Friday, 28 June 2019 16:00

From Maine to Pennsylvania

With travel between Maine and Pennsylvania, these past few weeks at the Olmsted Center have been a whirlwind of learning and doing.

Early in June, we (the Designing the Parks interns) were treated with a visit to Acadia National Park for a week of work, exploration, and bonding. With it being my first time visiting “the first national park east of the Mississippi” (as it’s cheerfully referred to on many an NPS publication), its Lakeview vistas and terrain of woodlands and mountain peaks, did not disappoint. Though, as an aside: I was terribly disappointed to learn that people from Maine were called “Mainers” rather than the more entertaining “Mainiacs”.

At Acadia, we dedicated time towards updating a few of the park’s Cultural Landscape Inventories by conducting field surveys of Jordan’s Pond, Cadillac Mountain, Sieur de Monts Spring, and other sites. In addition to gaining field work experience, the trip also provided an opportunity to visit a few of the gardens on Mt. Desert Island, providing an interest contrast between the rugged (though neatly maintained) landscape of the park and its more precisely curated spaces. Visits to museums and a local landscape architecture firm, rounded out our trip and helped us gain an understanding to the various facets of the landscape architecture field. Further adventures included: hikes along the trails of Sieur de Monts, enjoying the buttery delicacies of popovers at the Jordan Pond House, rising before the sun to experience a 4:30 am sunrise, walking to Bar Island during low-tide, and leisurely strolls by the docks of Bar Harbor. Ultimately, the best part of the experience was having the opportunity to spend time with the lovely group with whom I’ll be spending my summer.

The second trip of the summer included site visits to two parks in West Pennsylvania: the Flight 93 Memorial and Johnstown Flood Memorial. I joined a team of Olmsted Center’s landscape architectures, Jennifer Hanna, Eliot Foulds, Michael Stachowics, and director Bob Page, as they met with park supervisors and rangers to discuss the park’s present landscape and interpretation challenges. From an observer, it was fascinating to see the level of collaboration that is involved in producing an informative plan that incorporates various perspectives regarding the interpretation of a site: looking at the broad interpretative value of the site, and focusing on the more minute details of treatment tasks and subsequent management.

On the sites themselves: As sites of remembrance, the two sites are elegant and reflective in nature. With the events of September 11 ingrained within our collective memory, Flight 93 is serene and monumental with its expansive landscape and sculptural structures. Johnstown Flood is more educative in nature, with the event of the catastrophic flood having occurred 130 years ago (and safely beyond anyone’s recollection) the site successfully presents its history prior and after the flood of May 31, 1889.

Both trips were provided valuable lessons, and I’m grateful to have been a part of them.

Published in HAF intern blog
Wednesday, 15 May 2019 14:41

Emelyn Najera

A California native, Emelyn Najera is a first-generation Mexican American and graduate student. Growing up in Southern California, she had the opportunity of visiting several of the region’s most iconic architecture, from the state’s historic missions to LA’s deconstructivist monuments; recognizing the importance that the built landscape has in the formation of a region’s, and its people’s, identity. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Southern California where she earned a Bachelor of Architecture in May 2017. Her interest in architecture and the built heritage inspired her to pursue graduate degrees in Historic Preservation and City Planning at the University of Pennsylvania, where she currently attends. In the future, she hopes to do her part in the designation and preservation Latin American built heritage. In her free time she enjoys sketching, reading, and spending time with her family and pets.

Published in Intern Bios
Thursday, 29 November 2018 15:48

Sasha Bachier

Bachier graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst earning a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Architecture, minoring in Art History and Building, Construction, and Technology. Currently, Bachier is pursuing a Masters in Architecture at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Following graduate school, Bachier plans on pursuing her NCARB registration and LEED accreditation. She aspires to establish an architectural firm that implement sustainable practices, which will play a role in shaping the built environment and will leave a footprint behind for the next generation of conservation stewards who share similar interests. She aims to raise awareness about National Parks and strives towards educating others about advancing employment and community engagement opportunities for the Latino population, especially at the National Park Service.

Published in Intern Bios
Thursday, 29 November 2018 13:15

Julian Huertas

Julián Martín Huertas grew up in the Greater Boston Area and is a 2016 graduate of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Julián majored in Art History and Visual Arts as a Bowdoin Polar Bear and hopes to pursue a graduate degree and profession in design and architecture. Julián fostered his interest in design through studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark and through carrying out a research project his senior year on the National September 11 Memorial. Julián’s favorite activities include playing fútbol, drinking coffee, casually philosophizing, and going on adventures.

Published in Intern Bios