News

Atlanta Business Leader and Founder of Landscape Architecture Firm Passes

20 / March / 2017

Jon Benson, founder of the landscape architecture firm jB+a, recently passed away at the age of 69.

“We mourn the passing of Jon Benson, a well-respected leader in his profession,” said Bob Higgins, President and CEO with Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon, Inc. “Jon was a dynamic leader among his peers. Not only staff but clients naturally followed his leadership. His genuine, caring, and passionate nature was deeply rooted in his planning and landscape architecture practice. His professional experience was diverse, projects varied and the designs innovative. Nothing captured his passion for landscape architecture more than the ultimate fulfillment of observing people using the spaces that he designed in both expected and unexpected ways.”

Benson most recently served as the Client Service Leader for the Atlanta office of Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon, Inc.

In 1999, downstairs in his basement office, Jon’s desire to start a planning and landscape architecture practice was born. He set out to surround himself with talented, creative design professionals that excelled at the highest level of client service.

“Jon made sure that each jB+a client received quality service and a more livable, maintainable and sustainable project long past his time. It was his foresight, toward the end of his life’s journey, to leave his company in caring, capable hands, with the ability to carry on these standards,” said Higgins. Higgins said it was his career experiences and leadership that uniquely positioned jB+a for success, providing clients across the southeastern United States with responsive service and a lasting impact on the communities he served.

“That spirit now lives on through the team at Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon, Inc.,” said Higgins. Jon was the winner of an international design competition for the Wilmington 1898 Memorial. Other notable projects include:

  • The National Rose Garden – Washington, DC
  • Atlanta University Streetscape – Atlanta, Georgia
  • Olympic Whitewater Venue – Ducktown, Tennessee
  • One Buckhead Loop – Atlanta, Georgia
  • Lithonia Lighting Corporate Headquarters – Conyers, Georgia
  • Dallas Downtown Streetscapes – Dallas, Georgia
  • Woodruff Library Plaza – Atlanta, Georgia

Jon’s legacy to the profession and to the larger community will continue to be served through the Benson Family Graduate Student Support Fund, which assists landscape architect students with obtaining their master degrees. Donations may be sent in memory of Jon directly to Ms. Jennifer Messer at 285 S. Jackson Street, Athens GA. 30602 and are payable to the "UGA Foundation."