Ludwig Lesser (1869–1957 · garden architect)

Lesser was born in Berlin in 1869 and ran a small design and planning office beginning in 1909, making him the first independent landscape architect in Germany to work exclusively in planning. In addition to the green and open spaces of Falkenberg Garden City and White City, Lesser designed many important facilities in and around Berlin. His designs ranged from small-scale, house and villa gardens to cemeteries and entire housing estates. Among his most famous works are the green spaces of Berlin’s district of Frohnau (a one-time garden city), and the blueprint of the country home community Bad Saarow-Pieskow on the lake Scharmützelsee, which was popular with film actors and artists in the 1920s. From day one, his commitment to social issues and journalism made Lesser an opinion leader. He published a garden calendar, became a lecturer, gave speeches, joined the craftsmen's association Deutscher Werkbund among other professional organisations, and wrote a number of articles and books. Particularly noteworthy is the book Volksparke heute und morgen (People’s Parks Past and Present) which made an last impression on the reform movement in 1927. A pioneer of broadcasting, from 1925 to 1933 he presented a popular gardening programme for the radio station Funkstunde. In 1919, he was appointed to the presidium of the German Garden City Society and served as its president from 1923 until 1933, when he was removed from all offices due to his Jewish origins. In 1939 he emigrated to Sweden, where he lived until his death.