The Rustic Landscape of Rim Village, 1927-1941
Methodology and Scope
The historic landscape study for Rim Village is divided into three main parts: research; analysis and evaluation; and recommendations. A variety of materials were investigated in the research phase of the project. All NPS planning documents, administrative materials, and historical documents on file in the Pacific Northwest Regional Office were reviewed. The park’s extensive historical files and archives — including superintendents’ annual reports and the historic photograph collection — were thoroughly studied for relevant information. Park historian Stephen R. Mark provided supplemental and special research materials throughout the course of the project. In addition to park and regional office files, historical research was conducted at the National Archives and Records Administrative Centers in Seattle, Washington and San Bruno, California, where among other items, the Landscape Architects’ narrative reports for Crater Lake National Park were located, complete with original black and white photographs. This historic record was particularly valuable to the study. The landscape architects and engineers working in the field at Crater Lake National Park kept copious notes and records throughout the 1930’s, documenting not only what they did from month to month, but why and how they did it. In this regard, the historic record is more than a chronological record, it is a record of ideas and technologies for adapting the NPS Rustic ethic to the landscape of Rim Village. In addition to this research, two weeks were spent in the park conducting field surveys and a general reconnaissance of the existing landscape. The findings from the research portion of the study can be found in the “Landscape History,” which is divided into two chapters. The first chapter is an overview of the general principles that define the Rustic ethic, and the design context for the NPS Rustic as a style of design in the parks. The second chapter discusses the material forms of the Rustic style as designed and implemented at Rim Village.
The second part of the report — analysis and evaluation — is based on the landscape history, and provides the criteria for development of specific recommendations for rehabilitation. Based on historical research and field analysis, the project team identified a variety of individual features that collectively comprised the essential philosophies, themes, materials, and character of the historic landscape. These individual features form the typology and were grouped into five components: Circulation; Vegetation; Structures; Small-Scale Features; and Construction Technologies. Each component forms an individual “chapter” within the Typology section of the report. National Register criteria was used to determine which components were significant and contributing elements of the designed historic landscape.
Based on the analysis and evaluation, recommendations were developed for stabilization, preservation, and reestablishment of significant historic patterns and features in the landscape. While these recommendations targeted preservation as the preferred action, they also addressed new design for Rim Village in the context of preliminary program elements for redevelopment of the site. It is important to note that the recommendations are not intended to serve as, or replace, site plans for specific areas or features of Rim Village, nor do they include construction or maintenance specifications. Many of these issues are being addressed in other documents and in future studies associated with the more detailed design work planned for the rim.