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Colonial Parkway


Colonial Parkway
Yorktown, Williamsburg & Jamestown

Colonial Parkway is a 25-mile cultural, natural, and scenic resource corridor that is part of the Colonial National Historical Park administered by the National Park Service. The parkway links three important historic areas: the early colonial settlements of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. Constructed between 1930 and 1958, it has high integrity and is an outstanding example of parkway design in the National Park Service; it is rivaled only by the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The CLR Part 1: History, Existing Conditions, Analysis researched the prehistory and history of the region and the evolution of the parkway design, examined the existing conditions, and analyzed integrity, character, and level of change. An examination of park and other archives was conducted to determine the parkway’s construction history and to clarify the original design of the parkway’s alignment, grading, planting, and small-scale features. This research revealed that the original design of the parkway is primarily intact, including its alignment and characteristic planting elements. The CLR was also a useful tool in understanding drainage pressures and developing strategies sensitive to the cultural landscape to address them. Raised awareness about the historic value of the parkway generated by the CLR Part 1 led to a context research and report project. This work addressed the Colonial Parkway as a significant, high-integrity example of the American Parkway movement. The research and reporting was used in a National Register nomination and may also be excerpted for a future National Landmark nomination.

National Park Service

Colonial Parkway Cultural Landscape Report Part 1: History, Existing
Conditions, Analysis, 1997; Colonial Parkway Context: History of the American Parkway Movement, National Park Service Design and Historic Preservation Context, 1998

Project Credits:
Heritage Landscapes, Preservation Landscape Architects & Planners, with Martha McCartney, historian, Andropogon Associates, environmental assessment, and Urban Engineers, traffic and safety assessment

Award-Winning Project