Evaluating Acadia’s Oldfarm Estate

I have officially been at the Olmsted Center for one month now, and am excited about all the exciting opportunities taking place at the office. This week we had a visit from a former intern for the Olmsted Center, Ericka Duym, a landscape architect. Ericka is currently conducting a cultural landscape assessment of Oldfarm which is the former Bar Harbor estate of George Dorr, the founder of Acadia National Park. Dorr was also the first superintendent of the park and left his 58 acre property to Acadia when he died in 1944.

Dorr-Oldfarm house

Oldfarm House: Courtesy of ANP-NPS

Ericka’s research of Oldfarm is essential in providing Acadia officials the information needed to make informed decisions about the park and its maintenance. It was interesting to learn about the steps Ericka took in order to perform her assessment of the estate. Ericka with the help of volunteers, Friends of Acadia, and Olmsted Center staff conducted a site analysis documenting and evaluating landscape features on the site. They also noted the condition of the landscape and how that impacted or affected the historic character. Ericka mentioned that it was helpful to break up the 60 acres of land into landscape character areas.

I found it interesting that there is only one structure left on the site from the Dorr period, which is the Storm Beach Cottage. The cottage was built in 1879, and Dorr lived there towards the end of his life.

Storm Beach1


Oldfarm House: Courtesy of ANP-NPS

Ericka described how the one remaining building from George Dorr’s period of ownership is intact but all of the other buildings and most of the landscape features are no longer present. According to Ericka, one of the main priorities is vegetation management. She notes that there are many invasive species and very mature trees in the area.

I am excited to see how Acadia responds to Ericka’s assessment, and what becomes of the Oldfarm estate.

I have also been working with Angelina to prepare for a presentation we are giving next week at Thompson Island to the Green Ambassadors team. Green Ambassadors comprise of Boston youth from the ages of 15-18 who have an interest in developing skills in professionalism, environmental analysis, stewardship, and training in sustainable and green practices. After completion of the program, students are also encouraged and supported in their pursuit of a degree in the fields of environmental science or a technical career.

Angelina have been brainstorming this week of the best way to connect with the students, while also enlightening them about the design process and landscape preservation. I am excited about the presentation and activities we have prepared, and can’t wait to see how the students react to our presentation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s