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|VOLUME 18 NUMBER 1, SPRING 2010|
Many of us have likely driven past a number of Maine’s private estates,
parks, gardens, cemeteries, golf courses, and campuses without really
understanding the story behind them, or the extensive efforts on the part of a
landscape designer and the vision of one of the state’s renowned benefactors
that made them possible. On October 22nd , the Office of the Vice President for
Administration and Finance, Raymond H. Fogler Library, and the University
Bookstore hosted “Designing the Maine Landscape,” an event that brought together
authors and speakers who shared the stories of historic architecture and
landscape design projects within the state of Maine. This day-long event was
held in the Wells Conference Center from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Event organizers were inspired by the recently published book, “Designing the Maine Landscape,” a collaborative effort between the Maine Olmsted Alliance and Down East Books, co-written by Theresa Mattor and Lucie Teegarden. “This is an incredible book,” noted Gretchen Gfeller, Public Relations Specialist for Fogler Library as she prepared for the event, “and the more we thought about it, the more we realized that there was potential for inviting the authors and also discussing ‘landscape’ in the broadest sense, to include buildings and structures that also contribute to our environment. We will be looking at how we see, value, and preserve our landscape.”
In their book, Mattor and Teegarden draw from a ten-year survey of Maine’s historic landscapes while celebrating the history and legacy of projects throughout the state, including locations from Saco to Caribou, Rumford to Bar Harbor. Among the many featured are the grounds of the University of Maine in Orono, the Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor, and the Asticou Terraces, Asticou Azalea Garden, and Thuya Garden in Northeast Harbor.
The authors shared the day with a focus on the University of Maine, whose Campus Planning Committee members have been working diligently on strategic landscape planning for the University. With the help of the Getty Foundation’s Campus Heritage Grant award, the University’s Historic Preservation Master Plan was written in 2007 largely by Malcolm Collins. Collins, now an associate at WBRC Architects Engineers, is working with the Campus Planning Committee to preserve the historic buildings on the University’s campus in context with the potential expansion of its National Register Historic District. Earle Shettleworth, Jr., State Historian and Director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission joined Collins for a discussion of historic architecture and the importance of the National Register Historic District.
Another featured speaker during the day’s events was Greg Havens, a principal at Sasaki Associates, who worked collaboratively with the Campus Planning Committee in creating the University’s Campus Master Plan. The Campus Master plan, under Haven’s direction, recently received the Merit Award for Excellence in Planning for an Established Campus by the Society for College and University Planning.
The day opened with a keynote address by University of Maine President Robert Kennedy and also included remarks from Vice President for Administration and Finance Janet Waldron and Library Dean Joyce Rumery.
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