Hi! My name is Kristi Lin and I just started my 10-week internship at the Olmsted Center! If I were to describe this week in one word, it would be “firsts.” Having just arrived in Boston on Saturday, I have had a whirlwind of a week, but it has been everything I’d hoped for and more!
First I will introduce myself. I am originally from San Diego, CA and I just finished my third year at the University of California, Davis where I am pursuing a B.S. in Landscape Architecture. I am very interested in using landscape architecture to tell stories, particularly those related to the Asian Americans and other minority groups, and so I am really grateful for this opportunity to learn about cultural landscape preservation!
This summer, I will be working on the Cultural Landscape Report for Appomattox Court House National Historic Park. Appomattox Court House is the setting where General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant, thereby ending the civil war. Reading the older cultural landscape report and looking at old maps and pictures of the park, I became intrigued by how the park’s buildings have been preserved and rebuilt over the years. While reading, I kept wondering, how can landscape architects make this park relevant and meaningful to people from the north, the south, and all over the US?
A highlight of this week was going to the Boston Harbor Islands with the other interns, Sasha, Shanasia, Ashley, and Ericka, and our supervisor, Margie, to do photo documentation! On only my fifth day since arriving in Boston, I was already traveling to Rainsford Island and Lovells Island, places that aren’t usually accessible to the public! The islands were really beautiful and offered great views to the Boston skyline. We were very busy on the island getting the appropriate photos to match those included in an earlier report. I felt like I was on a scavenger hunt to get just the right photos!
Meeting the historical landscape architects at the Olmsted Center and Bonnie Halda, the Chief of Preservation Assistance for the NPS Northeast region, has been amazing! I also got to meet Frank Hays, a former superintendent of Manzanar National Historic Site. As a Japanese American, I believe that Manzanar is a very valuable resource for telling the Japanese American experience, and my visit to Manzanar definitely got me interested in cultural landscape preservation. Talking to Frank about his work with the NPS and the Japanese American community gave me insight into possible career paths that I might want to look into in the future.
That concludes my first week!