Happy to report that I just received my ID card and NPS email, so I’m super pumped to be officially part of the team here at the OCLP for the summer! This week has been filled with working on the CACO project and site visits, and I’ve come to realize that the rest of my time with the OCLP is going to fly by. I love being busy – it keeps me curious, inquisitive, and insightful – and I really enjoy the responsibility that the OCLP has given myself and the other OCLP with our respective projects.
As I mentioned last blog post, I’m wearing a lot of different hats for my work on the mid-century-houses in Cape Cod. I am researching to write the Annotated Chronology and the Existing Conditions documents along with site mapping on AutoCAD. I have additionally begun this week to create AutoCAD drawings for the Kuhn House elevations. I began this at the beginning of the week, and the process has already been quite rewarding. I came to the OCLP with an elementary understanding of AutoCAD, and I really feel that I learn new features of and get better at the computer program with each passing day. What I find exciting and rewarding about these elevations is that they are undocumented. Thus, as Tim Layton mentioned to me, these elevations are quite important because if a natural disaster (think nor’easter, snow storm, or hurricane) were to destroy the house, these measured drawings will be the only living records and documentation of the elevations. Woah, that’s a lot of pressure for a DTP OCLP intern to handle in in his fifth week, but I can handle it! The process has been going smoothly for creating the precise, accurate elevations thus far, and I’ve just about finished this week the East elevation of the house. The detailing of the windows and their trimmings has been complicated, but the whole DTP team did a terrific job of measuring and recording notes. I really enjoy the satisfaction I get when I see the drawing coming to life on AutoCAD from the measurements on paper and the actual photographs taken. I even got advice from Millan Galland, a historical architect for the National Park Service I met when the DTP team visited the Historic Architecture, Conservation, and Engineering (HACE) office in Lowell yesterday. In meeting with Millan, I received great advice and information on creating scaled, measured drawings that will definitely help with the Kuhn House elevations. Millan himself created beautiful hand drawn plans, elevations, and sections for Nauset Lighthouse in Cape Cod, so this meeting also gave me a deep sense of appreciation for architects and landscape architects who are able to create masterful hand drawn work.
This past Wednesday on July 6th, Jenna, Angelina, Elliot, and I went to Thompson Island, which is part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. Our trip was with the Green Ambassadors, which is a three-year summer program that is part of the Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center and in partnership with the National Park Service. Jenna and Angelina had been working the past few weeks to create a presentation on landscape architecture and an outdoor activity for the Green Ambassadors to investigate the Thompson Island site. The Green Ambassadors will be designing and building a structural feature for Thompson Island which I think is a really great summer experience and one I wish I could have had as a high schooler! Be sure to check out Jenna’s and Angelina’s blogs as they’ve written more extensively on our visit, but I feel I should state how fortunate I feel to have joined the visit, presentation, and activity. I documented the work Jenna and Angelina had been working on by shooting film and taking pictures. Additionally, as somebody who was not a part of planning the project with them, I really can appreciate how they presented what the nature of landscape architecture is and how it relates to the work of the OCLP. Getting a diverse variety of perspectives on features and characteristics of a site really provides the most important types of analyses and understandings for the site.
I do not have many new updates about Latino Conservation Week at this moment. The date and time has been set for the event, which will be at the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Department on Friday July 22nd from 10a-12p. I have received permission to use the logos on the poster, so I am happy that I can post the picture of the poster I created! I am still working out how best to document our visit to the archives. I will definitely be taking a lot of pictures, and I plan to film the event to give a sense of what our time at the archives is like. I would like to address that the planning I have been doing for LCW, in addition to the LHIP webinars, has really got me thinking about my own identification as a Latino in the United States. I am really thankful for these LHIP webinars that Rodrigo and Jessica organize because they 1). keep the LHIP interns in the loop about what is going on with other LHIP interns and within the National Park Service, 2). create meaningful, thoughtful discussions on Latinx culture within the United States, and 3). make us LHIP interns consider and reconsider our own role within the group and our respective NPS summer sites.
In regard to my personal identification as a Latino, I am a twenty-two-year-old American-Chilean with light skin who has grown up in the Boston area for my whole life. My mother is from Texas, and my Father is from Chile. My first language is English, and I identify as both Caucasian and Latino. I have family in Chile with whom I am in regular contact, I have visited the country numerous times, and I do feel comfortable reading and conversing in Spanish with it being my second language. I used to know just about every word to Aventura in high school, I follow every game of the Chilean national soccer team, and my Yaya would always make me feel better with Sana sana colita de rana. I identify my Latino heritage and culture as related to my father, which is a complicated identification as he came to the United States as a refugee from the Chilean Dictatorship of Pinochet in the mid-1970s. As I myself have learned both from my father’s stories and from visiting the country, the Chile in which he grew up in the 1950s-1960s and left in the 1970s is quite different than contemporary Chile. Like the case with many Latin American countries, the ever-changing political, socioeconomic, and cultural climate of the country makes it difficult for its own citizens to develop a “permanent” sense of home, thus facilitating an ever-present sense of nostalgia among residents and emigrants. I believe this type of feeling can permeate to the later generations of Latin Americans regardless if they are in Latin American countries or elsewhere in the world. Thus, as the son of a Chilean immigrant to the United States who considers himself both Caucasian and Latino, I think about heritage and culture a great deal. I still stay up to date with Chilean current events, and I love the Spanish language, which I learned from my father growing up, several classes in high school, and traveling / living abroad. Speaking comes back a little more slowly when in the US if I haven’t spoken in a while, but I quickly try to grasp the vocab and language structure again when traveling or speaking with somebody else.
There’s a lot in this blog post about the CACO project, OCLP adventures, and importance of recognizing heritage and culture. As I hope is evident, I’ve really been enjoying my time at the OCLP through LHIP, and I am excited to keep working away!