Publication Date

5-2003

Committee Members

Dean Cardasis, Chair - Ethan Carr, Member - Annaliese Bischoff, Member

Abstract

The goal of this thesis has been to enhance the documentation process for historic houses and gardens. The Macht House is a historic designed house and garden in the modernist style, designed by James C. Rose. The house is being documentated for the on-going James C. Rose Documentation Project. This thesis has attempted to show a new way to document and record the spatial relationship between the indoors and the outdoors through the use of scale models and digital photographs of these models. The Historic American Building Survey (HABS), Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), and the recent Historic American Landscape Survey (HALS) programs evaluate and record "historically significant" designed landscapes or gardens. An evaluation procedure is initiated through one of these programs by obtaining information about a site's characteristic features and by determining its design style. Once evaluated, places are documented by plan, section, elevation, and isometric drawings; photography; and a descriptive narrative containing historical background information are also included. To date, few modernist buildings and gardens have been documented.

This project asserts that current documentation procedures have not adequately considered one of the major conceptual themes of modernism: the fusion of architectural and landscape space (indoor and outdoor). This project proposes to amend the existing HABS/HAER/HALS documentation standards through the following methodology. First, by studying and evaluating the existing HABS/HAER procedures, I identified what needed to be added for a comprehensive documentation of modernist sites. Second, look at three case studies that were outstanding examples of spatial fusion between building and garden. Third, I identified defining characteristics of modernism, particularly with regards to the "fusion" concept. Fourth, I applied this knowledge to propose an amendment to the existing documentation standards. Finally, I documented a historic site using these enhanced standards, providing before and after drawings, photographs, and models. The site chosen for this project is a house and garden in Baltimore, Maryland, designed by pioneering modernist landscape architect, James C. Rose.