Welcome back for my ninth blog post of the Designing The Parks summer! This upcoming week I will be traveling to Colorado for the Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) conference with all the other Latino Heritage Internship Program (LHIP) interns across the country, so I will be posting my tenth blog post a few weeks from now. Before I get into what we’ve been up to this week, I want to give a quick shoutout to InsideNPS and HAF for publishing an online article I wrote about the OCLP’s Latino Conservation Week trip to learn about Villa Victoria at Northeastern University and the Puerto Rican neighborhood itself. You can read the article online on InsideNPS here or Hispanic Access Foundation here. Additionally, I have edited and produced a brief video of our Latino Conservation Week Villa Victoria event, which you can watch here. Of course, the video does not do justice to actually experiencing the terrific archives and Puerto Rican community, but it is a pretty fun way to highlight our experiences.

This past week we visited Minuteman National Historical Park (MIMA) in Concord, MA with Margie Coffin Brown. Margie has worked at the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation for 25 years (WOW!), and she just began her new job in July as the Integrated Resources Program Manager at MIMA. Our site visit with Margie was to learn about how colonial history influences the site to this day, understand Margie’s different roles and responsibilities, and discuss park design issues with Ethan Carr, a landscape architecture professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, to assist in scoping a graduate level design studio at the east end of the Battle Road Unit. Before arriving at MIMA, however, we began the day by visiting the Gropius House in Lincoln, MA. Visiting the Gropius House was a blast from the past as I used to work at the historic site of architectural modernism for the summer after my freshman year of college. It was really enjoyable to revisit the site I used to lead tours through and to also reinvestigate the site through a landscape lens. After the Gropius House, we embarked on the MIMA adventure by visiting the Battle Road Visitor Center. We watched a multi-media theater program about colonial history that informed us of the historical significance of the site, and from there we began to do design scoping regarding the MIMA entry area, Parker’s Revenge, and Battle Road Trail. I found this experience of working with the team and Ethan to determine how best to structure a graduate-level design studio to be quite insightful. As an individual who has recently graduated from college and is considering graduate programs in the next few years, I gained valuable insight on how a design studio is researched, structured, and developed that is super helpful in informing me of how the process works. After carrying out the studio scoping, we all met with the MIMA Park Superintendent, Nancy Nelson, at the North Bridge Visitor Center. I enjoyed discussing MIMA’s significance, understanding how the park is run by the Park Superintendent’s perspective, and learning how Nancy got to her current position. It seems to me from the variety of NPS perspectives I have gotten this entire summer that there are so many different, diverse ways an individual attains their position within the National Park Service.

Yesterday, Jessica Loya, my Hispanic Access Foundation representative from Washington D.C., visited me at the OCLP Boston office. We toured around the office together and then picnicked for lunch in the beautiful Post Office Square. We talked about my experiences with the OCLP and working as an LHIP intern in Boston in addition to discussing Jessica’s past LHIP internship and her current role in Washington D.C. with the Hispanic Access Foundation. It was really cool to get to know Jessica on both a professional level as colleagues and a personal level as friends, and we got to catch up with Ashleyann Perez-Rivera, who is another LHIP intern in Boston with the Charlestown Navy Yard. We all had dinner together and shared our experiences working with the National Park Service as summer interns. I really enjoyed casually hanging out all together before we meet everybody else in Colorado next week.

This week at the office I have been working on the Kuhn House elevations I have mentioned in previous blog posts. We had a group workshop with Tim and Chris on how to export from AutoCAD to Photoshop and Illustrator and how to navigate between the three programs to finish maps and drawings. AutoCAD is a program that is best for creating scaled and measured line drawings, Photoshop is a program that is best for rendering due to its malleability with raster graphics, and Illustrator is a program that is best for annotating and drawing assembly for final production due to its crisp vector graphics. Originally, I had thought that reaching Illustrator had meant the majority of the work on the map or drawing was done, but I realize that there is still much left to do for fixing, labelling, and polishing the final products. I have realized the extensive amount of time it takes to create a finished product of a map or drawing, so I guarantee I will never be looking at them the same way again. I hope to be close in having a finished product for the elevations before I leave for Colorado on Wednesday morning. Also at the office this week, we have to say goodbye to Jenna whose summer internship ends today! Crazy, right?! Hard to believe time has gone by this fast. You should check out her last blog post here, and we will definitely be missing her!

Beginning our tour at the Gropius House in Lincoln

Beginning our tour at the Gropius House in Lincoln

The National Historic Landmark plaque for the Gropius House

The National Historic Landmark plaque for the Gropius House

The Gropius House’s apple orchard trees

The Gropius House’s apple orchard trees

Interior staircase

Interior staircase

Desk where Walter and Ise Gropius collaborated

Desk where Walter and Ise Gropius collaborated

Backyard vegetation of the house. The glass façade creates a large viewshed of the vegetation.

Backyard vegetation of the house. The glass façade creates a large viewshed of the vegetation.

Ella, Julián, Margie, Chris, and Jenna enjoy reclining in Gropius’ chair (note well the chic, fashionable shoe booties we all wear as to not wear down the house museum)

Ella, Julián, Margie, Chris, and Jenna enjoy reclining in Gropius’ chair (note well the chic, fashionable shoe booties we all wear as to not wear down the house museum)

Taking in the house’s vegetation

Taking in the house’s vegetation

View of the backyard vegetation from the upstairs deck

View of the backyard vegetation from the upstairs deck

Vegetation on the roofing of the upstairs deck

Vegetation on the roofing of the upstairs deck

Taking in the view from the deck

Taking in the view from the deck

Viewshed from the deck of the apple orchard

Viewshed from the deck of the apple orchard

Family photo

Family photo

The Gropius House in all its mid-century-modern glory

The Gropius House in all its mid-century-modern glory

The OCLP crew with the MIMA maintenance staff

The OCLP crew with the MIMA maintenance staff

Margie Coffin Brown, Integrated Resources Manager at Minuteman National Historical Park, sits on the throne of her new office and desk

Margie Coffin Brown, Integrated Resources Manager at Minuteman National Historical Park, sits on the throne of her new office and desk

The minuteman statue at MIMA by Old North Bridge

The minuteman statue at MIMA by Old North Bridge

View of the Concord River from Old North Bridge

View of the Concord River from Old North Bridge

View of the Concord River from Old North Bridge

View of the Concord River from Old North Bridge

The crew takes in the view of the Concord River from Old North Bridge

The crew takes in the view of the Concord River from Old North Bridge

Chris and Margie

Chris and Margie

Margie assisting visitors at Minuteman National Historical Park

Margie assisting visitors at Minuteman National Historical Park

Well timed jumping photo

Well timed jumping photo

Old North Bridge

Old North Bridge

Old North Bridge obelisk

Old North Bridge obelisk

Walking in MIMA

Walking in MIMA

Margie discussing vegetation with Jenna and Ella

Margie discussing vegetation with Jenna and Ella

Family photo

Family photo

Mysterious structural remains at MIMA

Mysterious structural remains at MIMA

Beautiful tree and vegetation

Beautiful tree and vegetation

The MIMA minuteman statue

The MIMA minuteman statue

Beautiful view of MIMA

Beautiful view of MIMA

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Written by Julián Huertas
Julián Martín Huertas grew up in the Greater Boston Area and is a 2016 graduate of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Julián majored in Art History and Visual Arts as a Bowdoin Polar Bear and hopes to pursue a graduate degree and profession in design and architecture. Julián fostered his interest in design through studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark and through carrying out a research project his senior year on the National September 11 Memorial. Julián’s favorite activities include playing fútbol, drinking coffee, casually philosophizing, and going on adventures.