William B. Kuhl Retires After More Than Fifty Years as a Landscape Architect

December 5, 2019

Saratoga Associates sends a bittersweet farewell to one of our most invaluable team members: William “Bill” Kuhl, FASLA, will be retiring at the end of 2019 after thirteen years on our team.  He joined in 2006, and has come to serve as the Chairman of our Board; Managing Principal for the SA New York City Office; and as the overall firm Director for the Landscape and Urban Design Studio.  His design approach entails ongoing stakeholder engagement; this is clear in the sensitivity that SA brings to each community project and our resulting reputation as one of the premier design firms in the Northeast.

Bill’s tenure at SA is only the tip of the iceberg. After earning his BLA from the New York State College of Environmental Science and Forestry and Syracuse University in 1967, he worked for the New York State Department of Transportation, and then joined M. Paul Friedberg in 1968, where he was named an Associate and led design production. While still working for M. Paul Friedberg, he enrolled at NYU 1971  to pursue a Masters in Urban Planning. He left M. Paul Friedberg in 1972 and joined forces with Jim and Tom Balsley, to form Balsley Kuhl and in 1980 started his own firm, The Office of William B. Kuhl. This practice was an opportunity for  Bill to provide national and international consulting services for over twenty years; for which he received more than 90 National, State and City design awards, including 8 National Awards at 5 different White House Ceremonies, presented by First Ladies Roslyn Carter, Nancy Reagan (twice) and Hillary Clinton (twice). Bill was elected as a Fellow to the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1996, in the category of Executed Works.

In 2003 Bill merged his firm with EDAW, at the time the world’s largest Landscape Architecture firm, to open their NYC Office, where he was a Principal and Vice President. His 50 plus year career has yielded projects on many scales, ranging from corporate facilities and headquarters,  to parks, to housing, to urban design, to community planning,  especially in his own neighborhood on Long  Island, New York. His international work has led him from Wales to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, South Korea, the Philippines, Canada, Cuba, and the US Virgin Islands.

Bill’s legacy is not limited to site design: He recognizes the importance of a strong professional community and has helped to foster such through roles like President ( 1975-1977)  and Trustee 1978-2006) of the NYC Chapter of ASLA. He also served as the National ASLA representative on the National ACE Mentoring Board of Directors ( 2008-2017), for which he received a special award in 2013 for service to the profession. He also held various positions on the NYC Parks Council. In the interest of passing on his knowledge, Bill began teaching while pursuing his Masters in Urban Planning at NYU. He taught Urban Planting Design for the new Urban Landscape Design Program at City College, directed by Paul Friedberg.  Through the years he has judged/advised student design competitions, and contributed to field guides such as “Landscape Graphic Standards.”  We have said before and will say again— Bill’s mentoring abilities speak for themselves. Although Bill is retiring, he will continue to serve as an alliance principal here at Saratoga Associates in an as-needed role.

Needless to say, he will be missed here as a full-time principal.