University of Vermont Historic
HP 302 Community Preservation
INTERDISCIPLINARY SEMINAR IN CULTURAL LANDSCAPES &
COMMUNITY PRESERVATION PROJECTS
SYLLABUS AND PR0JECT GUIDELINES
COURSE DESCRIPTION. This third-semester course is designed to encourage
students to become advocates for historic preservation and to be
cognizant of the need for an interdisciplinary approach to that
advocacy. It follows, in logical sequence, courses offered during the
first and second semesters. Introductory courses, History on the Land,
History of American Architecture, Historic Preservation Law, and
Researching Historic Structures and Sites, were intended to provide a
broad view. Those courses, in turn, were followed by seminars that
offered much closer inspection of preservation tools and areas of
practice (Contemporary Preservation Policy and Planning, Historic
Preservation Practice Methods, and Architectural Conservation.
Advocacy is the fundamental activity that separates our discipline from
that of general history. In addition to being historians of the built
and cultural environments, we are advocates for the preservation of
historic resources. We speak for these resources and engage the public
in conservation efforts. Thus, the course's principal project
assignment will involve the development of community preservation
projects for non-profit and public-sector organizations or agencies,
serving as advocates for the resources in question and in some way
benefiting such organizations and agencies.
At the same time, preservation advocacy cannot function in isolation of
other worthy concerns, and the need for an interdisciplinary,
humanistic approach to the conservation of resources, natural as well
as cultural, is becoming increasingly apparent. Thus, classes will
advance that interdisciplinary approach when possible.
All the while, the course will continue to emphasize the reading of
history on the land begun in HP201, but do so in greater depth and turn
our attention to cultural landscapes. Toward that end, we will
investigate two seemingly opposing aspects of land shape: forested
landscapes and heavy industry, the latter represented by steel
manufacturing and the refining of fossil fuels. Having anchored those
two poles in an environmental spectrum, we will explore middle ground
in the hope of spanning the considerable divide between cultural and
natural resource protection in this country. At key junctures, we
will again underscore to the important relationship between history and
art in the interpretation of landscapes, and will also point to the
Society for Industrial Archeology, the country's principal organization
devoted to understanding and preserving the nation's industrial
Separately, a new segment of the course will offer a review of
Mid-Century Modern residential architecture, supplementing the topic of
“Surveys of Historic Sites and Structures offered in the spring
seminar, Historic Preservation Practice Methods. Familiarity with
post-World War II residential architecture is fast becoming essential
in the context of regulatory review under Section 106, and an
understanding of architectural trends during the second half of the
twentieth century is an essential part of practice skills. We
will be relying heavily on Virginia McAlester’s most recent edition of
A Field Guide to American Houses.
READINGS. With such goals in mind, the following required readings have
been selected. The books by Stilgoe, Wessels and Cannavo should be
available from the campus bookstore or through the internet; the Garn
book is out of stock but should be available on the internet and will
be on Wheeler House reserve. Copies of the Cronon article,
National Register Bulletin 18, National Register Bulletin 30;
Guidelines for Treatment of Cultural Landscapes, Carl Sauer’s essay,
“The Morphology of Landscape,” and several other publications will be
distributed. I have also added a short book, Stations. An
Imagined Journey, by artist and writer Michael Flanagan, which will
reinforce the important relationships between cultural landscape
history and landscape art. That book is available through the
internet but is optional.
1. John Stilgoe, What is Landscape? Cambridge: MIT Press, 2015
2. Tom Wessels. Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New England. Woodstock, Vermont: Countryman Press, 1997.
3. Andrew Garn. Bethlehem Steel. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999.
4. William Cronon, "The Trouble with Wilderness, or Getting Back to the Wrong Nature." Environmental History 1 (January, 1996).
5. Peter Cannavo. The Working Landscape. Founding,
Preservation, and the Politics of Place. Cambridge,
Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2007.
6. Carl Sauer, “Morphology of Landscape,” in University of
California Publications in Geography, Vol. 2, No. 2. Berkley, CA:
University of California Press, 1925. Handout
7. U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service. "How to Evaluate
and Nominate Historic Designed Landscapes." National Register Bulletin
8. U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service. "Guidelines for
Evaluating and Documenting Rural Historic Landscapes." National
Register Bulletin 30.
