Dr. Arnold R. Alanen

Professor Emeritus, Landscape Architecture
Madison, Wisconsin
United States

Focus Areas



A graduate of the University of Minnesota , Professor Alanen's teaching and research interests feature landscape history and cultural resource preservation. He has written extensively about cultural landscapes, especially those that feature rural areas, immigrant settlements, early towns plans, and planned communities. The majority of his work had focused on the American Midwest, although he has also written about places elsewhere in North America , as well as Finland , Norway , Australia , and Japan . He is co-author of the book, Main Street Ready-Made: The New Deal Community of Greendale, Wisconsin; co-editor of Preserving Cultural Landscapes in America; and author of the 2000 field guide for the conference of the Vernacular Architecture Forum held in Duluth . His book, The Making of a Model Town: U.S. Steel and Morgan Park, Minnesota, will appear next year. In the early 1980s, Dr. Alanen participated in the development of Landscape Journal, the first refereed publication for landscape architectural research in North America , and served as co-editor until 1989; he continues as a consulting editor. He has been a W.K. Kellogg Foundation National Fellow; a Fulbright Graduate Fellow to Finland ; and a Visiting Professor at the University of Helsinki, Finland. As an advisor and consultant to the National Park Service, Dr. Alanen has documented cultural landscapes in Alaska , Michigan , Minnesota , Missouri , and Wisconsin . He recently coordinated a major assessment of the cultural landscape associated with Wisconsin’s State Capitol Building , which included the preparation of a Historic Master Plan for the grounds; and is currently involved in a study of the UW-Madison campus landscape that is by the J. Paul Getty Foundation. The recipient of five national research and communications awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects, Dr. Alanen’s scholarly work also has been recognized with awards from the Society of Architectural Historians, the Pioneer America Society, the Minnesota Historical Society, the Milwaukee County Historical Society, and the Wisconsin Council of Writers. In 1984 he received the University of Wisconsin Alumni Foundation’s Distinguished Teaching Award. The Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture named him Educator of the Year in 2001; and he received the organization’s award for outstanding research and service in 2003. Professor Alanen joined the UW-Madison faculty in 1974, and served as chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture from 1985-88, and again from 2001-03.