Historical Landscape Architecture

HABS/HALS/HAER

Monument Terrace

Lynchburg, Virginia

Commonwealth conducted a Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) for Monument Terrace, Lynchburg’s iconic civic landmark. The block long structure of stairs and terraces was designed by local architect Aubrey Chesterman and built in 1924 to traverse the steep slopes of Courthouse Hill on axis with the 1851 Greek Revival courthouse. One year later, “The Listening Post,” a bronze statue created by New York sculptor, Charles Keck, was added to commemorate Lynchburg’s World War I dead. Since then, eight other war memorials have been added to the structure. In 2004, Commonwealth served as landscape architects for the complete renovation of Monument Terrace including, structural and drainage improvements, replacement paving, and new plantings. Commonwealth receive a national award for its Historic American Landscapes Survey short-form history, submitted in response to the 2018 HALS Challenge: Memorialization, Commemorating the Great War.

Avon Park Air Force Range

Polk and Highlands Counties, Florida

Commonwealth conducted a Historic American Engineering Report survey for Avon Park Air Force Range, established in the early years of World War II and quickly developed into the largest bombing range east of the Mississippi. Avon Park trained many U.S. Army Air Forces bombing crews whose combat missions turned the tide in the two theaters of World War II. Many resources within the Avon Park Air Force Range Airfield have been determined potentially eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places by consultation with the Florida State Historic Preservation Officer. To mitigate the adverse effect of periodic maintenance and upgrades, the U.S. Air Force commissioned Commonwealth and photographer John Herr to document the historic characteristics of the airfield in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Guidelines for Historic American Engineering Record and Florida State Historic Preservation Office requirements. Staff performed historical research and field documentation, and provided written historical summaries and existing conditions descriptions of thirteen airfield components. The report will be used to inform responsible maintenance policies for the airfield’s historic resources.

Reconstructed State House of 1676

Historic St. Mary’s City, Maryland

Commonwealth conducted a Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) for the Reconstructed State House of 1676, part of the larger commemorative and interpretive landscape of Historic St. Mary’s City and the site of Maryland’s first capital and its settlement. The State House was reconstructed 1933-1934 based on the design of the original 1676 state house. The Colonial Revival-style garden designed by Rose Greely reflected her training and practice in the Beaux-Arts and Arts and Crafts schools of design. Greely was a well-known landscape architect having designed landscapes for the Friends Meeting House of Washington (ca. 1930), Col Alto in Lexington, Virginia (1932), and gardens for the Jefferson Patterson family at Point Farm Estate in Calvert County, Maryland. For the State House, Greely composed an arrangement of geometric pathways lined with English boxwoods, which provided year-round structure for deciduous Hugonis roses, hawthorn, and honey locust. Greely’s formal walkway and double lines of American holly were angled to cause the State House to appear deceptively larger when viewed from the river, a Beaux Arts conceit. Commonwealth developed a HALS short-form history and survey for the 2013 HALS Challenge: Documenting the Cultural Landscapes of Women.