no. 10, (2001): 88

Crossing the Border. Working abroad is simpler than many landscape architects realize. Landscape Architecture.  91, no. 9, (2001): 84

The City that Stands Alone – Sprint World Headquarters exemplifies the new corporate enclave. Landscape Architecture. 91, no. 8, (2001): 74

The Northwest Forest Plan – Do landscape architects have a role in ecological forest management? Landscape Architecture. 91, no. 8, (2001): 48

Declaring War on the Ivory Tower – A historic military base becomes a future-oriented university. Landscape Architecture. 91, no. 7, (2001): 48

New Ruralism – A model village grows in rural Minnesota. Landscape Architecture. 91, no. 6, (2001): 50

Nature and the journey – To the Final Resting Place -Houston’s Beth Israel cemetery conveys a deep spirituality through sparing design.

Landscape Architecture. 91, no. 5, (2001): 28

A Serene Distillation – The Reid residence, by the Office of James Burnett, is an intimate Houston oasis. Landscape Architecture. 91, no. 3, (2001): 76

Campus Orientation – From tree service to campus planning, Michel Van Yahres, ASLA, takes a long-term view. Landscape Architecture. 91, no. 2, (2001): 84

Making the River Connection – Stewardship marks the projects of Saint Paul’s riverfront restoration, bringing life back to the water’s

edge. Landscape Architecture. 91, no. 2, (2001): 62

Beyond the Gazebo – The White River Gardens in Indianapolis attempt to reflect the agricultural landscapes of Indiana. Landscape Architecture. 91, no. 1, (2001): 62


Professional Passages – Diverse roads to firm ownership and transition. Landscape Architecture. 90, no. 9, (2000): 32

That’s Entertainment – Entertainment used to be a part of culture; now it is culture. What happens when art and museums adopt the blockbuster ethic? Architecture : the AIA  journal. 89, no. 8, (2000): 62

Where the Runway Ends – Crosswinds Marsh heals the land while raising environmental awareness. Landscape Architecture. 90, no. 7, (2000): 26

Safety, Professional Turf – ASLA sets a long-term strategy for professional licensure. Landscape Architecture. 90, no. 3, (2000): 32


American Civic Art – Elbert Peets and other landscape architects were among the first city planners–and their legacy is being revived. Landscape Architecture. 89, no. 11, (1999): 64

Protest – Off Target. Judging by the blandness of Target’s new headquarters on Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis may not make it after all. Architecture : the AIA journal. 88, no. 9, (1999): 89

The Spring Peeper Meadow – The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum serves as a living classroom and a model for wetland restoration. Landscape Architecture. 89, no. 9, (1999): 62

Lifetime Learning – What continuing education means to both the individual practitioner and to the profession. Landscape Architecture. 89, no. 8, (1999): 32

Time for TEA-21 – Like its predecessor, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Act (ISTEA), TEA-21 offers a wealth of opportunities to landscape architects interested in transportation enhancements. Landscape Architecture. 89, no. 2, (1999): 68

The Federal Client – Will downsizing federal agencies mean more work for private firms? Yes, if you can navigate the federal maze. Landscape Architecture. 89, no. 1, (1999)


“The University of Minnesota Historic Preservation Plan: The U Becomes a Steward of Its Past,” Works, Summer 1998, p. 12.

“Metropolitics and Holy Land,”  Design Book Review, Spring, 1998


“Urban Edge: The Suburban Documentation Project Records Twin Cities Development,” Minnesota Monthly, March, 1997.


“Solid Architecture and a Richness of Plants, Sidney’s Garden Terrace” Minnesota Common Ground, Spring 1996, pp. 6-7.

“Mid-Century Suburbs” Issue Guest Editor, Minnesota Common Ground, Winter 1996. 12 pages.


“Your Aesthetic Interests are Secure: Design Control and the Gate-Guarded Community,” Modulus 23, 1995, pp 98-107.

