Welcome back for my ninth blog post of the Designing The Parks summer! This upcoming week I will be traveling to Colorado for the Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) conference with all the other Latino Heritage Internship Program (LHIP) interns across the country, so I will be posting my tenth blog post a few weeks from now. Before I get into what we’ve been up to this week, I want to give a quick shoutout to InsideNPS and HAF for publishing an online article I wrote about the OCLP’s Latino Conservation Week trip to learn about Villa Victoria at Northeastern University and the Puerto Rican neighborhood itself. You can read the article online on InsideNPS here or Hispanic Access Foundation here. Additionally, I have edited and produced a brief video of our Latino Conservation Week Villa Victoria event, which you can watch here. Of course, the video does not do justice to actually experiencing the terrific archives and Puerto Rican community, but it is a pretty fun way to highlight our experiences.
This past week we visited Minuteman National Historical Park (MIMA) in Concord, MA with Margie Coffin Brown. Margie has worked at the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation for 25 years (WOW!), and she just began her new job in July as the Integrated Resources Program Manager at MIMA. Our site visit with Margie was to learn about how colonial history influences the site to this day, understand Margie’s different roles and responsibilities, and discuss park design issues with Ethan Carr, a landscape architecture professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, to assist in scoping a graduate level design studio at the east end of the Battle Road Unit. Before arriving at MIMA, however, we began the day by visiting the Gropius House in Lincoln, MA. Visiting the Gropius House was a blast from the past as I used to work at the historic site of architectural modernism for the summer after my freshman year of college. It was really enjoyable to revisit the site I used to lead tours through and to also reinvestigate the site through a landscape lens. After the Gropius House, we embarked on the MIMA adventure by visiting the Battle Road Visitor Center. We watched a multi-media theater program about colonial history that informed us of the historical significance of the site, and from there we began to do design scoping regarding the MIMA entry area, Parker’s Revenge, and Battle Road Trail. I found this experience of working with the team and Ethan to determine how best to structure a graduate-level design studio to be quite insightful. As an individual who has recently graduated from college and is considering graduate programs in the next few years, I gained valuable insight on how a design studio is researched, structured, and developed that is super helpful in informing me of how the process works. After carrying out the studio scoping, we all met with the MIMA Park Superintendent, Nancy Nelson, at the North Bridge Visitor Center. I enjoyed discussing MIMA’s significance, understanding how the park is run by the Park Superintendent’s perspective, and learning how Nancy got to her current position. It seems to me from the variety of NPS perspectives I have gotten this entire summer that there are so many different, diverse ways an individual attains their position within the National Park Service.
Yesterday, Jessica Loya, my Hispanic Access Foundation representative from Washington D.C., visited me at the OCLP Boston office. We toured around the office together and then picnicked for lunch in the beautiful Post Office Square. We talked about my experiences with the OCLP and working as an LHIP intern in Boston in addition to discussing Jessica’s past LHIP internship and her current role in Washington D.C. with the Hispanic Access Foundation. It was really cool to get to know Jessica on both a professional level as colleagues and a personal level as friends, and we got to catch up with Ashleyann Perez-Rivera, who is another LHIP intern in Boston with the Charlestown Navy Yard. We all had dinner together and shared our experiences working with the National Park Service as summer interns. I really enjoyed casually hanging out all together before we meet everybody else in Colorado next week.
This week at the office I have been working on the Kuhn House elevations I have mentioned in previous blog posts. We had a group workshop with Tim and Chris on how to export from AutoCAD to Photoshop and Illustrator and how to navigate between the three programs to finish maps and drawings. AutoCAD is a program that is best for creating scaled and measured line drawings, Photoshop is a program that is best for rendering due to its malleability with raster graphics, and Illustrator is a program that is best for annotating and drawing assembly for final production due to its crisp vector graphics. Originally, I had thought that reaching Illustrator had meant the majority of the work on the map or drawing was done, but I realize that there is still much left to do for fixing, labelling, and polishing the final products. I have realized the extensive amount of time it takes to create a finished product of a map or drawing, so I guarantee I will never be looking at them the same way again. I hope to be close in having a finished product for the elevations before I leave for Colorado on Wednesday morning. Also at the office this week, we have to say goodbye to Jenna whose summer internship ends today! Crazy, right?! Hard to believe time has gone by this fast. You should check out her last blog post here, and we will definitely be missing her!