Lincoln University Historic District Master Plan, PA

Client: Lincoln University Division of Finance & Administration

Prepared for a venerable historically Black institution of higher education, this master plan integrates campus heritage preservation, guiding principles, and best landscape management practices to enhance the character of the historic district landscape in a way that respects the past while suiting the needs of the present and future university community. For the Lincoln University Historic District Landscape Master Plan Heritage Landscapes:

  • Co-authored principles to guide the master plan
  • Collaborated to develop historic district landscape guiding principles
  • Researched and studied character of historic core, 1850s to present
  • Benchmarked against the Yale University Beatrix Farrand designed landscapes
  • Mapped existing landscape and analyzed character compared to historic
  • Prepared illustrative sketches to consider alternatives
  • Provided historic building guidance for maintenance strips and appropriate planting
  • Added 262 trees to align with historic images, increase shade and sequester carbon  
  • Redesigned and simplified two quadrangles to enhance order, character and daily use

The Lincoln University and Heritage Landscapes collaborative team infused the HDLMP with concepts that lift this plan above the purely functional through achievable guiding principles for landscape beauty and health, learning, order, harmony, resilience, sustainability and maintainability. The need was clear as eight legacy buildings in the historic district were concurrently in process on independent and incongruent redesign and preservation efforts. The master plan remedies altered landscape patterns, including the disjunction of historic quads, curving rather than straight walks, sprawling parking lots, awkward placement of amenities, loss of tree canopy and formality, and dense foundation plantings at historic buildings. The HL team crafted an actionable blueprint to revitalize the historic campus landscape, improving functions and experiences while respecting historic features and values.


Lincoln University Landscape History and Character Memorandum, Lincoln University Historic District Landscape Master Plan, Spring 2023 test planting


Heritage Landscapes


"HDLMP guidance inspires action-oriented campus landscape change, aligned to guiding principles. Detailed recommendations chart the way forward responding to the touchstones of history, beauty, biodiversity, learning, well-being, order, harmony, inclusion, resilience and management of this historic landscape."