As the garden fades : do the current treatment standards and guidelines provide sufficient guidance for successful historic garden preservation?

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MA in Historic Preservation

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To view a complete copy of this manuscript please contact Goucher College Special Collections & Archives at or (410) 337-6075.


Chapter One begins with an overview of garden preservation history and the development of policy standards for the treatment of historic gardens in the United States. This includes early contributions by garden clubs, landscape architects, Colonial Williamsburg, and the National Park Service. This is followed by a summary of present day treatment policies and criteria from the National Park Service along with the policies and philosophies of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Maryland Historic Trust, and the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta (AABGA). Historic garden policies from the National Trust in Great Britain and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) are incorporated to show how other organizations are approaching the issue of historic garden preservation. Chapter Two presents three case studies that reflect various management systems and preservation treatments at historic gardens. This includes each site’s philosophy and mission statement if available, and information such as size, age, significance, preservation activity, etc. Each site includes an analysis of the preservation process. Chapter Three concentrates on the factors that can affect the decision-making process. These include staffing and financial resources, vegetation issues, historic versus current use, management, documentation, policy and mission statement, integrity, and significance. Special attention has been paid to these variables and how each of these influenced decision making. Information will be included from all nine historic gardens, but the focus will be on the three case studies. Chapter Four reviews both the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and the Guidelines for the Treatment of Cultural Landscapes. Suggestions are included for how the current NPS standards might be expanded to better meet the needs of historic garden stewards. This chapter also includes a list of factors that contribute to successful historic gardens preservation. Chapter Five includes recommendations for further research and a final conclusion.