9. U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service. "Guidelines for
Identifying, and Registering Historic Mining Properties.” National
Register Bulletin 42.
10. U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service. The Secretary
of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties
with Guidelines for the Treatment of Cultural Landscapes. Charles
Birnbaum and Christine Peters, eds. Washington, G.P.O., 1996.
11. U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service.
Preservation Brief 36: Protecting Cultural Landscapes: Planning,
Treatment and Management of Historic Landscapes.
12. National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places
Multiple Property Documentation: Historic Resources of the Mad River
13. David L. Ames and Linda Flint McClelland, “House and Yard,”
in Historic Residential Suburbs: Guidelines for Evaluation and
Documentation for the National Register of Historic Places.
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park
Service, 2002. National Register Bulletin
14. Michael Flanagan. Stations. An Imagined Journey. New York: Pantheon Book, 1994.
In addition, students will be asked to identify at least two books
relevant to the project assignments selected, to review those
selections with the course instructor, and to include those two books
as part of required readings. Final project presentations must
incorporate a discussion of those readings for the benefit of other
students in the class.
SCHEDULE OF CLASS MEETINGS. Class meetings are assigned to a three-hour
segment on Thursdays between 1:15 and 4:15 in Wheeler 101. In addition
to class presentations, the course is designed to give students
sufficient freedom to develop individual or team projects, coordinate
activities with sponsoring agencies or organizations, conduct research,
and engage in field study. In addition, two field trips have been
scheduled during the semester, and students should make arrangements
for any conflicts involving other classes or teaching assistant
responsibilities. One of those trips will be a full-day excursion
to the Green Mountain National Forest. Lunch will be provided.
1. August 30th
1:15 to 2:30 P.M. Class Introduction. Course summary and
description of project portfolio. Introduction to cultural
2:45 to 4:15 P.M. Mid-Century Modern Architecture: Banker’s
Modern: Minimal Traditional (1935 – 1950s); Banker’s Modern: Ranch
(1935 – 1975); Banker’s Modern: Split-Level (1935 – 1975).
2. September 7th
1:15 to 4:15. Field Study: Jericho Research Forest, Jericho
VT. Class discussion will focus on the documentation and
interpretation of cultural and natural resources in UVM's research
forest, formerly an early 19th century farmstead. We'll have a
chance to read the forested landscape first hand and will be joined by
Walter Poleman from the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural
Readings: Stilgoe, What Is Landscape?, Chapter 1; Wessels, Reading the
Forested Landscape, Chapters 1-2; and National Park Service: National
Register Bulletin 30.
3. September 14th
1:15 to 1:30. Project Review. Students should have selected
topics by this date, and should provide brief sketches of these
selections, discussing methodology, readings and research, development
of project statements, and resolution of any concerns.
1:30 to 2:30. Mid-Century Modern Architecture: Mainstream
Modern: International (1925 – Present); Mainstream Modern: Contemporary
(1945 – 1990); Mainstream
Modern: Shed (1965 – 1990); Mainstream Modern: Other 20th- Century
Modern: Organic (1950s – Present); A-Frame (1950s – 1970s); New
Formalism (1950s –
1970s); Brutalism (1950s – 1970s); Post-Modern (1960 – Present); Deconstructivism (1980s – Present); 21st-Century Modern
2:45 to 4:15. Class Discussion: A Trail Head to Interdisciplinary
Landscape Study. Presentation will focus on the fifty-year
friendship of conservationist Benton MacKaye and architect Clarence
Stein, America's 21st century kindred spirits in environmental
humanism. Their model sets the stage for using landscapes as meeting
grounds where a broad range of human concerns such as housing, urban
blight, population, transportation, community, and ecology can be
confronted through local and regional planning.
Readings: Ames and McClelland, “House and Yard;” Stilgoe, What Is
Landscape?, Preface, Introduction, Chapter 5, and Chapter 7; Cronon,
"The Trouble with Wilderness."
4. Friday, September 22nd
7:45 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Field Trip. Departs from Wheeler House.
Starting point will be the U.S. Forest Service Station, Rochester,
Vermont. We will be joined by Dave Lacy, former archeologist for the U.
