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Patricia O’Donnell and Gregory De Vries, founder and managing partner of Heritage Landscapes, joined the Practical Preservation Podcast to discuss their preservation landscape architecture and planning firm. We covered a multitude of topics including:

  • How their diverse educational backgrounds enabled them to forge their current careers in a niche industry
  • Terminology including “landscaping” vs. “landscape architecture,” and how the latter focuses on a framework for landscape as a place instead of an action
  • Approaches to planning and preservation, including viewing preservation as “respecting what you inherit” rather than invariably returning a space to a specific point in time
  • Notable projects by the firm, including the Elisabet Ney Museum in Austin, TX, a rehabilitation of Jackson Park in Chicago, IL, and an authentic restoration and reconstruction of gardens at Oldfields Estate in Indianapolis, IN 
  • Challenges to working on heavily visited (Little Round Top at Gettysburg, PA) or occupied (Jimmy Carter National Historic Site) landscapes, and managing preservation in these living landscapes
  • Commercial and professional volunteer services, including involvement with world heritage sites
  • Their service area, which includes most of the United States and some international locations

 

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About Laura Kise

Laura Kise has worked most of her adult life in the health services field, but has never lost her love of history. Her ancestral roots run deeply in Central Pennsylvania, and some of her earliest history-loving experiences included riding restored train cars behind antique steam engines, as well as participating in Civil-War reenacting, and visiting battlefields with her parents. She has been an administrator with Keperling Preservation Services since November 2019, and is excited to explore new opportunities to promote historical education and preservation throughout Central Pennsylvania and beyond.

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