© Morrison-Shearer Foundation, Northbrook IL
The Jens Jensen Legacy Project educates and informs the public about the legacy and vision of Jens Jensen.
More than 100 years ago, Danish immigrant Jens Jensen (1860 – 1951) arrived in America and contributed to the Midwest’s physical and cultural landscape in an enduring way.
Jensen revered and celebrated the area’s indigenous scenery by creating the Prairie style of landscape architecture and leading a movement to conserve natural areas. Jensen’s impressions of the prairie region were conveyed poetically through his use of indigenous plants, natural-looking waterways, layered stonework, meadows and sun-openings.
In addition to designing landscapes such as parks, estates, campuses and saving endangered natural areas, Jensen played an important role in Chicago’s social reform movement. He believed that urban dwellers needed nature in their lives and found creative ways to bring it to them.
Named “dean of American landscape architecture” by the New York Times, Jensen is considered one of the nation’s most important designers today.
For an audio tour of Humboldt Park narrated by Chicago Park District Historian Julia Bachrach: