It’s the first day of July, and it’s been just about one month since I started at the OCLP. Wow, has time flown by, and it seems like it has very little intention of slowing down. This week I’ve been hitting the pedal to the metal with a variety of different goals for the Cape Cod project (CACO) that I’ll be describing in this blog post.
I’ve been working on the Annotated Chronology and the Existing Conditions for the CACO Cultural Landscape Report (CLR). The Annotated Chronology features chronological dates on the development of the Cape Cod National Seashore and the eleven mid-century-modern residences. I have a diverse variety of sources that I use within the office that feature many different dates. I’m using the National Register of Historic Places, other CLRs created by the OCLP and NPS, Peter McMahon’s (of the Cape Cod Modern House Trust) Cape Cod Modern book, and other books and articles on the creation and development of contemporary Cape Cod. My Annotated Chronology thus far is well written and well documented, but I cannot help but notice an obvious flaw – there is a specific section of the chronology that jumps from ~1,500 BCE (deposition of glacial till around large ice blocks creates kettle ponds in the area) to 1602 AD (British explorer Bartholomew Gosnold names the area Cape Cod). Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be too much I can do about the flaw as there is little-to-no historical documentation during this ~3,000 year interim to help inform the physical and social history of the Cape Cod National Seashore landscape. In regard to the Existing Conditions, I am writing paragraphs for each of the eleven modern residences for Buildings, Structures, and Utilities. Ella, Jenna, and Angelina are writing up on their respective features that they documented when we visited the sites, and I will be responsible for organizing and editing the entire Existing Conditions section when it is all in one document.
I’ve also been working on AutoCAD for each residential location to map the existing features, which include topography, natural systems, circulation, buildings and structures, views, and vistas, vegetation, and small-scale features. This is a slow process because I’m still learning more about AutoCAD each day but more because it is quite important to be correct and accurate for each feature of the maps. We have also had several brown bag lunches this week with Tim Layton, Erica Duym, and Ellen Carlson. I think it’s really fantastic that we get introduced to so many different current and former colleagues who have (and have had) so many diverse roles and projects. It allows us to learn about the different backgrounds of each colleague while also exposing us to the multifaceted roles and projects within the National Park Service.
I mentioned last blog post that I am currently organizing an event for Latino Conservation Week, which is July 16th-24th. I have finalized arrangements this week, and I have planned with the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Department to bring an interested group of OCLP interns and staff members along with other LHIP interns in Boston for a tour and collections visit. Specifically, we will be learning about the Villa Victoria community within the South End of Boston and Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (“Puerto Rican Tenants in Action”) (IBA). I became interested in the project when researching the history of Latinx culture in the Greater Boston Area, which can be similar but also quite different to Latinx history in the West and Southwest of the United States. In 1965, the Boston Redevelopment Authority deemed the twenty-acre Parcel 19 in South Boston to be an area of urban renewal. With minimal funding but considerable support from locals, activists, priests, and architects, the Puerto Rican residents created a resistance movement that ultimately succeeded in implementing an alternative redevelopment plan for low- and middle-income housing. This allowed the original Puerto Rican residents to return to the neighborhood after new complexes were installed. Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, which was created to facilitate neighborhood and community participation among residents, is still in full-swing to this day. If you would like to learn more about Villa Victoria and IBA’s role, you can read up in-depth here. I chose this event for and believe it will contribute to Latino Conservation Week because the history of Villa Victoria and IBA in Boston is integral to understanding the legacy and power of Latinx culture, grass-roots organization, political activism, and civil liberties.
That wraps it up for this week, until next time. Happy upcoming 4th of July to everyone! Be safe, have fun, and enjoy the weekend!