Burch, Porter & Johnson attorney Charles F. Newman has received the 2019 Olmsted Award from the Tennessee Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (TNASLA). The award was presented to Mr. Newman at their annual conference dinner, held April 25.
The Olmsted Award is named for Frederick Law Olmsted, considered to be the father of landscape architecture in America, and is given annually to an individual that contributes to landscape architecture in different ways in the state of Tennessee.
Mr. Newman’s contributions to the profession and dedication to the preservation of the area’s landscape for decades were cited in his nomination.
“Mr. Newman has supported goals and values shared by the landscape architecture profession through his decades of service aimed at the creation of and care for key park and open space amenities. He has often worked behind the scenes on complex negotiations and legal strategies to secure acquisition and access agreements, and protection for notable parks and greenways, including Overton Park, Shelby Farms Greenline and the Harahan Bridge (aka Big River Crossing). Beginning in the 1970s and through the 1908s, Mr. Newman led the Citizens to Preserve Overton Park v. Volpe law case. His dedication and hard work led to the successful and precedent-setting Supreme Court decision that saved Overton Park from the impact of interstate construction.
“He has unquestionably done more than any other private citizen to establish and protect valuable features of the Memphis landscape and make them available for the community to enjoy.”
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Newman said, “I think landscape architecture is in some ways the most important of the visual arts, with the greatest social consequences.” Calling Olmsted a “giant,” he thanked the landscape architects for the namesake award.