About Elizabeth Barlow Rogers

Elizabeth Barlow Rogers is the president of the Foundation for Landscape Studies. A native of San Antonio, Texas, she earned a bachelor’s degree in art history from Wellesley College and a master’s degree in city planning from Yale University.

A resident of New York City since 1964, Rogers was the first person to hold the title of Central Park Administrator, a New York City Department of Parks & Recreation position created by Mayor Edward I. Koch in 1979. She was the founding president of the Central Park Conservancy, the public-private partnership created in 1980 to bring citizen support to the restoration and renewed management of Central Park. She served in both positions until 1996.

A writer on the history of landscape design and the cultural meaning of place, Rogers is the author of The Forests and Wetlands of New York City (Little, Brown and Company, 1971), Frederick Law Olmsted's New York (Whitney Museum/Praeger, 1972), The Central Park Book (Central Park Task Force, 1977), Rebuilding Central Park: A Management and Restoration Plan (The MIT Press, 1987), Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History (Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2001), Romantic Gardens: Nature, Art, and Landscape Design (David R. Godine, Publisher, 2010), Writing the Garden: A Literary Conversation Across Two Centuries (David R. Godine, Publisher, 2011), and Learning Las Vegas: Portrait of a Northern New Mexican Place (Museum of New Mexico Press and Foundation for Landscape Studies, 2013).

Subsequent to guiding Central Park’s restoration and instituting a new management structure during the Conservancy’s first fifteen years, Rogers resumed her career as teacher, lecturer, and writer on the subject of place. At the same time, she has maintained her commitment to the preservation of living landscapes through good design and sound management practices. As the owner with her husband, Theodore C. Rogers, of the C. L. Browning Ranch in the Texas Hill Country, she oversees the restoration of its natural beauty, cultural history, and ecological health. 

Rogers is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of several awards for her work as a writer and landscape preservationist. These include the John Burroughs Medal for The Forests and Wetlands of New York City, which was also nominated for a National Book Award; the Wellesley College Distinguished Alumna Award; an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from Miami University; the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ 2001 Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts; and the American Society of Landscape Architects’ 2005 LaGasse Medal. In 2010 she received the Green-Wood Historic Fund’s Dewitt Clinton Award in Arts, Literature, Preservation and Historic Research. In addition, she is the winner of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 2010 Jane Jacobs Medal for lifetime achievement and was named the 2012 Henry Hope Reed Award laureate by the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture.