Pleasantville officials presented their initial designs and goals last week as they continue to work on redesigning a portion of the Memorial Plaza civic space. The Mar. 5 meeting at Village Hall took input from residents and other village stakeholders who offered ideas during previous workshops for potential improvements to the roughly half-acre space on the west end of Memorial Plaza. With the village having obtained a $1.5 million state grant which would pay for the majority of the work, Mayor Peter Scherer said officials are fulfilling a goal of upgrading the streetscape along Memorial Plaza and Manville Road. The village would have to include about $750,000 for the project, he said. Pedestrian walkways would be enhanced on Manville Road from Grant Street to Tompkins Avenue, and the turn lane from Memorial Plaza onto Manville Road is expected to be removed to create a more attractive and communal area.Landscape architect Jamie Maslyn Larson, of Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture, said the Village Board agreed to expand the proposed quarter-acre space to more than a half-acre after residents voiced enthusiasm for the project. She said the larger space promises to create an intimate, comfortable and accessible space that could host an array of events and activities while also accommodating many suggestions made by residents.Project planner Phil Myrick, a Pleasantville resident, said the concepts and goals for the project are unique to the community. He said the feedback he’s received reflects how important a social and civic space is to the village. “It’s something we don’t really have,” Myrick said. “It’s very exciting to a lot of people that we can make this central gathering space.”Larson presented a plan that is broken into four sections interwoven into each other and designated for different activities. The design includes a multiuse plaza, a casual porch and a bosque, a grid of trees landscaped into a specific design. The walkways within the space would comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She said the lawn would be able to hold more than 300 people. Plans call for the war monuments at the north end of the plaza to be relocated onto the lawn to create a dignified space, she said. “It allows people to have casual access to these memorials, actually see them every day and read the names and read the stories,” Larson said. “So, it finally has a place of purpose in this space.”The porch is designed to be located adjacent to the Metro-North train tracks but would be a more intimate and remote area for gatherings or for people to read. Larson said she hopes to integrate hedges and plantings to make it lusher and add to the natural shadiness of the area. The bosque would provide shade for bistro-style chairs and trees would be illuminated with special lighting.A multi-use plaza in the center would be project’s centerpiece and be an “extremely playful” area, Larson said. Visitors could walk through it and it would accommodate the farmers market, food trucks, a water feature or an ice rink. She said the plaza would also feature a granite mosaic design feature that represents the village.“I’m pretty excited about the plaza, about a flexible space but it’s a real opportunity to really mark this particular site with a significant beautiful design feature,” Larson said. “We cannot make this plaza just cast-in-place concrete. It would feel really sad.” She said the next phase of the project is to include public feedback on the design.Engineer Jeffrey Contelmo said roadway improvements include widening the intersection from Memorial Plaza onto Manville Road to create a right turn lane at the traffic light. He added that pedestrian crossings will be enhanced with textured paving to create a shorter and safer crosswalk that is ADA accessible. Scherer said the civic space development would result in the loss of about 25 parking spaces along Memorial Plaza.“What we’re talking about here is something that’s been talked about for two generations of Pleasantvillians, and if 25 parking spaces is in the way of making it happen when the other ducks have been lined up in a row, we’ll find a way to make that work,” Scherer said. “Not going to miss this chance.”
03.04.19Wagner selected as National ASLA jurist
H. Keith Wagner has been selected as a jurist for the National ASLA Design Awards program.
04.16.18Examiner News Article regarding Pleasantville Plaza Design
First Design Draft of P’ville’s Memorial Plaza Public Space Unveiled
MARCH 13, 2018 BY ANNA YOUNG
06.21.17Wagner Hodgson Launches Studio in Hudson New York
H. Keith Wagner FASLA and Jeff Hodgson FASLA have opened a new studio in downtown Hudson, New York that will focus on extending the firm’s legacy of exceptional landscape architecture and advancing the firm’s public realm portfolio. Hudson is a dynamic city that combines cultural vibrancy and urban grit with proximity to both New York City and the splendor of Hudson River Valley. The Wagner Hodgson Hudson studio is led by Principals Dale Schafer ASLA and Jamie Maslyn Larson ASLA, who each have amassed a broad portfolio of award-winning landscape architectural projects across the United States.
“What makes our studio really unique is that the Hudson River Valley setting is an inspiring platform for design, but our urban experience gives us depth to tackle complex issues,” Dale says.
“Wagner Hodgson believes that landscapes are a special form of art. So we are interested in both creating vivid spaces and the craft of getting them built too. We believe our design approach suits the artistic legacy of the Hudson Valley,” says Keith. Jeff adds, “Our approach is scalable too. We feel as comfortable working on small private gardens as large redevelopment sites.”
The Hudson studio services include design of parks, waterfronts, streetscapes and open spaces, cultural and institutional master planning, and residential and mixed-use projects. While rooted in the Hudson Valley, the new office’s relationships and experience expand Wagner Hodgson’s reach into New England, New York City and Mid-Atlantic region.
06.21.17Jamie Maslyn Larson brings a public realm to the Hudson NY studio
Jamie Maslyn Larson RLA ASLA has joined Wagner Hodgson as a Principal in the Hudson studio, marking an exciting point of expansion of the Hudson’s studio’s services into public realm planning and design. Jamie’s extensive portfolio of public realm work demonstrates that landscapes can transform the function and identity of our cities and communities. Her designs merge issues like infrastructure and development with culture and environment to create public space projects that solve problems and improve quality of life.
With her urban and cultural landscape experience, Jamie hopes to be a resource for cities, agencies, developers, and institutions in the region. “Hudson Valley is much more than an idyllic natural paradise — our communities are grappling with serious challenges on par with large cities, like climate change, aged infrastructure, vacant downtowns, and lack of quality open spaces. Now that this is my backyard, I feel a sense of responsibility to aid its stewardship,” says Jamie.
