Historic view, University of Minnesota-Morris, then the West Central School of Agriculture
Past Projects and Clients
Over the last 30 years, I have worked with many leading architects, landscape architects, campuses, and communities to preserve and rehabilitate historic landscapes to tell stories, inform the character of new construction on-site, and serve the needs of 21st century education and business.
Selected clients and projects include: The Harrington-Merrill House landscape restoration, Victory Memorial Drive interpretation, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Carleton College, Wells College, Earlham College, University of Minnesota, Morris, University of Kansas, Amesbury Association, Four Mounds Foundation, Monticello Historical Society, University of St. Thomas, Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area Management Plan, Ozarks Highlands National Heritage Area Feasibility Study
Services and Expertise
Cultural Landscape Inventories, Historic Landscape Treatment Planning, Historic Site Research, Campus Heritage and Preservation Planning, Guidelines for Future Construction and Landscape Planning, Section 106 Review
Recent Project: The University of Kansas—Jayhawk Boulevard Rehabilitation
One of the historic stairs leading from Jayhawk Boulevard to Marvin Grove
Building on our work with the University of Kansas on their Campus Heritage Plan funded by the Getty Foundation, we are again teaming with Jeffrey L. Bruce and Co. to create a preservation plan for the campus’s Jayhawk Boulevard. The design is one of the first in the country to link historic landscape preservation with innovative storm water management practices.
This plan is both “conservative” in its relative costs and historic appropriateness yet “visionary” in its materials selection, species mixes, and water management. It combines state-of-the-art thinking in Integrated Water Management and street tree arboriculture with a full rehabilitation of the Jayhawk to its approximate dimensions in 1938.
The University of Kansas is recognized as having one of the most beautiful campuses and dramatic settings in the country. Following the historic trails along Mount Oread, Jayhawk Boulevard is KU’s definitive organizing feature and most symbolic public space. The project demonstrates how the University can achieve a sophisticated plan for Jayhawk Boulevard by building on some of its basic precedents in campus’s architectural and ecological history.
Now under construction in three phases, the project will rehabilitate a mid-century modern bus shelter designed and donated by KU architecture students in the 1950s, introduce new rainwater gardens along verges, restore the original tree canopy with mixed yet spatially-consistent tree species that resist catastrophic blights, and create new transit plazas. All of these treatments meet the University’s needs for the 21st century while preserving the spatial patterns and plantings envisioned by George Kessler and later the landscape architects Hare and Hare in planning this unique midwestern university set on a a flowing ridge.
Ongoing Project: Four Mounds Foundation, Dubuque, Iowa
Four Mounds is a Craftsman-era estate set on atop the Mississippi River Bluffs just north of Dubuque, Iowa. Dubuque banker George A. Burden and his wife Viola Ryder Burden built four Mounds in 1909 with the guidance of Chicago architect Lawrence Buck and landscape architect, A. Phelps Wyman.
Today, the Four Mounds Foundation runs the Burdens’ craftsman home as an inn and conference center. From the start, the Foundation has reached out to urban youth with programs that teach carpentry and other skills. Kids of all ages gain new skills in helping to restore some of the original farm buildings, including the hog house(shown below), designed by George Burden as part of his vision for a “scientific farm.” The Foundation also runs a wood shop and leads young people in restoration projects for Dubuque houses and commercial buildings.
I recently worked with Four Mounds to develop a historic landscape master plan to preserve the estate’s elegant drives, plantings of white pines and river views. At the same time, our landscape architectural colleagues from Jeffrey L. Bruce & Co. are integrating sustainable solutions for conserving and capturing water on site and for restoring native prairie. Combining history and the best of sustainable practices fits in well with the Burdens’ interest in agricultural progress.