Martin, Frank Edgerton and Christopher Faust. Design Quarterly 164, Captions and photographs throughout issue, Spring 1995 pp. 3-4, 17-18, 30-31.

“Home Truths: A Minnesota Sensory Landscape Serves Caregivers,” Landscape Architecture, September 1995, pp. 60-61.

“Riverside Revisited? Prairie Crossing is a Model for Midwestern Suburbs,” Landscape Architecture (cover),  August 1995, pp. 56-59.


“A Constant Source of Pleasure and Instruction: Preserving Campus Character at UM Morris” Minnesota Common Ground, Fall 1994,  pp. 8-9.

“A History of Minnesota Landscape Architecture” Issue Guest Editor, Minnesota Common Ground, Fall 1994. 20 pages.

“School Sprawl: Gigantic Suburban High Schools Enervate the Urban Core,” Landscape Architecture, September 1994, pp. 40-41.

Martin, Frank Edgerton. “Streets of Reality: Should middle-class housing achieve high-style design?” Architecture Minnesota, May/June 1994, pp. 38-41.

Martin, Frank Edgerton. “The Veneer of Greenness: Landscaping and Suburban Ecology.” re/alignment. Vol. 2, No. 1. January 1994,  pp. 8-15.


Martin, Edgerton. “Christopher C. Faust,” Photo Metro, August 1993, pp. 18-19.


Martin, Frank Edgerton. “Helping Suburbs to Reappear: The Suburban Documentation Project.” Design Book Review 26, Fall 1992, pp. 35-37.

Martin, Edgerton. “Arcadia at the Edge.” Design Quarterly 156, Summer 1992, pp. 14-20.

Martin, Edgerton. “From Southdale to the Mall of America: Urban Models for  Cities of Our Time.” Hennepin History. Vol 51, No. 3, Summer 1992, pp. 4-14.

Martin, Edgerton. “A Woodland Veil: The Expansion of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Walker. Summer 1992.


Martin, Frank Edgerton and Hoffman, Brian. Review of The Razing Romania’s Past.  Design Book Review 21, Summer, 1991,  pp. 47-48.

Martin, Frank Edgerton.  “Urban Edge: Panoramic Photographs of Freeway-Era Suburbs.”  Artpaper.  Summer, 1991, pp. 20-21.

Martin, Frank Edgerton.  “The Cities of Our Time: Suburban Landscapes of the Reagan Era.” Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects—Awards Magazine, p. 3.


Ahlgren, Carol and Martin, Frank Edgerton. 1990. “A Story of Prefabrication: How the Trachte Company Grew up with the Roadside.” in Roadside America: The Automobile in Design and Culture. Jan Jennings, ed. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press. 1990.

Ahlgren, Carol and Martin, Frank Edgerton. 1989. “From Dante to  Doomsday: How a City Without People Survived a Nuclear Blast.” Design Book Review 17, Fall, 1989.

Martin, Frank E. 1987. Commentary on “An Emerging Paradigm for Landscape Architecture,” Landscape Journal 6, No. 1, pp.  94-97.

Ahlgren, Carol and Martin, Frank Edgerton. 1986. “Vernacular Attractions: Trachte Buildings Represent the Architecture of Ordinary Lives,” Isthmus, Vol. 11, No. 29, December 5, 1986.


Selected Architectural Reports & Projects

Martin, Frank Edgerton and Hay Dobbs, P.A. 2006. Campus Master Plan Overview for Saint Marys University, Winona, Minnesota.

Martin, Frank Edgerton and Gemini Research, Miller Dunwiddie Architecture 2005. Historic Preservation Master Plan for the University of Minnesota-Morris. Morris, Minnesota.

Martin, Frank Edgerton and HGA Inc. 2003. Campus Master Plan for Bemidji State University. Bemidji, Minnesota.

