Posted in LAM MAGAZINE, RECREATION, RESEARCH, SPECIES, THE BACK, WILDLIFE, tagged Animal crossings, Baltimore, Delaware, Design Collective, Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area, Foxcatcher Farm, Maryland, Motion-Activated Cameras, Paul Drummond, William du Pont Jr. on March 20, 2017|
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BY ADAM REGN ARVIDSON, FASLA
What can a set of decades-old wildlife crossings tell us?
In the 1920s the businessman William du Pont Jr. began buying up land in northeastern Maryland, near the border with Pennsylvania and Delaware. Du Pont wanted space for peace and quiet and uninterrupted fox hunting. He called the place Foxcatcher Farm. It spanned two states and more than 7,000 acres. This was not some trackless wilderness. Because he’d bought existing homesteads, du Pont ended up with land crossed by public roadways—not ideal for fox hunts. So he built what may very well be the first wildlife crossings in the nation.
Bridges and culverts connect Foxcatcher. “These were done in the 1940s and 1950s, so it was truly a massive undertaking,” says Paul Drummond, ASLA, a landscape architect in Baltimore who has researched the crossings. Drummond’s family is from the area (some worked for the du Ponts) and, he says, his curiosity was piqued by visits while attending the University of Maryland. Today, Foxcatcher is public land. After du Pont died in 1965, the state of Maryland bought some 5,600 acres south of the border and named it the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area. Equestrians still ply the miles of trails (more…)
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Posted in CITIES, LAM ONLINE, PARKS, PEOPLE, VIEWS, tagged Baltimore, Druid Hill Park, Graham Coreil-Allen, Jones Falls Expressway, SiteLines, tour on September 26, 2014|
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The grim 1960s-era highway architecture east of Druid Hill Park is no more inviting, or more pedestrian-friendly, in the rain.
The wild and rebellious vegetation sometimes found under a highway overpass is an easy thing to forget—especially when you’re whizzing past at 55+ miles per hour. But to the pedestrians whose only option is to dare the uncomfortably narrow sidewalk parallel to these busy roads, it is an environment unlikely to be forgotten. These are exactly the kinds of spaces Graham Coreil-Allen wants you to see, and love. Every Saturday in September, Coreil-Allen has been guiding a pack of urban enthusiasts as part of his free SiteLines walking tours to explore “invisible public spaces” in the city of Baltimore. Along with 14 other people, I braved the elements to join Coreil-Allen on a tour, dubbed Reservoir Chill, where we scrambled up, around, and through varying levels of the Jones Falls Expressway in search of oddball nooks and passageways created by 1960s highway architecture gone to seed.
It doesn’t take a trip to Baltimore to find these forgotten realms: These hauntingly beautiful sites have a sense of untapped potential, similar to visions of the High Line before it was redone, and they ask—if a passion for ownership of these spaces could be instilled, as it was in New York City—could they become an asset not only to the neighborhood, but to the city as well?
Under a pedestrian bridge at the end of Park Avenue, Coreil-Allen points out a road that once led to the entrance of Druid Hill Park, but was cut off by the repurposed and expanded Druid Park Lake Drive when the Jones Falls Expressway was implemented. The bridge runs parallel to this busy street and towers over one of its exits, acting as a divider that visibly separates the Reservoir Hill neighborhood from a labyrinth of car-dominated interchanges and the park beyond.
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Posted in BROWNFIELDS, CITIES, CLIMATE, COMPETITIONS, CONSTRUCTION, EDUCATION, ENVIRONMENT, IDEAS, LAM ONLINE, PEOPLE, SAN FRANCISCO, TRANSPORTATION, Uncategorized, tagged audit, Baltimore, Bus Stop, Choiseul Bay, crosswalk, Delft, Denver, Great Park, Green Peace, Kew Gardens, LANDSCAPE, Lines and Nodes, London, man-made leaf, Netherlands, OLIN, photosynthetic material, Presidio, Reggie Watts, senior citizens, Solomon Islands, Treetop walk, Water History Conference on August 26, 2014|
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A monthly roundup of the news, dispatches, and marginalia that caught our eye.
In this month’s issue of the Queue, the staff reads up on the grand opening of Dilworth Plaza in Philadelphia by OLIN, wonders at the possibilities of a man-made leaf, and gets down with Greenpeace and Reggie Watts on climate change.
CATCHING UP WITH…
- Dilworth Plaza’s makeover by OLIN (“Follow the Lines,” LAM, January 2014) opens on September 4 in Philadelphia with new transit access, a fountain (and in winter, an ice rink), art, and Cuban food in what had been a desolate sunken plaza.
- Harsh contentions arise in a current forensic audit on Great Park, designed by Ken Smith in Irvine, California (General Design Honor Award, LAM, August 2009). According to the L.A. Times, the audit finds that more than $200 million has been spent on the project, yet the park has little to show for it.
- Dezeen reports on Julian Melchiorri, a graduate of the Royal College of Art in the UK, who thinks he’s got long-distance space travel figured out with his new invention—the world’s supposedly first photosynthetic material that absorbs water and carbon dioxide to create oxygen.
- Looking at climate change and rising sea levels, the township of Choiseul Bay, 6.6 feet above sea level in the Solomon Islands, is moving to where it will be a little less wet in the future.
- Think pedestrian crosswalk time limits are too short? Planners in Singapore thought so, too, which is why they recently expanded their Green Man Plus program, a system that allows the elderly and disabled to activate extra time for street crossing with the use of a special card.
OUT AND ABOUT
- Lines and Nodes, a symposium and film festival that will take on media, infrastructure, and aesthetics, will take place September 19–21 in New York.
DISTRACT ME FROM MY DEADLINE DEPT.
- If you can’t find this bus stop in Baltimore, then you’re not looking hard enough.
- World’s first “unstealable” bike calls to mind claims made by a certain “unsinkable” ship.
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