Marvin I. Adleman, professor emeritus of landscape architecture, died June 21 at age 84 in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, of Parkinson’s disease.
A distinguished landscape architect and a native of Philadelphia, Adleman attended Delaware Valley College and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He was best known for his accomplishments during his 36 years as professor of landscape architecture at Cornell, where he built the landscape architecture program and headed the department for most of his tenure at Cornell until his retirement in 2008.
Prior to joining the Cornell faculty, Adleman worked at Sasaki and Associates in Boston before starting his own landscape architecture practice in Philadelphia. In 1992, Adleman was named a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and in 2004 he was awarded the prestigious ASLA Jot D. Carpenter Teaching Medal.
Adleman designed numerous well-known outdoor spaces including the original Ithaca Commons in 1974, one of the first pedestrian malls of its kind, in downtown Ithaca. He also designed the arboretum at the Cornell Botanic Gardens, which was recently named the top university arboretum in the country by Best College Reviews. Adleman’s other notable designs included the Laboratory of Ornithology bird garden, the garden at Cayuga Medical Center and Ithaca’s Cass Park children’s spray pool, as well as the redesign of several outdoor spaces at central New York schools and college campuses.
“Marvin Adleman was a consummate educator with thousands of former students that hold him in high esteem not only for his broad professional knowledge but also for his kindness and thoughtfulness,” said Peter Trowbridge, professor and chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “He will be deeply missed.”
Adleman is survived by his widow, Susan (Plaut) Adleman, three children and four grandchildren.
Memorial gifts can be sent to the attention of Peter Trowbridge, Department of Landscape Architecture, 440 Kennedy Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853; reference the Excellence Fund in memory of Marvin Adleman. Memorials may also be made to Temple Beth El, 402 N. Tioga St., Ithaca.