S. Forest Service Green Mountain and Finger Lakes Region, who will
explain the service's plans for cultural resource protection in the
Granville Gulf area of Vermont's Green Mountain National Forest.
Mary Russ, Executive Director of the White River Partnership will
contribute to discussions about collaborative efforts among property
owners to reclaim river corridors and create buffer zones, and we will
use the White River in Hancock as a study model. We will also
visit the Robert Frost’s summer cabin in Ripton. From Ripton, we
will travel a short distance south to the Forest Dale blast furnace in
Brandon, adding the component of heavy industry to the
discussion. Transportation and lunch will be provided, but you
should bring snacks because it will be a long day. Dress for
Readings: Sauer, “The Morphology of Landscape; Stilgoe, What is
Landscape?, Chapter 2; Wessels, Reading the Forested Landscape,
Chapters 3-4; National Park Service, Preservation Brief 36; National
Park Service, National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property
Documentation: Historic Resources of Mad River Valley.
5. September 28th
1:15 to 4:15. Class Discussion: Cultural Landscapes. Presentation
will focus on the structure and criteria developed by the National Park
Service to evaluate historic cultural landscapes, representing four
distinct types: historic sites, historic designed landscapes, historic
rural or vernacular landscapes, and ethnographic landscapes. This
structure will provide a benchmark for consideration of many of the
landscapes to be considered throughout the course.
Readings: Stilgoe, What Is Landscape?, Chapter 3; Wessels, Reading the
Forested Landscape, 5-6; and National Park Service: Guidelines for the
Treatment of Cultural Landscapes
6. October 5th
1:15 to 4:15. Discussion: Management of Historic Designed
Landscapes. Presentation will focus on the 1982 Restoration and
Management Plan for New York City’s Central Park, a model plan for the
survey, assessment, and interpretation of one of the country’s most
important designed landscapes. The discussion will also provide a
detailed analysis of the park’s historic and existing landscape
Readings: Stilgoe, What Is Landscape?, Chapter 4; Wessels, Reading the
Forested Landscape, Chapters 7-8; National Park Service, National
Register Bulletin 18
7. October 12th
1:15 to 4:15. Mid-Semester Class Presentations. Students will
offer summaries of course projects, and the status of those projects to
date. Presentations should include a discussion of research completed,
description of the format for the final product (whether written
report, web page, promotional literature, historic structures report,
etc.), summary of the research materials and methods being used, brief
outline of relevant literature, and identification of issues,
questions, or problems that must be addressed. The class session will
be provide a critique of these projects as an aid to their successful
completion. Presentations should be confined to fifteen-minute segments.
Readings: Project selections.
8. October 19th
1:15 to 4:15. Class Discussion: Vermont's Historic Bridge
Program. Topics will include a history of the program, the preservation
plans that have been developed for bridge types, including metal truss
bridges and covered bridges, and case studies of successful (or not so
Readings: Stilgoe, What is Landscape?, Chapter 6; Cannavo, Working Landscape, Introduction and Chapter 1.
9. October 26th
1:15 to 4:15. Class Discussion: Steel Manufacturing in America.
Part 1. Presentation will focus on two aspects of steel manufacturing:
(1) converting pig iron into steel through the Bessemer, open hearth,
crucible, electric furnace, and basic oxygen methods; and (2) the
evolving technology of blast furnaces.
Readings: Garn, Bethlehem Steel, pages 3-47; Stilgoe, What is Landscape?, Chapter 8;
Cannavo, Working Landscape, Chapters 2-3.
10. November 2nd
1:15 to 4:15. Class Discussion: Steel Manufacturing in America.
Part 2. Presentation will focus on the numerous other features of
the built environment requisite to the vertically integrated
manufacture of steel, including transport and movement of ores and
coal; ore beneficiation; by-product coking plants; blooming and various
rolling mills, and the evolving technology associated with these mills
and their rolling machines; treatment of finished products such as
porcelain enameled steel and galvanized steel; seamless tubing;
forging; power systems; blowing engines; dry air blast; steel monopoly;
and company towns.
Readings: Garn, Bethlehem Steel, pages 51-107. Please study the images
and be prepared to read the history that you see; Cannavo, Working
Landscape, Chapters 4-5.
