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14-16 October 2010

Multiple Presentations
New York AIA ASLA Conference
Creating the Fabric of Our Culture
Buffalo, NY

Graycliff: Wright on the Lake

Heritage Landscapes has contributed knowledge and expertise to guide the future of several western New York cultural landscapes, including Graycliff in Derby. On a narrow, windswept property above Lake Erie, Frank Lloyd Wright designed Graycliff for Darwin and Isabelle Martin between 1926 and 1928 with continued work through 1930. Wright’s late-Prairie Style architecture was complemented and completed by the landscape designs of Ellen Biddle Shipman between 1929 and 1931. The result was a modernist expression of house and landscape designed together creating a unified character. Landscape changes and architectural additions characterized the property when the Graycliff Conservancy formed to steward and restore the retreat in 1997. 

The Graycliff Cultural Landscape Report & Treatment Plan addresses history, current use, design integrity with both Wright and Shipman, and future direction. Contemporary issues included accessibility and deterioration of the historic sunken esplanade, integrated bench, and beach access tower. LIDAR laser imaging was used to study the cliff and consider intervention. The CLR will continue to serve as a resource document and reference in future restoration efforts. The CLR process and outcomes were presented by Sarah LeVaun Graulty of Heritage Landscapes and Reine Hauser, Executive Director of the Graycliff Conservancy. 

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The Olmsted-Vaux Legacy at the Richardson Olmsted Center as a Guiding Element of Future Use

The landscape of the former Buffalo State Insane Asylum, which today is the Richardson Olmsted Center (ROC) and the Buffalo Psychiatric Center, is significant as a surviving example of a 19th century designed, therapeutic landscape by recognized masters of landscape architecture Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. and Calvert Vaux. Olmsted, Vaux & Company collaborated with Henry Hobson Richardson, who designed the Asylum structure. The association of this asylum with the redirection of care for the insane toward therapy using the principles Thomas S. Kirkbride, is also significant. 

In 2008, Heritage Landscapes developed the Richardson Olmsted Complex Cultural Landscape Report for the ROC under team leaders Goody Clancy Assoc. This effort included extensive historical research, field documentation, and existing conditions mapping, and addresses landscape integrity. Both significant changes and continuities occurred for variable landscape integrity. The CLR effort laid groundwork for combined preservation and rehabilitation treatment that respected historic character and features while addressing future uses of this cultural landscape. The subsequent master plan frames a sustainable future for the ROC with the site landscape as a vital element of the future program. The CLR, landscape master plan, and initial steps toward implementation were presented by Sarah K. Cody of Heritage Landscapes and Monica Pellegrino Faix from the Richardson Center Corporation.

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Mount Hope Cemetery Cultural Landscape Report, Tree Inventory & Management Plan

At Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, Heritage Landscapes and Wendel Duchscherer teamed to create the Mount Hope Cemetery Cultural Landscape Report, Tree Inventory & Management Plan to facilitate preservation, stewardship and public private partnerships for this historically significant cultural landscape.  This important Victorian cemetery, dedicated in 1838, was an early municipally-owned cemetery, and it remains city owned and managed while it continues to accommodate active burials.  The requirement for both preservation and ongoing use of the cemetery grounds calls for landscape treatment and management that accommodates and balances historic character, continued cemetery use and public tours of the historic landscape. 

Research and documentation of history, evolution, and existing conditions of the cemetery landscape revealed the value, evolution, and community commitment to this unique cultural landscape.  An assessment of trees, led by Wendel Duchscherer, documented the current condition and signaled the need for continued care and management of this unique tree collection that, along with the variable sloping topography, curving drives and the grave monuments and markers, shapes the picturesque landscape character.  From the CLR basis of historical documentation, field reconnaissance, identification of issues, tree inventory, analysis of character and continuity, and community input, a targeted plan was created that addresses preservation, interpretation, and management recommendations that the City of Rochester and Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery can implement in a phased sequence over time. Funded by the City of Rochester and the NYS Preservation League, the CLR report received a  2009 NY Upstate Chapter ASLA Merit award for Research, Historic Preservation & Communication.  This session was presented by Sarah K. Cody and Sarah LeVaun Graulty from Heritage Landscapes and Mark V. Mistretta of Wendel.

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