Arthur R. Nichols, Landscape Architect
Considered one of the state’s most important landscape architects
Nichols designed and supervised the execution of Highway 100 and Lilac Way. Fred Vogt, Roadside Development’s staff landscape architect at the MN Highway Department, undoubtedly worked closely with Nichols.
Unlike many landscape architects who worked for state highway departments in the early 1930s, both Nichols and Vogt were trained in engineering and highway design, as well as in landscape architecture.
- Lilac bushes were laid out irregularly, separated by open space
- Added evergreens, elms, trees and grassy slopes to fit natural topography
- The unique design for seven roadside parks, beehive fireplaces and landscape plan was based on labor-intensive ‘Rustic’ style of architecture popular in 1930
- Lilac Way parks included picnic tables, rock waterfalls, limestone pools surrounded by benches, rock gardens, fireplaces, walkways, flagpole stands, wayside rest signs and beehive fireplaces
- Knowing how important jobs were, Nichols kept WPA workers busy planting lilacs when not roadbuilding
- Worked with Chief Engineer Carl Graeser on Lilac Way
Nichols included more than 7,000 bushes of 12 varieties of lilacs, and thousands of shrubs, vines, and trees.
When landscaping was completed in 1938, over 30,000 deciduous plants had been planted.
- Born in Springfield, Massachusetts on April 15, 1881
- Attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was first graduate of its landscape architecture program in 1902
- One of Minnesota’s premier landscape architects
- Key player in establishing the field of landscape architecture in MN
- In 1926, consulted on location, grading, and landscaping of proposed roads in Glacier National Park and designed the grounds of popular Glacier Park Hotel
- Had a tremendous impact on MN’s roadside development work
- Worked on landscape of “Glensheen”, Chester A. Congdon’s Duluth mansion
- Designed most of MN’s waysides, scenic overlooks, and historical markers built during the 1930s and 1940s
- Worked on plans for Northrup Mall at University of MN in 1930
- Designed Lakewood Cemetery addition in 1948, which continued concept of cemetery as arboretum
Glensheen Mansion, landscape designed by Arthur Nichols
Glacier Park Lodge, landscape designed by Arthur Nichols
Anthony U. Morrell and Arthur R. Nichols – Duluth Landscape Architects – American Society of Landscape Architects, MN
Arthur Nichols, Pioneer – The Cultural Landscape Foundation
HISTORICAL OVERVIEW + DOCUMENTATION, MN Department of Highways – National Park Service