26 Small-scale Features – Curbing

The Rustic Landscape of Rim Village, 1927-1941



Small-scale Features


In 1928, the landscape division made plans to install a log guardrail along the road through Rim Village. The primary purpose of the guardrail was to control vehicular circulation and limit access throughout the village to designated parking areas, preventing cars from driving onto planting beds and areas targeted for revegetation. Construction of two log guardrails — one along both sides of the road and one around the lodge loop — began late that year.

The log guardrail served its purpose, but from the beginning the goal of the landscape architects, as reflected in the master plans, was to establish a “permanent” curbing along the road and parking areas at Rim Village. As a material, wood was appropriate visually, but did not reflect the quality of permanance as well as stone. By 1931, plans were underway to replace the log guardrail with stone curbing.

In the summer of 1932, two stone masons with “helpers” were working at The Watchman, cutting stone for the new curbing. Work began in July and by October, a total of 1412 feet of stone curbing was in place along the north edge of Rim Village Road, from the lodge west, almost to the steps near the Cafeteria. The curbing was laid with “good alignment and grade deep enough to be very strong.” Individual curb stones were cut to a thickness of 8 to 9 inches on top with a depth of approximately 24 inches. Individual stones varied in length from 32 to 84 inches, and were set to show a face of approximately 9 inches, backed by walkway.

In 1933, work continued on the south side of the road and adjacent areas around the cafeteria plaza. By October, an additional 1050 feet of curbing had been installed.

In 1934, most of the log guardrail around the lower parking area and in the plaza south of the lodge was replaced with stone curbing. The placement of the curbing was viewed as a necessary first step to planting the entry area and as a tool for traffic control.

Final installation of the curbing took place in 1935, with completion of the lower parking area at the lodge, and installation of curbing around the traffic island at the junction of the entry road to Rim Village and Rim Road.

Stones were placed where the sidewalk intersected or abutted the stone curbing, serving as an indicator to prevent pedestrians from walking on the plants and shrubs. These specially placed stones were called “pilasters” by the landscape architects.

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