The Preservation of Napa Valley's 19th Century Agri-Industrial Historic Landscape
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Type of Work237 p.
ProgramMA in Historic Preservation
RightsTo view a complete copy of this thesis please contact Goucher College Special Collections & Archives at email@example.com or (410) 337-6075.
SubjectsHistoric preservation -- California -- Napa Valley
Historic buildings -- Conservation and restoration -- California -- Napa Valley
Wine industry -- California -- Napa Valley -- History -- 19th century
Historic preservation -- Theses
This thesis is an examination of the impacts of the re-emergent modern wine industry on related historic resources in the Napa Valley. Recognized historic preservation interpretive methods were used to study and evaluate extant winery and vineyard landscapes established in the late 19th century during this region's initial and short-lived wine growing boom. Today's social and economic factors influencing historic preservation, degrees of intervention, and the approach to and intensity of land use were also examined. This study concludes that the Napa Valley, despite the dynamic qualities of the vineyard landscape in association with the variable approaches to historic preservation found here, can be interpreted as a collection of a specific property type, an historic district of wine growing properties. This thesis first examined the natural and historic context in which the Napa Valley wine industry was established. These findings were used to establish a period of historic significance as a basis against which to evaluate the preservation and degrees of intervention applied to historic winery buildings today. The study was then broadened to look at the properties as agri-industrial historic landscapes comprised of buildings, structures, objects, sites, systems, and natural and cultivated vegetation. A greater understanding of the region, as defined by this framework, was pursued by reviewing past preservation efforts that have affected these local historic resources. This included an examination of the resulting collective changes and continuity that define the region today, and exploration of how such a dynamic landscape has retained its historic integrity. Within the boundaries of the Napa Valley are natural resources, vineyards, old and new wine growing estates, and small communities. Significant wine growing properties with high levels of integrity, as well as rich histories, are extant throughout the valley. The balance and relationship of all of these resources is crucial to the retention of the region's historic sense of place. But with the continued pressures to develop new wineries and alter additional natural resources for the purpose of expanding vineyards, as well as the lack of historic preservation ordinances, the integrity and historic character found here is threatened. The establishment of historic preservation tools and programs, developed and proven successful elsewhere, is essential to the future economic development and growth management within the Napa Valley.