Hello everyone, it’s been a busy past few weeks here at the Olmsted Center. I’ve been working away at writing the historical period summaries for the Woodlawn Tract at First State. Earlier during the experience in June when I first started working on this site, I talked about how the process of the researching and writing a cultural landscape narrative is very much like putting a puzzle together. At this point – I think we have gathered many of the pieces and a framework is in place. From our research, we’ve delineated four time periods that will help structure the interpretation of the site. I’ve mostly been working on the Pre-history to 1800 and the most recent 1931-present – working on the bookend time period has helped me to fill in the gaps and to connect disparate parts.
Recently, I found a lot of great reports from the Delaware Department of Transportation and looking at the historic road reports we gathered at the Public Archives – it is really interesting to begin to see what roads were created first and where initial development was centered. The development of the road network in the Woodlawn Tract reflects the importance of the milling operations in the Brandywine. The earliest road was the Beaver Valley Road during the latter half of the eighteenth century, reflecting the need for transportation for the early grist mills along Beaver Creek. These smaller, more primitive mills provided grain mostly for local needs.
On the other spectrum, I’ve also been working a bit on Governor’s Island. There are some significant proposed treatment recommendations for the park, as such there is a desire to have some photosimulations to really show how amazing the park could be if they embraced the suggested treatment ideas. So – I’ve been having a lot of fun in photoshop clipping out buildings, and adding in more trees and green space. Below is one existing condition photo – imagine what this would look like if the building in the foreground was removed and a lawn was added? What would the view of the New York skyline be like if the building was removed – could you see the Statue of Liberty?