11. November 9th
1:15 to 4:15. Class Discussion: Refining Fossil Fuels.
Presentation will continue the focus on heavy industry but will shift
to the mining and refining of fossil fuels, and the subsidiary
industries that have developed in relation to this aspect of American
Readings: Cannavo, Working Landscape, Chapters 6-7; National Park Service, National Register Bulletin 42.
12. November 16th
1:15 to 4:15. Class Discussion: Gas Stations. Presentation will
focus on the very visible part of the roadside built environment
related to motorized transportation dependent on fossil fuels, e.g. the
automobile. The history and evolution of American gas stations as a
unique architectural type will be considered, as will the numerous
contributions of this building form to other aspects of roadside
Readings: Stilgoe, What is Landscape?, Chapter 9.
13. November 23rd
Thanksgiving Recess – No Class
14. November 30th
1:15 to 4:15. Class Presentations
15. December 7th
1:15 to 4:15. Open Study – Project Completion.
CLASS PRESENTATIONS. Final class presentations will be scheduled
in lieu of a final examination, and students are encouraged to consider
these as rehearsals for presentations to be given to project sponsors,
if possible. The materials you discuss should be organized into
thirty-minute segments, including ten minutes allotted for questions
COMMUNITY PRESERVATION PROJECT ASSIGNMENT. Students will be asked to
select an area of special interest and apply appropriate preservation
tools and policies toward completion of a project that advances the
cause of historic preservation for a non-profit organization or public
agency, or in some way advance the cause of community preservation.
Five principles are fundamental to the structure of this course.
1. Students should be given an opportunity to explore
areas of individual interest in great depth. Select projects that
interest you or involve subjects that you hope to pursue in your
2. Students should try, in some respect, to incorporate public advocacy for preservation into each project.
3. Students will work directly with non-profit or
public agency sponsors to define and execute these projects. Your role
is as a private consultant engaged by that organization, and the
project is to be defined by mutual agreement. The form of the final
product must satisfy your professional standards as well as those of
4. Completed projects should be substantial enough to add to student portfolios.
5. Finally, students may develop these projects
individually or in small teams. Projects will be evaluated by
sponsors and by course instructors and will be measured against
criteria that expand these fundamental principles.
PROJECT GUIDELINES. Students will be responsible for all aspects of
project development, and the following guidelines should be observed.
Project Selection. Projects should be selected from the attached list,
and students should consider projects that can be linked to their
desired areas of practice. Students should also consider the nature or
mission of the sponsoring organization, again as a way to explore in
greater depth the type of work conducted by that organization. One of
the course's goals is to assist students faced with making career
choices. Using a template provided, students should prepare written
proposals for desired projects and meet with the course instructors to
confirm any selection. Students may also develop their own project or
projects, subject to approval from the course instructor.
Bibliography. Each student, working with course instructors, will
develop a bibliography of readings for their respective projects.
Readings should be selected to expand students' knowledge in areas of
practice relevant to the project. Comprehensive summaries of at least
two readings must be included in the final class presentations, a means
to share that knowledge with the entire class.
Individual or Team Projects. Students should weigh the respective
merits and hardships of individual and team projects. Generally, the
scope of team projects will be larger, more complex, and the final
product may have more far-reaching influence. In addition, the
experience gained from working as part of a team can be valuable.
However, students who select team projects will be collectively
(jointly and severally) responsible for all aspects of the work.
Evaluations by the course instructors and project sponsors will focus
on the product itself, not the separate contributions of individual
students. A single grade will be given for the project, and that same
grade will be given to each participating student, regardless of the
quality or extent of work performed by individual students. Be
forewarned. This rule can create inequitable results. Thus, it is
important for students to form partnerships with colleagues whose
skills, work habits, and interests are compatible. Once a partner has
been selected and a project started, it may not be possible to change
to another project and meet the required deadlines. Team projects also
require additional time for planning and coordinating work assignments.
Individual projects, although usually narrower in scope, nevertheless
provide students with an opportunity to select topics that are of
particular interest and to explore those topics in greater depth.
Students may also have the opportunity to work more closely with
project sponsors. Finally, students may be better able to organize
their time to fit complicated work schedules.
