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LALH Names 2013 Preservation Hero

Thomas Herrera-Mishler

Thomas Herrera-Mishler. Courtesy Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

“For working to restore the Olmsted and Vaux park system in Buffalo, N.Y., during trying times . . . .

For understanding that parks remain crucial to human well-being in urban life . . . .

For using restored parks to bring back neighborhood pride and civic
involvement . . . .

For building creative partnerships to meet financial needs . . . .

For including poor and affluent neighborhoods alike in preservation planning . . . .

And for consulting Olmsted’s papers when wrestling with hard decisions. . . .”

These are among the reasons LALH chose Thomas Herrera-Mishler, ASLA, president and CEO of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, as this year’s Preservation Hero, says Robin Karson, executive director of LALH. “He has followed the model established by Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, who founded the Central Park Conservancy, in skillfully marshaling both public and private resources to rehabilitate this brilliant series of parks,” Karson says. “His commitment and his results are astonishing.”

Thomas Herrera-Mishler receives award

Thomas Herrera-Mishler is presented with the LALH Preservation Hero Award by LALH Vice President Ethan Carr. Photo by Joe Casio.

A profile of Herrera-Mishler in the forthcoming issue of VIEW, the LALH annual magazine, chronicles some of these results. Herrera-Mishler credits the friends group that formed in 1978 and evolved into the present conservancy—and also helped launch the National Association for Olmsted Parks, of which Herrera-Mishler is a board member—for sparking the turn-around. “They saw the potential of transforming the entire green infrastructure of the city and celebrating the design genius of Olmsted.”

Close up of the award which features a photograph of Pardee Fountain

The award features a photograph of Pardee Fountain in Gates Circle (Formerly Chapin Place) by Andy Olenick, whose work also appears in Best Planned City.

A representative of LALH presented Herrera-Mishler with a Preservation Hero Award at the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy’s annual gala in July. Although LALH has recognized one or more Preservation Heroes each year since 2007, this is the first time the organization has presented the award at a ceremony.

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