April 11-14, 2007
Exploring the Boundaries of Historic Landscape Preservation
The 29th Annual Meeting of the Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation was recently held on the campus of the University of Georgia, in Athens, Georgia, and specifically at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center & Hotel on campus.
The theme of the conference was Exploring the Boundaries of Historic Landscape Preservation. Those who work with historic landscapes confront boundaries everywhere since landscape preservation is not easily categorized or constrained. The cycles of nature and the steady flow of time show little respect for property lines. Human memory and experience likewise cut across divisions in the land, just as they blur the social divides that pervade the communities inhabiting a place. Those who work with historic landscapes also confront conceptual boundaries-when deciding how to divide landscape elements into categories such as ‘historic’ or ‘non-historic,’ for example, or when determining whether a particular management practice is ‘appropriate’ or ‘inappropriate.’ Like the landscapes we preserve and protect, the boundaries of our field are fluid and continuously reconfigured. Where are the boundaries of landscape preservation today?
The conference lived up to expectations as it provided a forum for exploring the diverse field of historic landscape preservation, yet provided opportunities for attendees to explore the Georgia Piedmont region?s remarkable landscapes. Each day offered an array of paper presentations, works-in-progress and posters, with opportunity for discussion.
For list of papers presented and posters displayed, click here.
The opening reception took place Wednesday evening at the Founder’s Memorial Garden. The stately residence provided a perfect opportunity for the requisite ’round table’ for which the Alliance is renowned.
On Thursday morning the group was introduced to the Peidmont Region and to Southern landscapes in general by experts Richard Westmacott, John C. Waters and Nash Boney, all academics at UGA. Soon after, we explored the country’s oldest state chartered university (1785) through a tour led by Dexter Adams, campus planner, and Scott Messer who offered insight into the current preservation and expansion activities. Highlights included Sanford Stadium, Old Athens Cemetery and Herty Field.
Later that afternoon, John Waters, the Director of the UGA Historic Preservation Program, and his wife Charlotte, welcomed us to their home, ‘Greyside’. Built in 1923, the Waters have lived in it since 1973 and have created a most impressive exterior environment to discover and to enjoy.
Following a full slate of papers on Friday morning, we boarded vans to visit the picturesque town of Madison, the “#1 Small Town in America” and “the town that General Sherman refused to burn.” Jim Cothran, based in Atlanta and an expert on southern gardens, gave an overview on the topic based on his book Gardens of the Antebellum South. Susan Hitchcock, hostess for the Madison tour, arranged for residents Rick Crown and Richard Simpson to provide the group with a tour of local sites, including the stately residences of Boxwood and Bonar Hall. We then met Cassandra McGowan of the Madison Greenspace Commission who toured us through Round Bowl Springs and the Madison Cemetery.
The group at Bonar Hall
Returning to Athens, The Jaeger Company, a well-known firm specializing in historic landscape projects, hosted an evening reception at their office located in the former Coca-Cola Bottling Factory, aka ‘The Bottleworks.’
Saturday provided an opportunity to see firsthand the rural landscapes around Athens, which bear the imprint of a long history of cotton farming. Of course cotton fields are now found only periodically: land use is strongly influenced by proximity to an ever-expanding Atlanta.
A trip to the Shields/Etheridge Heritage Farm provided the opportunity to explore a remarkably intact collection of buildings at the heart of an old cotton plantation including a cotton gin. We were guided by a descendant of the original owners, Susan Chaisson, along with Professor Ian Firth.
Later that day, the group was again on the road, but this time focused on private African-American gardens, including some where the gardening traditions are preserved, including the famous ‘swept yards’ of the Dell Apling and Walter Evans Gardens in Sandy Cross.
Walter Evans Farm
The Westmacott Farm in Oglethorpe County was the venue for the closing Southern barbecue dinner. Alfred (Buddy) Burgess was the guest of honour (featured in Richard’s book) and entertainment was provided by The Corduroy Road. In spite of the considerable downpour, the tent hastily-erected the evening before, held up, the music played on and everyone made it back to town safely!
A special note of appreciation to Priya Suri, our student scholarship recipient, who challenged the group with her presentation “Preserving cultural Landscapes: A Cross-cultural Analysis.” The Alliance is collaborating with Clemson University to publish selected conference papers. Stay tuned!
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our generous sponsors, in particular EDAW Inc. and The Jaeger Company.
And a hearty thanks must be extended to the 2007 Planning Committee consisting of Cari Goetcheus, Eric MacDonald, Ian Firth, Susan Hitchcock and Jim Cothran. The Athens Ground Crew included Richard Westmacott, John Waters, Wayde Brown, and Rebecca Rantz, as well as a raft of UGA student volunteers (the unsung heroes and heroines).
Reid W. Bertone-Johnson, Uncovering Warren Manning’s Legacy: A Novel Approach to Historic Landscape Research.
Hanna Bornholdt, Dan Nadenicek, Expanding Preservation Boundaries in a German
Jennifer Cathey, Identifying and Evaluating North Carolina’s Cherokee Citizen
Reservations as Historic and Cultural Landscapes.
Jamie Cleland, Ethnographic Trail Systems as Large Scale Cultural Landscapes:
Preservation and Management Issues.
Catherine Evans, Preservation by Design: Approaches to Landscape Preservation in
Georgia Harrison, Modernist Redesign in a Traditional Southern Context: The Robert Marvin Residence in Walterboro, SC.
Duncan Hilchey, Gout de Terroir (A Taste of Place): Exploring the Boundaries of Unique Agricultural Landscapes.
Andrew Kohr, A Terrace Typology.
Sarah C. la Cour, Battles of Saratoga and Viewshed Protection Plan: Phase I.
Jennifer McStotts, Preserving Walls: Cultural Landscapes of Divisive Histories.
Chad Nelson, Where Water Meets the Lawn: Reconciling Historic Relationships to
Bodies of Water with Current Environmental Recommendations.
Victoria W. Partridge, Evaluating and Preserving Intangible Value of Landscape:
Exploring Glastonbury Festival for Contemporary Performing Arts.
Priya Suri, Preserving Cultural Landscapes – A Cross-Cultural Analysis.
Beth Wheeler, Prehistoric Mounds and New Deal Archaeology on the Macon Plateau, Georgia: Ocmulgee National Monument.
Reid W. Bertone-Johnson, Ashintully’s Transition from a Private Garden to a Semi-Public Park in Tyringham, Massachusetts: Using GIS as a Platform for the Incorporation of Technology into Historic Landscape Preservation.
Kristin Faurest, Olmsted’s Shawnee Park Flower Garden: Palimpsest in Leaves and Stone.
Carrie Gregory, The Many Boundaries of the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Cultural Landscape.
Kristina Hyland, Interpreting Time in the Landscape.
Jennifer Johnson, The Hopewell Property: The Evolution of a Cultural Landscape.
Alicia A. McShulkis, Langeland.
Jennifer Johnson, Carrie Trebil and Richard Rudnick, Charles Pinckney National Historic Site: Blending Historic Research and Modern Technology to Understand and Interpret the Historic Landscape.
Jeremy Wells. Historic Plant Material Restoration.
Mary Wasilewski, Wisconsin’s Rural Polonia: A Study of the Religious Landscape of Portage County.