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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