40 Small-Scale Features

The Rustic Landscape of Rim Village, 1927-1941



Small-Scale Features

Design Principles

  • Small-scale features should add diversity and dimension to the landscape and should not be dominant nor should they become landscape “features” in and of themselves.
  • The number of signs actually required and the strategic placing of them in the landscape should be thoughtfully determined. Signs should be constructed of natural materials found on site; should be of the proper scale according to their purpose; and should be legible.
  • Functional aspects of drinking fountains (i.e. pipes) should be naturalistically masked by the use of materials found on or appropriate to the site.
  • Guardrails and curbing are unavoidable necessities in parks and therefore deserve to be planned thoughtfully. Stone is more permanent than wood; however, each must be considered for its native suitability. Changes in coping levels reflect nature’s natural rhythms. The barrier should flow along parallel with the grade of the road or walk to be harmonious in the landscape.
  • Picnic tables may be built entirely of unmilled wood or stone, or they may be contrived combinations of both materials.
  • An open fireplace is appropriate for outdoor cooking and a chimney is functionally unnecessary. A skillful manipulation of a few large boulders — to suggest a natural arrangement — is in the best park character.


1. With one exception, no historic signs remain at Rim Villages. Existing signs should be replaced as part of a comprehensive sign plan for Rim Villages.

2. Consideration should be given to reestablishing the historic motifs when constructing new signs. Signs throughout Rim Village should be rustic in character, constructed of unmilled wood or logs with rough log or stone bases that are consistent with existing structures. Signs can be stained to reduce maintenance and enhance visual continuity (see TYPOLOGY: Small-Scale Features, signs).

3. Directional and informational signs serve different purposes and should appear different. Directional signs for vehicular traffic should be relatively large in scale and readable from a distance. Informational signs orienting pedestrians to buildings and features should be smaller in relation to directional signs, although both should be similar in form and material.