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Posts tagged: landscape architecture

Apr 04 2017

Reginald D. Tillson Landscape Architecture Papers

Blog post written by Lindsey Naylor

An audience at the High Point Museum this week will learn about the Reginald D. Tillson Landscape Architecture Papers, one of the newest additions to the Landscape Architecture Archive in NCSU Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center. Tillson practiced landscape architecture out of his High Point office from the 1920s to 1970s, completing projects that ranged in scale from home gardens to public parks to private subdivisions. His designs’ cumulative impact on the built environment of High Point — and other communities of the Piedmont Triad and beyond — was considerable.

Gwynn Thayer, Associate Head and Curator for Special Collections, and Lindsey Naylor, a Master of Landscape Architecture student and Research Assistant for the Landscape Architecture Archive, will share images and insights from first impressions of the Tillson collection, which is still being processed and which will be available soon to researchers. The full collection includes more than 250 tubes and flat folders that hold drawings spanning Tillson’s full career.

Tillson founded his firm in High Point in the 1920s, when the textile and manufacturing industries were fueling local wealth and population growth. His earliest designs were for the home landscapes of the High Point elite who were moving into the newly created Emerywood neighborhood, built just north of downtown and part of the Uptown Suburbs Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The gardens Tillson designed for Emerywood varied in complexity and drew from the popular Colonial Revival, Picturesque, and Arts and Crafts styles of landscape architecture.

In the 1930s, Tillson designed parks and nature preserve amenities throughout the Southeast for the Civilian Conservation Corps. His work with the CCC included the design of the High Point City Lake Park, where many of the features designed by Tillson remain intact today.

As High Point’s population grew and as trends in planning and development evolved, Tillson’s work grew in scale and complexity. He designed dozens of subdivisions and the grounds and siting for schools, churches and hospitals. And he continued his work on residential designs, which his son, David Tillson, said he preferred because of their intimate scale and horticultural focus. The breadth of the Tillson collection allows a unique view into planning and landscape architecture practice in the Southeast during decades of immense technological and social change.

Tillson's 1927 design for a home garden in Emerywood.

Another 1920s design for a home in Emerywood.

Tillson designed the estate grounds of textile executive J. E. Millis in stages, in 1927 and 1929.

Tillson created the design, details and construction drawings for the federally funded City Lake Park.

Tillson completed grading, utilities and planting plans for this 1960s High Point public housing project.

Tillson's planting plan for the 1968 design of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church in High Point.

Feb 14 2017

Special Collections reveal rich history of Bragaw Residence Hall landscape on NC State campus

Blog post contributed by Lindsey Naylor

The Landscape Architecture Archive in the Special Collections Research Center provided historical insight on Monday for Master of Landscape Architecture students working to redesign the courtyard space behind Bragaw Residence Hall.

The full space between the Bragaw, Lee and Sullivan residence halls was designed in the early 1970s by Lewis Clarke, a well-known modernist landscape architect who taught in the NC State Department of Landscape Architecture during the 1950s and 1960s. The Lewis Clarke Collection, one of the largest in the archive, includes as-built drawings and project files for the space, which was one of several residence hall projects that Clarke’s firm completed for NC State at the time.

Clarke’s original design included an amphitheater, a rolling lawn with clusters of trees, a courtyard off of the Bragaw common area, an entry planting off of the Sullivan parking lot, and a series of sweeping brick paths with white brick accents that echoed the style of the paths designed by Richard Bell and installed a decade earlier to the west of the Brickyard.

Students are proposing new designs for the Bragaw space, which has morphed over time as Fountain Dining Hall was constructed and as new paths were installed that cut through the original design. The drawings and files from the Clarke collection helped paint a picture for students of how and why the Bragaw space evolved, which pieces of the current landscape are remnants of the Clarke design, and how a new design might respond to the site’s historical context.

In addition to the Clarke drawings and files, students were able to review slide images from the Office of the University Architect Records that showed Clarke’s models and concept diagrams for the project, the construction process, and the final constructed space.

Students examine slide images of Clarke's models and of the 1970s iteration of the Bragaw landscape.

Images in the Rare and Unique Digital Collections showed students how the space was used before Bragaw’s construction in 1958: During the 1940s the site was home to Vetville, a community of pre-fabricated apartments for veteran students with families, and one of several campus projects built quickly to accommodate the post-war boom of students attending NC State with support from the G.I. Bill.