Over a 20-year career Jamie has directed numerous award-winning built works with a construction value of more than $200 million. Prior to Wagner Hodgson, Jamie was Principal-in-Charge of West 8’s United States portfolio, including Governors Island Park, most recently the critically acclaimed Hills project. Other notable projects include Soundscape Park, master plans for Longwood Gardens, Drexel University, and the United States Capitol Complex, and mixed-use redevelopment projects in Philadelphia with SHoP Architects and in Pittsburgh with Bjarke Ingels Group.
02.06.17WHLA receives Honor Award from NY Upstate Chapter ASLA
Wagner Hodgson has received a 2016 design honor award for the Taconic Retreat project in Millerton NY, from the NY Upstate Chapter of ASLA. High atop a hill, a 28,000 SF rectangular 'tapis vert' was scribed into this rolling 110 acre parcel, as the organizing element for a weekend home and surrounding site elements. At the east end of this tilted rectangular plane sits a contemporary ‘barn’ of Corten steel and glass, at the west end is a lap pool, children’s wading pool and terrace at the precipice. Steel tree wells allow key existing trees to remain and extend barn materials out into the landscape. The tapis vert adds a functional, yet sculptural element to the composition, which through material recalls the rusting farm implements of Dutchess County and through pattern, the hay bales that dot the local agrarian landscape. By extending the clients love of contemporary art and minimalism out into the landscape, the project creates a very personalized family retreat that can be enjoyed for generations to come.
10.06.16WH are finalists in HGTV's 2016 "Faces of Design" Program
Keith & Jeff were finalists in the 2016 HGTV "Faces of Design" Awards Program in the Waterside Retreats Category.
07.01.15WH Featured in Summer 2015 Issue of Garden Design
The Quaker Smith Point Residence and the Pool and Pool House projects were feature in an article titled "Backyard Bliss-outs" in the Summer 2015 issue of Garden Design Magazine.
10.15.14Salem State Marsh hall wins national ASLA Honor Award
Marsh Hall at Salem State University in Salem MAssachusetts has received an honor award from the American Society of Landscape Architects. The jury commented: "It's quite beautiful, particularly in the way it integrates these green technologies. It is extremely challenging to get money for something like this on a campus." Keith & Jeff will be heading to Denver in November to receive the award. Thank you to the entire project team for a job well done.
12.19.13URI Medicinal and Wellness Garden wins RI ASLA Award
The Medicinal and Wellness Garden at the University of Rhode Island has received a 2013 "Presidents Award of Excellence" from the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. This is the highest award given at the local chapter level. The jury commented that the project represented a “very thoughtful and responsive design”, with “excellent collaboration between landscape architect and artist”, and “exemplary execution of site detailing”.
10.07.13WHLA Wins 3 Vermont ASLA Awards
Wagner Hodgson has been awarded 3 Design Awards from the Vermont Chapter of ASLA. The awards included a Design Award of Excellence for the Quaker Smith Point Residence and Honor Awards for the University of Rhode Island, College of Pharmacy Medicinal and Wellness Garden and the Tapis vert + Barn residential project. The jury this year was composed of 5 members from the Illinois Chapter of ASLA.
04.09.13HKWP featured in Landscape Architecture Magazine
The Quaker Smith Point Residence has been featured in the April 2013 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine. The article titled "Still Utopia - Above Lake Champlain a New Kind of Ideal" discusses the project design and approach.
08.28.12Quaker Smith Point Residence wins national ASLA Honor Award
The Quaker Smith Point Residence in Shelburne Vermont has received an honor award from the American Society of Landscape Architects. The jury commented: "The detail on this project is incredible and the quality is quite singular. The palette of materials is new, yet compatible with the context. The execution is impeccable." Keith & Jeff will be heading to Phoenix in September to receive the award. Thank you to the entire project team for a job well done.
01.26.12Salem State University - Marsh Hall wins a 2011 BSA Award
The Marsh Hall project at Salem State University has received one of 4 Honor Awards in Design from the Boston Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. The award will be presented on April 28th at a ceremony in Cambridge MA.
09.29.11HKWP wins 5 Vermont ASLA Design Awards
The Minnesota chapter of ASLA were the jurors for the 2011 Vermont ASLA Design Awards. The Juror's awarded Salem State University - Marsh Hall the "Juror's Award of Excellence", the highest award. Receiving Honor Awards were the North Cove Residence & Heritage Aviation. Merit Awards went to the Stowe Pool & Pool House and the Fletcher Allen Oncology Green Roof
06.28.11HKWP in Details Magazine
The Wagner residence was featured in a segment titled "How to add chic to your country retreat" in the June / July issue of Details Magazine.
03.02.11HKWP awarded University of Rhode Island Competition
HKWP & artists Elizabeth Billings / Andy Wasserman have been awarded the commission for the new College of Pharmacy Wellness Garden. The winning entry proposes a sculptural environment that speaks to the fields of pharmacy, pharmacognosy, the geography of Rhode Island and the context of the University of Rhode Island. Within the garden the Materia Medica frieze makes visible a poetic investigation of plant matter. Each etched or sand blasted panel depicts the activity of growth, movement, and transformation of plants and cells. The team will begin construction documents shortly with construction anticpated to begin in summer 2011.
12.01.10Home of H. Keith Wagner & Sara Katz featured in Landscape Architecture Magazine
Landscape Architecture magazine has profiled the home of H. Keith Wagner & Sara Katz in the December 2010 issue. The article titled "All Connected" discusses the inspiration for the home and the importance of simplicity and minimalism in both of their professional lives.