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Wilderness by Design: Landscape Architecture and the National Park Service

Out of Print

By: Ethan Carr

386 pages, 49 photos, 5 illus

University of Nebraska Press

Paperback | Oct 1999 | #103316 | ISBN: 080326383X
Out of Print Details

About this book

Handsomely produced ...Carr underscores the significance and enduring power of the landscape park model.-"Environmental History". "This intelligently crafted book demonstrates that during the 1920s and '30s landscape architects used planning as an effective means of protecting wilderness from the effects of automobile tourism...Highly recommended."-"Choice". "From the creation of Central Park in 1858 to the bison, wolf, and fire controversies of today, conservationists have been under constant scrutiny for the way that public lands are managed...[Carr] speaks with eloquence and pride about the ongoing struggle to preserve the back countries."-"Mystic Montana". "A fascinating account of how and why development occurred in the national parks." -"Leisure Sciences". Tracing the history of landscape park design from British gardens up through the city park designs of Frederick Law Olmsted, Ethan Carr places national park landscape architecture within a larger historical context. Despite the difficulties now confronting the parks, their continued ability to attract millions of visitors suggests that their creators succeeded in presenting a captivating vision of a once-wild America. Ethan Carr is a landscape architect and is currently working for the National Park Service. He has taught landscape architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the University of Virginia School of Architecture.NP [old blurb now follows]: Contemporary environmental historians have suggested that the history of National Park Service management of national parks since 1916 has resulted in a debacle of overuse and ecosystem destruction. In "Wilderness by Design", Ethan Carr goes beyond polemics to examine specific national park policies and the historical contexts that shaped them. Carr delves into the planning and motivations of the people who wanted to preserve America's scenic geography. He demonstrates that by drawing on historical antecedents, landscape architects and planners carefully crafted each addition to maintain maximum picturesque wonder. Tracing the history of landscape park design from British gardens up through the city park designs of Frederick Law Olmsted, Carr places national park landscape architecture within a larger historical context. Despite the difficulties now confronting the parks, their continued ability to attract millions of visitors suggests that their creators succeeded in presenting a captivating vision of a once-wild America. Ethan Carr is the director of the Riverfront Program for Scenic Hudson, Inc. He has served as a landscape historian for the National Park Service, and as a result of his work, sites covered in this book earned designations as National Historic Landmarks.

Ethan Carr's Wilderness by Design is a fundamental study of American landscape architecture, from the beginnings in the nineteenth century until its climax during the years of the New Deal. Moreover, it is thus a detailed account of the forming years of the American conservation movement...[This] well-researched, insightful study introduces the key figures in American landscape architecture until World War Two, and documents their importance for the establishment and conservation of the national parks. [It] will prove invaluable for anyone interested in environmental studies.--European Journal of American Culture, Vol 19, issue 1


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