A Changing Vision
While the rejection of Catalano's design was disheartening, the Peace Garden Project Committee immediately launched a new search for a Peace Garden designer. Rather than holding another competition, or going back to old competition entries, they invited twenty designers to submit proposals. While this received criticism from some former competition entrants, the committee belived that it was critical to minimize costs (a growing concern as they struggled to raise funds), expedite the search process, and find a designer based on the designer's skills, rather than on a single design. After careful consideration, they settled on the firm of Royston Hanamoto Alley & Abbey (RHAA), headed by Robert Royston a renowned landscape architect and former professor at UC Berkeley. When Catalano learned that Royston has been hired, he wrote to congratulate him and share some hard-earned words of wisdom:
"Here is valid advice: Make the first presentation to the National Park Service. You may find 40 employees giving opinions. Even a policewoman. The second, in my opinion, should be to the Fine Arts Commission. They exerted veto power over the approval of the other two Commissions. Spend as much effort as you feel necessary to present only a concept upon which to continue working."1
Following Catalano's advice, Royston and his team immediately got to work, making quick sketches, discarding many, and developing, only to a conceptual level, the ones with promise.
1) Catalano, Eduardo, letter to Robert Royston, 5. October 1992.