Summers/Murphy & Partners, INC.
James Burrows, Landscape Architect
979 Osos Street
“I always missed working Downtown,” says Jim Burrows. Jim is a landscape architect who works at 979 Osos Street, a handsome brick building built in the 1890s. He says working Downtown was important when choosing an office for himself. He used to work near Tank Farm Road, but missed the vibrant enthusiasm of the Downtown community.
Now, working Downtown, Jim says he is much happier. Every day Jim walks to work, makes his way up the building’s light blue carpet staircase to his cozy corner office. Natural light shines in onto the rough red brick walls that line Jim’s office. Although Jim works alone here in San Luis Obispo, he is part of a larger team of 30 landscape architects that make up Summers/Murphy & Partners.
Jim is originally from Dana Point, where Summers/Murphy & Partners is located. He attended a junior college his first year and that is when he began working for the firm. He later transferred to Cal Poly and, throughout college, Jim continued to return to the firm, working during summer and winter breaks. After graduation Jim returned to Dana Point to work with Summers/Murphy & Partners. However, Jim could not stay away from San Luis Obispo so in 1995 he and his wife, Terry, returned to SLO where he adapted new landscape architecture practices.
When moving to San Luis Obispo, Jim had to take several factors into consideration when working on his landscape designs. The mild climate and the lack of water made it essential for creating efficient designs that would conserve water. Today, water conservation is at the heart of his designs.
In addition to water conservation, Jim says the firm prides itself on creativity and attention to detail. Evidently, it has not gone unnoticed in our Downtown community because the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association recently granted the Old Mission School Annex one of its Beautification Awards for New Construction Excellence. Jim assisted in this new construction by creating the landscape design for the school.
In part, work such as the collaboration with the Old Mission School Annex construction team is what inspired Jim to work in landscape architecture. “I like to be a collaborative member of a design team,” says Jim.
Celebrating his one year anniversary of rejoining Summers/Murphy & Partners, Jim’s goal is to continue to grow the office and provide high-quality landscape architecture services to the San Luis Obispo community.
Written By: Julia Tettamanzi