Historical Landscape Architecture

Commonwealth’s landscape architects provide research, planning, and design services for a wide range of cultural landscape types. These projects can range in scale from small private gardens to multi-county heritage areas. We serve numerous clients, including federal, state and local governments; colleges and universities; heritage organizations; and private owners, nationwide. Our staff of landscape architects are experienced in:

  • Preparing cultural landscape reports
  • Conducting historic landscape surveys
  • Developing historic landscape master plans for historic battlefields, cemeteries, and parks
  • Preparing design guidelines for historic sites and streetscapes
  • Planning and design for rehabilitated landscapes

Cultural Landscape Reports, Inventories, and Assessments

With our extensive experience in cultural landscape evaluation and treatment, Commonwealth can provide clients with a range of products, including cultural landscape reports, inventories, and assessments; Section 106 and NEPA compliance; and National Register of Historic Places documentation. Staff investigates a variety of historic property types, from designed landscapes associated with significant historic residences, farmsteads, and estates, to large-scale community and agricultural and natural landscapes, to cemeteries and battlefields.

Commonwealth has completed numerous studies for prominent American landscapes, many undertaken for the National Park Service through our IDIQ contracts in the Southeast, Midwest, and Northeast/National Capital regions. Our historic landscape architects also work collaboratively with Commonwealth’s archaeologists and historians, taking an interdisciplinary approach to investigating, assessing, understanding cultural landscapes, and recommending treatments that range from landscape maintenance programs to appropriate designs and construction plans for introducing new programmatic elements within a cultural landscape.

Design for Historic Landscapes

Responding to both historical and contemporary needs, Commonwealth’s landscape architects provide clients with comprehensive landscape architectural services. Our team has completed a wide array of projects that include adaptive reuse and rehabilitation of historic sites, design of new facilities within historic settings, master planning, conceptual design, and schematic design through construction documentation and administration—we’ve covered it all. In addition, we manage complex projects that require a high level of coordination and communication with key stakeholders, client groups, and other consultants, all while providing clients with high-quality design solutions notable for their sensitivity to historic resources and compatibility with nationally recognized preservation standards.

Historic Cemetery Planning and Design

As experts in historic cemetery preservation, Commonwealth provides cemetery master plans, cultural landscape reports, inventories, monument conservation assessments, National Register nominations, and Section 106 compliance documentation. Our landscape architects and historians work collaboratively with Commonwealth’s archaeologists, who provide geophysical services, such as ground-penetrating radar, Phase I, Phase II, and other subsurface investigations. Notably, Commonwealth has received national attention and accolades, having been featured in several articles, including the 2015 September issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine and is the winner of the American Planning Association’s National Planning Achievement Award for Urban Design—Gold.

Battlefield Preservation Planning

Commonwealth is honored to have contributed to the preservation of battlefield sites around the country. Our battlefield preservation client base includes federal entities, such as the National Park Service in the Southeast, National Capital, Northeast, and Midwest regions; state and regional entities, such as the counties of Prince William, Frederick, Fauquier, and Fairfax and the cities of Fairfax and Manassas, all in Virginia; and elsewhere, including Gloucester County, New Jersey; the Village of Sackets Harbor, New York; Saratoga Preserve Land and Nature, New York; Chester and Delaware Counties, Pennsylvania; the Town of Ridgeland, South Carolina; the City of Franklin, Tennessee; and the Kentucky Department of Parks.

We have also worked with non-profit organizations dedicated to battlefield preservation, including the Brandywine Battlefield Task Force, the Civil War Preservation Trust, Campaign 1776, Mosby Heritage Area Association, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, Glass-Glen Burnie Museum, Fort Mill Ridge Foundation, Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association, Princeton Battlefield Society, Paoli Battlefield Foundation, Black Jack Battlefield Trust, and Perryville Battlefield Preservation Association. Commonwealth’s battlefield preservation portfolio includes master plans, site plans, interpretive plans, cultural landscape reports, historic resource inventories, and National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmark nominations.