Martin, Frank Edgerton and HGA Inc. 2000. Como Zoo and Conservatory Predesign Document. For City Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Martin, Frank Edgerton and HGA Inc. 1996. Campus Master Plan for the University of Minnesota, Duluth. For the University of Minnesota.

Martin, Frank Edgerton and SMMA Inc. 1995. Boulevard Gardens, Retail and Open Space Concepts: Site Plan Narrative. For CSM Development Corp., St. Paul, Minnesota.

Martin, Frank Edgerton and HGA Inc. 1995. Campus Master Plan for the University of Minnesota, Morris. For the University of Minnesota.

Martin, Frank Edgerton and HGA Inc. 1994. Campus Master Plan for Earlham College. For Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana.

Martin, Frank Edgerton and HGA Inc. 1994 Master Plan for the Memorial Park Arboretum & Gardens. Appleton, Wisconsin.

Martin, Frank Edgerton and HGA Inc. 1993. Master Plan for the Stout Foundation Land. For the Stout University Foundation, Menomonie,Wisconsin.

Martin, Frank Edgerton and HGA Inc. 1993. Tower II Landscape Design Proposals. For the University of California Medical Center, Sacramento, California.

Martin, Frank Edgerton and HGA Inc. 1993. Marine Education Center: Siting and Predesign Study. For the Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley, Minnesota.

Martin, Frank Edgerton, Joan Soranno and HGA Inc. 1993. Minneapolis Institute of Arts: Predesign Study. For the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Martin, Frank Edgerton and HGA Inc. 1993. A Master Plan for the Peace Memorial. For the Kuwait-America Foundation, Washington D.C.

Martin, Frank Edgerton and HGA Inc. 1992. Minnesota Zoological Garden Land Use Masterplan. For the Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley, Minnesota.

Martin, Frank Edgerton and HGA Inc. 1992. Landscape Master Plan for IBM-Rochester. For International Business Machines Corp., Armonk, New York.

Sancar, Fahriye H., and Martin, Frank E. 1986. Forward Janesville Planning and Design Project: Phase One Report. For the Janesville Foundation, Janesville, Wisconsin.

Selected Lectures and Presentations

“Engineering Beauty and Safety: Landscape Architect Arthur R Nichols’ Five Decades of Roadway Design.

Preserving the Historic Road in America conference

Washington, DC. September 2010.

“Historic Preservation Strategies for the University of Kansas Campus,” University of Kansas, April 2007.

“The Ecology and Aesthetics of Our Newest Suburbs,” University of Minnesota, Bell Museum of Natural History lecture series. December 2005

“Writing Design: Writing Tools and Strategies for Architects, Landscape Architects, Preservationists” Annual conference, AIA Minnesota. October 2005.

“Why Landscapes Matter: Cultural Landscape Preservation Shows how Hard It Is to Fix the Past.”

Keynote, annual meeting, Society of Architectural Historians, Minnesota

Saint Paul, MN, March 2005.

“Picturing the Campus: Participatory Photography as a Tool for Identifying Campus Character.” The Society of College and University Planners national conference, Denver, CO. 2001.

“Preserving Campus Character in the Information Age: Master Planning for Historic Landscape Preservation at the University of Minnesota, Morris” The Clearing Institute, Door County, WI. June 1996.

“Recent Work of the Suburban Documentation Project,” Breaking New Ground on Old Buildings.  State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, WI. April, 1996.

“The Packaging of Armageddon: Symbolic Landscapes and American Civil Defense: 1945-1960.” Conference Presentation, Preserving the Recent Past, Chicago, IL. March, 1995.

“The Suburban Documentation Project, “Planning for Suburban Growth.  AIA—Minneapolis Chapter. August 1992.

“A Story of Prefabrication: How the Trachte Company Grew up with the Roadside.” Conference Presentation, Americans and the Automobile, Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, MI. November, 1988.

“Participatory Photography as a Tool in Understanding Attachment to Community.” Conference Presentation, The Spirit of Place, University of California, Davis CA. September, 1988.

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