Project Statement. Once a project has been selected, students must
develop a simple project statement that describes the final product,
explains the expected work performance of each participating party
(including project sponsors), assigns responsibility for specific
tasks, and includes a schedule for project completion. That schedule
must incorporate the deadlines identified by these guidelines. The
project statement should be signed by each student and by the project
sponsor. Copies of that signed project statement should be submitted to
project sponsors and to the course instructors. The project statement
should also identify the expected costs, if any, and explain the method
Public Advocacy and Presentations. One of the course's fundamental
principles is that the project must in some manner advance the cause of
historic preservation. Put another way, students must add to public
awareness about the contributions of historic preservation. Different
projects can accomplish this in different ways, and students should
work with sponsors and the course instructors to create an appropriate
strategy. If possible, students are encouraged to devise a public
presentation and will be given extra credit for that effort.
Class Presentations. Each student will be asked, individually or as
part of a team, to present his or her project to the entire class.
Presentations will outline project participants, content, direction,
and objectives and will identify the key readings selected and will be
an opportunity to rehearse for public presentations. In addition, a
more detailed summary of readings will be required.
Travel. Some of the projects offered will require travel, and students
should consider the complexities of transportation when making a
selection. Travel will increase the overall time required to complete a
project, and coordination with project-sponsors may be more difficult
as well. Anticipating and planning for work to be accomplished at a
distant site may also be troublesome. Nevertheless, a course with a
broad geographical reach will expose students to a greater variety of
topics, which in turn will offer more opportunities for individual
exploration. Moreover, students will be given a better understanding of
the many regional organizations that are working in the field of
historic preservation. The projects, too, may serve as very personal
introductions to specific areas of practice and become part of student
portfolios. In addition, many of the projects have been designed to
allow students to complete work it convenient locations.
Project Sponsors. Project sponsors will serve as students' clients and
will be responsible for defining and evaluating projects. An evaluation
form will be distributed to all sponsors, and that form will provide
guidelines for review. Criteria include (but are not limited to)
accuracy of content, writing, organization or format, quality of visual
materials, communication skills, and presentation style. Course
instructors will rely heavily on these evaluations in assigning project
grades. It is crucial for students to establish clear communication
with project sponsors at the outset and to define very precisely the
sponsor's expectations. These should be incorporated into the written
project statement. If miscommunication occurs or if questions develop,
stop work immediately and resolve those questions. Delay can be costly.
Course Instructors. In most cases, the content of projects will be
determined by project sponsors, and the course instructor may have only
limited discretion to revise that content. In addition, the
breadth (or narrowness) of certain topics may make review difficult for
the course instructor. In such instances, students must again rely on
project sponsors for essential critique. However, the course
instructors will be available for general guidance and will evaluate
projects using the same criteria given to project sponsors
Written Materials. Students are solely responsible for producing
clearly written, well organized, and carefully edited documents. Poorly
written or poorly edited materials will be returned to students without
comment and without extension of any deadlines. Careful editing
requires time, and students should complete documents well in advance
of deadlines in order to devote several days to the editing process. If
you lack confidence in your writing skills, it is your responsibility
to seek assistance from course instructors or a professional editor
early in the semester. Final review of documents by course
instructors and project sponsors should focus on substantive content,
and this is very difficult to do if documents are poorly written. If
documents are to be placed in public circulation, students should
schedule additional time for copy-editing, a normal part of the
PROJECT DEADLINES. Students will be responsible for meeting the course
deadlines. If deadlines are missed, it may not be possible for project
sponsors and course instructors to complete their reviews in time for
students to graduate.
Thursday, September 14th: Projects should be selected and briefly
presented for review to the class. Drafts of project statements
should be ready for signature by project sponsors. A copy of the
executed project statement should then be submitted to the course
Thursday, October 5th: Fifty per-cent of project research should be completed.
Thursday, October 26th: All project research should be completed.
Thursday, November 16th: Projects are due for submission to course
instructor. Any written materials to be included as part of any project
must be fully edited for content, grammar, and syntax. Poorly
edited documents will be returned for resubmission, but project
schedules will not be extended. Projects will be reviewed and returned
for necessary corrections.
Monday, December 4th: Revised documents should be resubmitted to project sponsors and the course instructor.