Award-winning landscape architect Don Brinkerhoff dies in California

Donald Brinkerhoff, who introduced joy to millions of Las Vegas visitors by reworking the as soon as-grey median strip along Las Vegas Boulevard and adorning motels with lush landscapes, has died.

Brinkerhoff, a landscape architect who essentially based Lifescapes Global Inc. with his partner, Barbara, used to be 90 when he died July 16 at his Newport Seaside, California, home.

His fingerprints and have an effect on are visible up and down the Strip from the tropical landscape at The Mirage, to the stately pines and fountains constructing an extinct-world vibe at Bellagio and to Lifescapes’ latest undertaking at Resorts World, which enthusiastic the planting of spherical 7,000 plant life and bushes, including the relocation of about 100 bushes rescued from the extinct Stardust hotel grounds.

Brinkerhoff’s work began in earnest with his landscape originate of The Mirage for Steve Wynn in 1989 and continued via his work on Resorts World Las Vegas with lead architect Paul Steelman, who mentioned Brinkerhoff coined the terms “hardscape” and “softscape” in landscape structure at some level of his profession.

‘Briefly, pleasing’

“Don’s contribution from The Mirage, Admire Island, Bellagio, Wynn, Encore and China used to be important,” venerable Wynn Resorts Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn mentioned via a manual. “It used to be Don that dreamt up the component of the entrance of The Mirage and it used to be Don that launched me to Impress Fuller with the premise of the fountain at the Bellagio.

“These artistic contributions moreover his pleasing landscape originate had been a enormous accountability that the final enormous lodges enjoyed,” he mentioned.

Brinkerhoff moreover designed the guts median of the Strip with bushes and plant life.

Now designated as a Nevada Scenic Toll road, the Las Vegas Beautification Mission consisted of 4½ miles of streetscaping the landscape medians on what he regarded as as the greatest midway on the planet. Seventy-six-thousand fingers, shrubs, flowering foliage and ground disguise had been planted. Accomplished in 1996, more than 200 Strip frontage property owners unanimously well-liked the $13 million particular enchancment district undertaking, which had no fiscal affect on particular person Clark County taxpayers.

“I went to Don to brighten the Strip within the ’80s and Don designed the final heart strip map of bushes to melt and provide warmth to the absorbing-edged signage,” Wynn mentioned.

“He used to be, in brief, pleasing. I am grateful to gain such candy recollections of this pretty man.”

‘Wonder-inducing landscape creations’

Brinkerhoff worked with nearly about every primary Strip developer at some level of his profession and his hallmark used to be to plant “gigantic bushes.”

“Don Brinkerhoff used to be a visionary designer whose work entails many wonder-inducing landscape creations across the Las Vegas Strip,” mentioned Bill Hornbuckle, CEO of MGM Resorts Global, which properties primary of the designer’s work.

“His astronomical portfolio entails different MGM Resorts’ most illustrious sights including the Oasis at The Mirage as wisely as the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens at Bellagio Hotel & On line casino. His work leaves a lasting imprint on the metropolis and continues to bring joy to millions of holiday makers every yr.”

Brinkerhoff’s firm moreover equipped the floral work at Wynn Resorts Ltd.’s Encore in Las Vegas and Encore Boston Harbor in Massachusetts.

“Don shared our belief that the aspects of nature — pleasing plant life and vegetation, natural light, the stress-free survey and sound of water — had been vital for all of us and he helped us to originate them key aspects of the Wynn expertise,” mentioned Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox. “Although he’ll be missed, his imaginative and prescient lives at some level of all of our motels.”

Alan Feldman, a necessary fellow in accountable gaming at UNLV’s Global Gaming Institute, worked with Brinkerhoff at some level of his time with Mirage Resorts and later with MGM Resorts Global.

A family man

“Past his worldwide reputation as one of the vital greatest landscape architects, he used to be continuously, firstly, a family man,” Feldman mentioned. “The total Brinkerhoff family used to be engaged within the work and their expertise as a neighborhood used to be noteworthy.”

Julie Brinkerhoff-Jacobs, a daughter who serves as president and chief monetary officer of Lifescapes, mentioned her of us’ penchant for commute inspired different the ideas for their projects and great her family lived in several locations across the realm sooner than settling in at Newport Seaside.

Feldman mentioned Brinkerhoff used to be unflappable, even when customers modified their minds about designs in mid-undertaking.

“Don, as the patriarch, region the tone: collaborative, even-tempered, humorous, honest an gorgeous colleague. He used to be unflappable as wisely. At the same time as his client’s views modified and designs that had been well-liked had been altered, he adapted and equipped fresh solutions that had been even greater than the originals.

“His work on The Mirage helped to herald the age of the novel built-in resort no longer easiest in Las Vegas, but across the realm. Thankfully, that work, moreover Admire Island and Bellagio, will stand as legacies to his memory.”

Brinkerhoff won a enormous quantity of awards at some level of his profession. He used to be honored in 2001 by the California Homebuilding Basis, used to be named a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and used to be the principle architect to be inducted into the California Constructing Trade Hall of Popularity and, in 2016, the American Gaming Association Hall of Popularity.

Resorts World work

One of Brinkerhoff’s final projects used to be the recently opened Resorts World, which he worked on with lead architect Steelman.

“Las Vegas used to be very fortunate that Don visited Vegas in 1986 to interview for the originate of The Mirage,” Steelman mentioned. “That day modified Las Vegas and on line casino entertainment forever and fashioned the pleasing suburban respect of our very urbanized metropolis.”

Steelman called Brinkerhoff the principle landscape architect who considered landscape as more than nature — as moreover entertainment.

“Don used to be moreover a lover of the final arts and track,” he mentioned. “His passion for art work used to be clearly demonstrated in his landscape designs at some level of the realm.”

Steelman mentioned he used to be fresh when Brinkerhoff bought The Mirage contract.

“While the opposite opponents equipped unfamiliar solutions, they had been per the Barren region Southwest. Don’s originate used to be the greatest one to verify out landscape as escapism. He used to be the greatest landscape architect who conceived that the originate ideas casinos broken-down for years could also be placed in landscape.

“Steve Wynn used to be very taken by Don’s presentation, and Don stayed in Vegas for several days constructing a mannequin with hundreds of little mannequin bushes. Of course, Steve followed this originate imaginative and prescient with every subsequent undertaking with Don. Bellagio, Admire Island, Wynn, Encore, Beau Rivage, Wynn Macau, Wynn Palace. Don moreover designed the garden waterfront plan that preceded the Fremont Avenue Expertise.”

Brinkerhoff is survived by three formative years, son, Martin Brinkerhoff of Laguna Seaside, California; and daughters Julie Brinkerhoff-Jacobs of Corona del Mar, California; and Karen Hedstrom of Newport Seaside. He used to be preceded in loss of life by daughter Christie Dunbar three weeks sooner than he died and by his partner and industry partner, Barbara, who died in December 2014.

A celebration of life for Brinkerhoff is scheduled in Newport Seaside on Aug. 6.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at [email protected] or 702-477-3893. Put collectively @RickVelotta on Twitter.