FEATURED PROJECTS

Sprigg Lane at the University of Virginia Landscape Study

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Located just a quarter mile northwest of the historic “Academical Village” at the foot of Lewis Mountain, the Sprigg Lane residential enclave today occupies roughly the geographic center of the University of Virginia campus, but stands apart as an oasis of shaded lawns, stately trees, mature boxwood hedges, curated plant collections, and carefully-designed walls, gates, terraces, and connecting pathways traditionally part of a shared landscape of friends and colleagues. 

 

The residential district was established in the 1830s with the construction of Morea by Dr. John Patten Emmet, appointed Professor of Natural Science by Thomas Jefferson in 1825. Morea is unique in being the only surviving dwelling built by one of the original university faculty members approved by Jefferson. The 106-acre property acquired by Emmet, for whom adjacent Emmet Street is named, was later subdivided at various times. During the 1930s, the other three

properties that are also the focus of this study, were developed on the subdivided land. 

 

Each of these properties has its own fascinating history. However, when taken collectively, the cluster of residences and the quiet enclave of Sprigg Lane serves as a fascinating microcosm of the influence of the University of Virginia on the Charlottesville community, aspects of its urban form, and the contributions of its faculty, administrators, and friends to education, philanthropy, architecture and landscape, and the arts. 

Liz Sargent HLA played a leading role in the historic research, inventory, integrity assessment and significance evaluation for the district. The historic landscape study provides the University of Virginia with critical information to guide future programming, design and management decisions. Waterstreet Studio served as a collaborator on the project.

Kalaupapa and Kalawao Settlements Cultural Landscape Report

The Kalaupapa and Kalawao Settlement Cultural Landscape Report addresses preservation, interpretation, and adaptive reuse of a historic landscape composed of a rich collection of historic features--residences, institutional buildings, roads, walks, fences, rock walls, and tree and shrub plantings—that collectively convey a unique sense of place.

 

The Kalaupapa and Kalawao Settlements were established on a remote peninsula on the Hawaiian Island of Molokai to isolate people diagnosed with Hansen's Disease. Enforcement of isolation practices continued between 1866 and 1969, after sulfone drugs were found to arrest the advancement of the disease. The entire Kalaupapa Peninsula, which includes both settlements, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976, and Kalaupapa National Historical Park in 1980. 

Blue Ridge Parkway System-wide Historic Resource Survey

Features associated with the park include more than 250 historic structures, 1,300 grave markers, pre-contact Hawaiian cultural sites, churches, institutional housing, residential neighborhoods, gardens and other culturally important plantings, lava rock walls, and views and vistas that reflect life in the settlement. 

 

The settlement remains home to several patients and a community of helpers, comprised of employees of the Department of Health and National Park Service, as well as representatives of several churches and non-profit organizations. With the majority of the land within the park owned by the Department of Hawaiian Homelands and Department of Land and Natural Resources, other partners, and churches, the park works cooperatively with many groups to manage the historic landscape. The Cultural Landscape Report supports on-going stewardship of landscape resources into the future by providing treatment guidelines and recommendations designed to the historic character of the settlements. 

The Blue Ridge Parkway System-wide Historic Resource Survey was the first study of its kind ever conducted for the National Park Service. Funded by a National Scenic Byways grant, the survey documented the history and significance of over 1,000 designed resources—bridges, tunnels, overlooks, visitor centers, picnic shelters, coffee shops, lodges, pioneer farm exhibits, park housing, maintenance structures, and comfort stations—associated with the 469-mile motorway.

Team members reviewed and analyzed survey data, compared it with research and context information, and assessed each resource for its contribution to the significance of the Blue Ridge Parkway. By comprehensively completing an assessment of all Parkway resources at one time, the team was able to establish a system of resource typologies that allowed for the identification of the best examples of each type taking into consideration design, materials, and integrity. The assessment was designed to meet the National Park Service goal of establishing a manual for

Parkway stewardship that could apply appropriate treatment strategies to individual resources. Supporting the individual resource assessments was a detailed report documenting the Parkway’s 52-year construction history, the framework of relevant historic contexts, and the National Register eligibility of Parkway resources. The report also explains the determinations regarding which features are individually eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

The report articulates the design principles developed by Parkway planners in the 1930s that guided construction throughout, and identifies how individual Parkway resources reveal the innovative and creative solutions devised by the original design team to address the challenges of building a scenic motorway through the rugged Blue Ridge Mountains. The Blue Ridge Parkway remains among the best examples of American interdisciplinary design and engineering in the United States.

Nicodemus National Historic Site Cultural Landscape Report 

Nicodemus is a rural community in northwest Kansas founded in 1877 by African Americans freed from slavery. The townsite is a National Historic Landmark and was established as a unit of the National Park System in 1996. This vernacular landscape has remained a cohesive community of farms and families that can trace their lineage to early settlers who established systems of self-governance and lifeways after Reconstruction. Today, the townsite remains an active living community. The viability of farming within the region, however, has been in decline for some time, and there are concerns that the number of residents will continue to diminish unless economic opportunities increase.

The Cultural Landscape Report for the National Historic Site includes a detailed site physical history, derived in part from a companion project conducted by the team to collect thirty personal interviews, existing conditions documentation, National Register level integrity assessment and significance evaluation, and a detailed treatment plan. Recommendations address repair and stabilization of site features, interpretive programming, and methods for employing landscape resources as aids for story-telling, as well as access improvements intended to protect the integrity of the property and promote respect for the privacy of community members. The plan also considers the role of heritage tourism in local lifeways and its potential advantages and challenges for the community.

Where else we work...