An Inspiring Kickoff to “Designing The Parks”

Hi everyone, my name is Jenna Gupta, and I am very excited to announce that I have joined the Olmsted Center this summer as a Designing the Parks intern. I have just completed my first week at the office, and have much to report back on my experiences.

This week has been full of introductions. I have had the pleasure of getting to know my fellow interns, Olmsted Center staff, as well as NPS affiliates and partners. One meeting that really interested and inspired me was with Addy Smith-Reiman. Addy is a former Olmsted Center intern and also formerly worked at the Department of Transportation for the City of Boston as a Transportation Planner.

Addy managed an 18 month initiative that included a design for a network of pedestrian and bike friendly connections to transit and nearby NPS sites in downtown Boston. She also connected with local partners such as a Student Ideas Competition and transportation related Quest, and secured a $15.5M TIGER grant to implement the construction of the network.


Hearing Addy speak about her growth from being an intern at the Olmsted Center to now working for the City of Boston as a Transportation Planner was very inspiring and motivating to me. I have always had an interest in planning work, and it is very motivating to see women being represented and successful in the field.

Site Visit

On my second day at the Olmsted Center, Chris Beagan (Historical Landscape Architect) accompanied us on a tour of the Longfellow House Washington’s Headquarters in Cambridge, MA. We began our tour inside the house, where we learned about much about the Longfellow family history and way of life. I found it interesting that the house also included a lot of historical artifacts of George Washington from his time living in the house.

A few items in the house stood out to me through the tour:

Model of the Longfellow House
Sketch by Fanny Longfellow

Lastly as we made our way outside, Mona McKindley, Head Gardener gave us a tour of the landscape surrounding the Longfellow House. In the image below, Mona mentioned to us that there was actually clay underneath the gravel entranceway that we were standing on which was made by slaves in the front entrance carriage way.  I found that very interesting that I was standing on a piece of history that was still intact.


Carriageway/Original Entranceway Longfellow House

All in all, this week was full of new experiences and learning, and I look forward to what’s to come next week!

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