17 Criterion D:

Cultural Landscape Recommendations: Park Headquarters at Munson Valley, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon


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The Munson Valley landscape yields important information about the precepts of naturalistic planting design theory and practice as used at Crater Lake National Park. Landscape features of the administrative complex and Superintendent’s Residence include spatial organization, site plan, views and visual character all of which remain largely undisturbed. These resources contribute significant information relating to estate (residential) planning concepts prevalent in the 1930’s. In addition, the use of native plant materials and natural groupings, and the materials, colors and textures of structures contribute information relating to naturalistic design principles as part of the rustic idiom developed in national parks.

The historic designed landscape of the Munson Valley Historic District possesses integrity of:

Location: The primary structures defining the administrative, maintenance and residential complexes at Munson Valley, including the buildings, circulation system, and vegetation (canopy cover), are in their original location.

Design: The original spatial organization for this site, including land use functions (residential/administration/maintenance) and activities is intact. Though many plant materials have been lost over the years due to natural processes and/or lack of maintenance, the framework of the original planting scheme is still evident.

Setting: The landscape surrounding the Munson Valley Historic District remains virtually intact. From Rim Drive the administrative complex remains visually prominent, and the district’s mature forest continues to screen the maintenance and residential structures from the public. The Steel Circle employee housing development, built in the 1960’s south of the historic district, is physically separate and does not visually impact the main site. Views to Garfield Peak from the Superintendent’s Residence and other areas within the site remain unobscured.

Materials: With the exceptions of snow tunnel additions to the Administration Building and the Ranger Dormitory, and replacement in-kind of building materials during a recent rehabilitation project, structures in Munson Valley remain intact. Existing plant materials are compatible with the historic site although the original plantings are in remnant condition at best.

Workmanship: The buildings of the Munson Valley district are an excellent example of rustic architecture in the park, and represent one of the National Park Service’s most ambitious development programs using naturalistic design to guide the improvements.

Feeling: The historic district possesses a distinct presence within the greater landscape context, evoking a sense of the era in which it was designed and created through its buildings, structures, circulation system, materials and organization.

Association: Munson Valley continues to function as it did historically, as headquarters for Crater Lake National Park. The historic district continues to reflect its associations with the CCC and the Rustic Style of design through its buildings, structures, circulation system, materials and organization.