University of Arizona

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Alvin O. Hurst Papers

Map for Colorado River Channelization Project, 1955

Alvin O. Hurst served from 1942 to1945 in the United States Army Air Corps as a pilot. After World War II, Mr. Hurst returned to the University of Illinois- Urbana and completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in landscape architecture in 1948. After graduation he joined the staff of the National Park Service. In1955,  Hurst transferred to Yuma, Arizona to become the supervisory park landscape architect in charge of the Lower Colorado River Survey. From 1957 to 1959  Hurst served as secretary of the Recreation Subcommittee of the Pacific Southwest Inter-agency Committee. In 1958 Mr. Hurst became a recreation planner in charge of a portion of the National Park Service’s National Recreation Plan based in New Mexico.

In 1962 he took a temporary assignment as a planning consultant to the Secretary of the Interior's Land Use Advisory Committee at the Lower Colorado River Land Use Office in Yuma, Arizona where he wrote the Lower Colorado River Land Use Plan which was a landmark publication in land-use planning and was approved by Secretary of the Interior, Stewart Udall. He briefly left the Southwest from 1963 to 1964 to work as a Recreation Resources Planner in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1964 he returned permanently to the Lower Colorado River Land Use Office in Yuma, Arizona. Alvin Hurst was recognized for his ability to accommodate a wide variety of recreational activities into recreational spaces without an excessive amount of damage to the environment. He died in Yuma in 1974.

Papers, 1946-1972 (bulk 1952-1969). This collection contains the papers of Alvin O. Hurst relating to his career in landscape architecture in the southwestern United States. The bulk of the material includes business records that document Mr. Hurst’s career working with the National Park Service. The majority of the materials relate to Mr. Hurst’s work at the Lower Colorado River Land Use Office in Yuma, Arizona. Also included are writings which consist of short essays by Mr. Hurst concerning different topics in landscape architecture.