Welcome back for my 11th blog post of the summer! It has been another busy week at the OCLP, so I have a lot to catch you up on. As I mentioned last blog post, due to my LHIP Colorado conference and the NPS Centennial, there were several events that occurred last week that I did not get to highlight. I will do so in this blog post, but there are two quick aspects of note before I delve into the major topics. Firstly, President Obama quadrupled the size of a national marine monument off the coast of Hawaii one week ago on August 26th, the day after the NPS Centennial. You can read about it here and here, and this is a big deal due to the prohibition of commercial fishing in the region, subsequent preservation of endangered birds and aquatic animals, and ensuing opposition from the different Hawaiian fishermen and members of government. Secondly, I learned that the NPS has a puppy cam where you can watch sled dogs at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. This is absolutely adorable, and you can also read about the sled dogs of the Historic Park Kennels at Denali here. And on that incredibly relevant note, let’s dive into what’s been going on with the OCLP in Boston!
As I have continually mentioned throughout this blog series, one aspect of the Cape Cod National Seashore (CACO) project I have continually been working on this summer is the documentation and drawing of the Samuel and Minette Kuhn House elevations. An elevation is a flat 2D representation of a wall/façade of a building – as if you were standing on the ground looking directly at the building. Elevations are important for demonstrating scale, depth, and measurement, and these Kuhn House elevations are especially important because they are the first ever recorded measured elevations for the house! Thus, if a natural disaster (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. Well, I’m super pumped to report that the elevations are done and I have a final product to show you. I came into the OCLP in June with elementary experience with AutoCAD, and this final product in my final weeks is a representation of my hard, tenacious work in addition to terrific teaching from Tim and Chris. These elevations will be part of the finalized Cultural Landscape Report (CLR) for the Cape Cod National Seashore, and I am very happy to have correctly and accurately completed them.
We visited the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site (MIMA) in Kinderhook, New York last Monday on August 22nd. Alex recently finalized and completed the Cultural Landscape Report for MAVA, and the goal for this site visit to MAVA was to review the updated Cultural Landscape Treatment Plan and Record of Treatment and to discuss the Agricultural Management Guidelines. The interns had never visited MIMA before, so we got a tour in the morning of the site, and we joined in for the afternoon discussion on the nature of agriculture and landscape at the site. I found the afternoon discussion to be strongly related to a GIS class I took at college that focused on how GIS mapping and data analysis can prepare MidCoast Maine towns on how to address food security, water rise and flooding, and elderly, low-income demographics in response to continually changing environmental and social conditions. At the MAVA conference, it became apparent that biodynamic and regenerative agriculture is essential to the farm and site. I had never before heard these terms, but biodynamic, regenerative agriculture is essentially the idea of practicing farming that is a “closed loop” to promote a healthy ecosystem for the constantly developing natural landscape. Climate change is continually changing the nature of the landscape and planting seasons, and the difficulty MAVA faces is knowing the landscape and ecosystem will change but not knowing in what ways they will change. It is for this reason why regenerative agriculture is significant – to be able to resiliently care for itself in the face of immense change over the next several decades. Thus, understanding the nature of regenerative agriculture significantly shapes and informs the Agricultural Management Guidelines for finalizing the scope and format of the Cultural Landscape Report.
Among my tasks for my last weeks at the OCLP is to create a final video that highlights the Designing the Parks summer of 2016. The goal of the video is to demonstrate how the five different DTP principles ( 1. Respect Place, 2. Engage all, 3. Model sustainability, 4. Design beyond boundaries, 5. Communicate clearly) have been a part of our summer projects, work, and experiences. Watching the final product of a video is a lot of fun, but producing a video – even just 2 or 3 minutes in length – takes a very long time. I’ve been pulling all the images and videos from our summer’s work and experiences, and sectioning the files by how they apply to each different DTP principle. I have finalized the video, and it will be out in 1-2 weeks as it awaits a final review. I’m looking forward to sharing that with you soon!
This past Tuesday on August 30th, Chris and I continued our CACO project in Cape Cod itself. The goal for our trip was to investigate several libraries and archives to find more material on the modern residences and their architects. We were originally supposed to squeeze these visits in during the entire team’s visit in mid-June, but we were so busy that we didn’t have the time. I took a ferry the morning of from Long Wharf at Boston to Provincetown. Upon arrival, Chris and I went to various archives to continue our research on the Cape Cod National Seashore landscape and the 11 mid-century-modern residential houses. We first visited the Wellfleet Historical Society and Museum in Wellfleet, MA. We met with several archivists there to get their take on the residences and documentation of records at CACO. We found some great archival files on both the history of Cape Cod architecture and the modernist houses. We continued on to the Wellfleet library, where we found more material on the houses and architecture. We then drove to Eastham to visit the Eastham Historical Society, in which we investigated their archives for information on the two Eastham residences (Dean House and Whitlock House). Although we were unable to uncover archived files about these specific houses at the Eastham Historical Society, we were able to go next door to speak with Park Ranger Bill Burke at the Cape Cod National Seashore Salt Pond Visitors Center, which has transcripts from different modernist architects who worked on residences in Cape Cod. All these archived files are important for the creation of the Cultural Landscape Report on the mid-century-modern residences of the Cape Cod National Seashore. My 13-week summer internship ends a week from today, and my work this summer has been to start this CLR. I have completed the Annotated Chronology, Existing Conditions Report, site mapping, and the Kuhn House Elevations, so I am definitely proud of the extensive work I have been able to put in for this CLR. Although I will not get to be present at the OCLP for the finalization of the CLR in two years, I am sure that the incoming interns will do great work with Chris, and I am already excited to see the finished product!
That’s a wrap for this week! It is hard to believe, but this upcoming week is my last with the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation. In mid-July, the OCLP and HAF were able to extend my internship, so I went from originally 10 weeks to 13 weeks, which is what allows me to still be writing this blog post today! Next week’s blog post will try to encapsulate all my thoughts on this entire summer full of experiences as an intern of the National Park Service, Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, Hispanic Access Foundation, and Latino Heritage Internship Program. Happy Labor Day Weekend!