Lord & Schryver – Their Story

Edith Schryver and Elizabeth Lord photograph

Edith Schryver and Elizabeth Lord

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Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver were the first women in the Pacific Northwest to own and operate their own landscape architecture firm, designing over 200 landscapes and gardens in the region between 1929 and 1969. In addition to landscape architecture, they were educators, writers, active civic participants, world travelers and women who successfully operated a business in a man’s world.

Elizabeth was born in Salem in 1887 into a prominent family whose father was both Oregon Governor and Supreme Court Justice. Her mother was active in the community and a gardener. She enrolled at the Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture for Women in Groton, Massachusetts in 1926. In 1927, at age 39, Elizabeth joined the school’s summer study tour to Europe.

Edith was born in 1901 in Kingston, New York into a middle-class family. In 1920, Edith enrolled at Lowthorpe, six years before Elizabeth. During this period, she worked as an intern in the New York City office of notable landscape architect, Ellen Shipman. In 1927, Elizabeth also joined the Lowthorpe European tour.

Realizing they had complementary skills and aesthetic ideals, they soon moved together to Lord’s family home in Salem, Oregon, and founded the Lord & Schryver landscape architecture firm in 1929. Years later, in 1973, Elizabeth Lord said of the partnership, “We joined forces, desiring to try out a new venture of real garden designing and planting, domestic and park planting.” ​