Jon Emerson retired from the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture in 1998 after teaching landscape architecture for 31 years. His many talents have led him into a wide variety of design fields over the years, including architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, and stained-glass. Emerson grew up in California and holds two degrees from the University of California, Berkeley: an Associate of Arts and a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture. He received a Master of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1962, where he taught for one year. While working for Sasaki, Dawson, DeMay and Associates in 1965, Emerson was awarded the Prix de Rome in Landscape Architecture and spent the following two years pursuing self-directed study at the American Academy in Rome. He came to Baton Rouge to teach at LSU in 1967, where he became a full professor and served as coordinator of the landscape architecture program.
Emerson is principal of Jon Emerson & Associates, a landscape architecture firm in Baton Rouge. His office is located in an early 20th-century house in Beauregard Town, where he tends a lovely office garden that was featured in the Baton Rouge Advocate in June 2014. Most recently, Emerson designed the landscape for the new Main Library in Baton Rouge. His design for the project includes two rooftop gardens and a stained-glass window in the children’s section. Emerson paints, does life sculpture, and raises champion Scotties. (In 1998, one of his dogs won Best in Breed at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.)