WASHINGTON – The National Park Service (NPS) has concluded a three-day symposium in Santa Fe, New Mexico to celebrate the iconic design unique to national parks as part of its ongoing centennial celebration.
Organized by the NPS National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT), the June 21-23 symposium brought together 145 architects, engineers, landscape architects, site managers, and cultural resource professionals from across the nation to explore lessons learned in maintaining historic park building and landscape design over the first hundred years of the NPS. The symposium also examined how best to preserve historic structures and landscape features for future
generations as the agency faces new challenges such as climate change.
“The symposium's exploration of both our achievements and our future will help guide us in the next century as we look for ways to carry on a proud tradition of integrating visitors, design, culture and nature into seamless and supportive stewardship of these special places,” said Stephanie Toothman, NPS Associate Director for Cultural Resources, Partnerships and Science.
NPS architecture and landscape design spans a century of development from the early rustic period when railroads transported tourists to large western parks; through major construction and land conservation completed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Works Progress Administration (WPA); the post-WWII era and the park service’s Mission 66 improvement efforts; and up through contemporary development. The NPS also played a major role in the improvement and development of state parks nationwide through the administration and supervision of CCC and WPA crews working in state parks.
Participants concluded the symposium with a half-day field session at Bandelier National Monument where they addressed real-world preservation issues inside a national park. Bandelier is home to Native American ruins and pictographs, a CCC-built historic district with 32 structures, and a Mission 66 amphitheater.
The symposium was made possible through the support of NPS partners including the Friends of NCPTT, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, Living New Deal, the American Society of Landscape Architects – New Mexico Chapter, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
More information on the symposium is available at https://www.ncptt.nps.gov/events/century-of-design-in-the-parks/.
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