The site once was home to Vetville, a pre-fabricated apartment community for veteran students with families.

Combined, the collections offered a rich history of the site for students who are considering how to transform it yet again. Students will translate their designs into construction documents, with the possibility that one scheme will be constructed by a summer Design+Build class. The studio, LAR 503 Design Development, led by Carla Delcambre and Jesse Turner, is working with University Housing and the NC State Facilities Division to get feedback on designs throughout the semester.

Feb 10 2017

Special Collections partners with COD faculty member Kofi Boone to evaluate “lost landscapes” on campus

Blog post contributed by Lindsey Naylor

In LAR 582: Landscape Architecture Theory and Criticism, students take part in formal class debates and deploy arguments that draw from their growing knowledge of theory. For the first debate, Professor Kofi Boone assigned two teams that argue opposing sides of the question: Is the new landscape for the Talley Student Union a step forward or a step backward?

But only two students had actually seen the previous student union landscape — a visit to the Special Collections Research Center was definitely called for! With access to detailed drawings and archival images pulled from three separate collections, the whole class could grasp the forms, spaces and uses that defined what was then called the Student Center Plaza.

The former plaza was designed by Richard Bell, a renowned local landscape architect who just a few years earlier had designed the Brickyard. Bell’s design for the Student Center Plaza featured a multi-level fountain that stepped down into the site; walls and plantings that created a buffer against the railroad and the traffic of Dunn Avenue; an amoeba-like open lawn; and seating that wrapped around the site and the student union.

A 1980s view of the former Student Center Plaza. Dunn Avenue is beyond the wall in the background. UA 003.026

Students in Boone’s class came to D.H. Hill Library on Thursday to see in person the drawings and images from the Richard C. Bell Drawings and Other Materials, the Office of the University Architect Records, and the G. Milton Small Papers.

The Richard C. Bell collection, in the Landscape Architecture Archive, holds about a dozen drawings for his Student Center Plaza design, including grading and planting plans, site sections, construction details and illustrative renderings.

The University Architect collection has dozens of slide images, taken in the 1970s and 1980s, that give a rich picture of the plaza’s use and its human scale. About 25 of the slides were scanned for Boone’s class and soon will be available online in the Rare and Unique Digital Collections.

The Small collection includes floor plans, elevations and perspective renderings of the Student Center and the Student Supply Store, the two buildings that formed the southern and western edges of the plaza. The Student Supply Store was demolished during the new Talley construction, and the Student Center was gutted to form the core of the new building.

Students examine Bell's 1975 grading plan for the Student Center Plaza.

SCRC holds a wealth of materials that give insight into the history of community spaces on NC State’s campus. Boone, who works in the Experience Design Lab at the College of Design, is exploring ways to use digitized archival images and oral histories in conjunction with site-based virtual and augmented reality, to enrich individual experiences of campus and other landscapes.

Boone brought to class an Oculus Gear VR to share a 360-degree image of the current Talley landscape and refresh students’ memories of the existing site design. SCRC Associate Head and Curator Gwynn Thayer brought an early “model” as a fun, historical comparison– a stereoviewer, which was the 19th century’s attempt at creating a three-dimensional alternate reality.

Kofi Boone uses the Oculus Gear VR to view a 360-degree image of the current Talley Student Union landscape.

Student Jackson Kiel uses the stereoviewer to view a 19th-century sublime landscape.

Oct 14 2016

Special Collections Holds Landscape Architecture Class Session for Dr. Magallanes’ students

Blog post written by Lindsey Naylor

The Special Collections Research Center offered an archival show-and-tell for students enrolled in LAR 444: History of Landscape Architecture, taught by associate professor Fernando Magallanes. The session featured works from the Landscape Architecture Archive in addition to rare books and images that reflect broader trends in design, botany, agriculture, and more. Magallanes requested diverse materials to support the aim of the course, which is to provide a broad overview of landscape architecture history grounded in a larger social, scientific, and artistic context.

The event was also meant to give students a sense of the Archive’s scope, and its potential as a source of inspiration and insight for design and research projects.

Highlights from the Landscape Architecture Archive included architectural drawings, renderings, and presentation materials from the collections of Lewis Clarke, Richard C. Bell, Edwin Gilbert Thurlow, and Reynolds & Jewell. Featured design and planning projects included the Brickyard, the 1965 Raleigh downtown capital plan, and the N.C. Zoo, giving students a peek into the historic context of familiar places. Students also could flip through correspondence between NCSU landscape architecture faculty members and their prominent international design colleagues, like Roberto Burle Marx and Garrett Eckbo.

