NC Landscape Architect Dick Bell Publishes First Book

“The Bridge Builders” explores the evolution of a master designer

January 3, 2011 (ATLANTIC BEACH, NC) – From growing up on North Carolina’s Outer Banks during the Great Depression and World War II, to watching as his immigrant father designed and built the first “Lost Colony” amphitheater, to a series of adventures that began when he won the coveted Prix de Rome in 1951, landscape architect Richard C. “Dick” Bell explores his evolution as a designer in his first book, The Bridge Builders.

Dick Bell is the Southern landscape architect who created such seminal landmarks as the North Carolina State University “Brickyard,” the City of Raleigh’s beloved Pullen Park, and the Meredith College Amphitheater in Raleigh, among 2000 other projects he has completed in his long career – projects that left a profound imprint on his profession and his state. Through The Bridge Builders, he explores the people, places, and educational experiences that made him the man and the designer he came to be.

Published by Vantage Press, The Bridge Builders begins with his paternal grandparents’ immigration from England to Canada in the early years of the 20th century, before his father hastened their relocation to North Carolina. As a young boy in the sea and sand of Manteo, NC, and as a son and grandson of avid gardeners, Bell developed an intense love of nature and conservation that would define his illustrious career. As the youngest recipient of the Prix de Rome, his travel abroad would forever influence how he designed outdoor spaces for human enjoyment.

The book concludes just as Bell is starting what would become one of his master works and a living laboratory for landscape architecture, the former Water Garden in Raleigh – the “Taliesin” of North Carolina.

Midwest Book Review says: “The Bridge Builders is a memoir from Richard Bell as he reflects on being an American who came to love art and architecture in Europe and did well in helping establish important work that earned him a place as town hero in Raleigh. The Bridge Builders is intriguing and thoughtful for those looking for a read that bridges art and architecture.”

The book includes a collection of photos from Bell’s life along with original sketches and watercolors he made during his years at the American Academy in Rome.

Bell is planning to publish another book or white paper in the future that will include case studies of his major projects.

To learn more about The Bridge Builders, visit http://thebridgebuilders.wordpress.com.

The order a copy of the book ($16.95), call by phone 24-hours a day: 877-736-5403, option 5; or fax an order to 212-736-2273.

About the author:

A multi-award-winning landscape architect, Richard C. Bell was educated at the North Carolina State University School of Design (now College of Design), graduating in 1950 as part of Dean Henry Kamphoefner’s first class. He apprenticed under Simonds & Simonds of Pittsburgh, PA, and Frederick B. Stresau of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. At the age of 21, he received the Prix de Rome, which allowed him to travel and study in Europe for two years. He founded his first firm in Raleigh, NC, in 1955, introducing the practice of landscape architecture as a registered profession to the state. (He was the first person elected to the registration board.) He has been a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects since 1954 and was elected to Fellowship in 1980. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome. He was the first recipient of the ASLA NC’s Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement and was inducted into the Raleigh Hall of Fame in 2008. He now lives with his wife in Atlantic Beach, NC, where he continues to work on select projects.

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