Founded in 1858 by what is now the United Methodist Church, Baker was the first university in Kansas. Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company entered a landscape design competition for the University’s main campus in Baldwin City and ultimately selected to complete a campus landscape master plan. JBC went on to design many of the plan’s recommended projects.
The first project constructed was an English garden located on the grounds of the Clarice L. Osborne Memorial Chapel—a masonry structure that had been moved stone-by-stone from Sproxton, England, where it was originally built and dedicated in 1864.
The second project renovated of the University’s central campus landscape. JBC designed the ecological restoration of a historic creek and water body, a new circulation system, the burying of overhead power lines, and the reconstruction of campus landmarks and memorials.
As an early model for integrating historic landscape preservation and ecology, JBC restored a degraded drainage stream into a functional bioswales. This historic remnant is now a
signature piece of the central campus and part of a larger water management design to improve water quality and management throughout the campus core. Now largely implemented, JBC’s master plan enhances existing campus vistas and creates a system of sidewalks designed for clarity with an improved spatial experience of moving through campus.