|Council ring designed by Jensen, Questover, Indianapolis, Indiana|
Monday, December 27, 2010
2010 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Jens Jensen (1860-1951), a celebrated landscape architect who worked with many well known architects including Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan. Jensen is best known for his public park designs in Chicago and throughout the Midwest. He is associated with the Prairie Style, a regional style of landscape design in the 19th and early 20th century that evoked the spirit of the prairie with its emphasis on horizontal lines and open spaces.
Elements common to many of Jensen’s designs included prairie lagoons and rivers, stonework, council rings, flower lanes, small cascades and waterfalls, and meadows (even adapted for residential backyard designs) bordered by mid-sized trees and rich plantings. While his use of native plantings was extensive, it was met by resistance from many of his clients; Jensen remained adamant, however, and insisted on using them. He was committed to conservation and over his lifetime made great effort to gain the support of preserving dozens of important landscapes across the Midwest.