Professor Magallanes discusses Lewis Clarke’s master plans for the N.C. Zoo and downtown Raleigh open space.

Sketches, photographs, and architectural drawings were on display for Fayetteville’s iconic Tallywood Shopping Center sign. The modernist 1960s design was by Bill Baron, an industrial designer and former NCSU faculty member who also worked on projects with Clarke and Bell. Baron recently donated his Tallywood drawings, correspondence, and photographs to the SCRC. The finding aid for this collection will be available in a few weeks.

SCRC Associate Head and Curator Gwynn Thayer talks with students about Bill Baron's Tallywood design.

Students got a sneak peek at the work of R. D. Tillson, a landscape architect who practiced in the High Point area from the 1930s to the 1970s. The Tillson drawings, which fill more than 250 tubes and flat folders, are another recent acquisition and are currently being processed and organized. The collection promises to provide unique insight into the way the practice of landscape architecture evolved in the Southeast during the 20th century. At the show-and-tell, students examined grading and general development plans for Rock Creek Park, an Albemarle, N.C., project funded in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration.

SCRC staff shared a couple of the hand-colored lantern slides of B.W. Wells, a celebrated NCSU ecologist who built a deep knowledge of the state’s native plants and ecosystems. The slides included in the exhibit showed the trumpet plant and the venus fly trap, Wells’ personal favorite.

Eli Brown, Head of the SCRC, shows students the hand-colored lantern slides of B. W. Wells.

Magallanes’ students were particularly drawn to the exhibit’s selection of rare books, including an original 1856 edition of The Grammar of Ornament, the work of architect Owen Jones that is often referred to as “the Bible of design.” Also on hand was an original 1803 edition of Observation on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, by English landscape designer Humphry Repton. Repton is known for his series of Red Books and for the innovative layering of before-and-after drawings of his planned landscapes.

Students peruse “The Grammar of Ornament” and “Observation on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening.”

Apr 04 2016

Landscape Architecture Archive Panel discussion and special “Show-and-Tell” showcase event

Please join us this Wednesday, April 6, for an exciting Landscape Architecture Archive event:

At 5:00 p.m., directly outside of the Duke Energy Hall of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library, guests may peruse special selections from the Landscape Architecture Archive in a “Show-and-Tell” event. At 6:00 p.m., in Duke Energy Hall, a panel of prominent alumni, practitioners, faculty, and a current graduate student will discuss the topic “Landscape Architecture – Embracing our Past, Engaging our Future:”

A reception, sponsored by the Friends of the Library, will follow.

For the press release with complete details, please click here.

Jun 22 2015

Large Design Drawings: Special Handling Required

Arcade Building for E. W. Grove by Charles N. Parker, Architect, Asheville, N.C., 15 July 1926

Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Design is a significant collecting area for the Special Collections Research Center, as well as an area of excellence at the university and a corresponding strength within the NCSU Libraries’ overall collection. Including papers, drawings, and records of prominent architects, landscape architects, and greenways planners in North Carolina and the southeastern United States, with an emphasis on major modernists, as well as collections documenting the historic architecture of North Carolina, industrial design and graphic design, these collections contain much material that is large or fragile or beautiful or all of the above. Thus, they require special arrangements for storage and transportation.

The beauty of architectural collections is often hidden when they first arrive. If the architect stopped practicing or the firm went out of business years before we receive the collection, then the material may have been stored in less than ideal conditions and may no longer be organized as it was when it was regularly used.

To preserve architectural drawings, we store them either rolled or flat in acid-free enclosures. Rolled drawings are rolled on acid-free cores and wrapped in acid-free paper. Flat drawings are stored in acid-free folders in metal flat files with baked epoxy finishes.

Storage for rolled drawings.

Flat storage for architectural drawings.

Because of their size, we need special equipment to transport architectural drawings. To move either rolled or flat drawings within one building, we use this cart with a top constructed for us by our Building Services Department:

Cart for moving architectural drawings.

To move drawings from our off-site storage facility to our Reading Room in the main library in order for users to see them, we use a variety of cases, including these:

Case to transport rolled drawings.

Cases to transport flat drawings.

For information about our collections in the areas of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Design, please consult our website.