There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
At the Getty Center in Los Angeles, Richard Meier’s towering travertine walls will likely outlive the roaches, but what of Robert Irwin’s painstakingly crafted flower collage in the museum’s central garden? If the garden’s fate proves anything like most of the landscape-architecture projects designed in the past 50 years, that cudflower sprouting up from under Irwin’s oversized bougainvillea bouquets will be under threat of demolition well before Meier’s whitewashed palais d’art. Charles A. Birnbaum, coordinator of the Historic Landscape Initiative at the National Park Service, argues that folks who love rolling Olmsted parks would happily dump pomo projects like Irwin’s or hard-edged modernist creations like Dan Kiley’s Lincoln Center campus scheme. Birnbaum’s book Preserving Modern Landscape Architecture assembles essays and action plans for registering landscapes on the preservation radar so post-World War II plazas and gardens don’t wilt from neglect. Birnbaum discusses and signs copies of his book at 6:30 p.m. at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. $12. For reservations call (202) 272-2448. (Jessica Dawson)