Cultural Landscape Report for the Baltimore-Washington Parkway

Congratulations to Paul Kelsch and the Virginia Tech Urban Design Program on their Merit Award in the Historic Preservation Category for their project the Cultural Landscape Report for the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties, Maryland.

This Cultural Landscape Report identifies threats to the parkway’s historical integrity and proposes treatment strategies to meet safety requirements while enhancing historic character.

The report synthesizes information from original plans, historic photographs, written documents, and field research to assess the parkway’s historic integrity and provide the National Park Service with accurate documentation to serve as the basis for historically grounded management and design.

The report reveals that the parkway’s history is rooted in early forest conservation – today the parkway is experienced as a nineteen-mile drive through the forest. Though the roadway has a modern alignment, careful design decisions distinguish it as a parkway, in contrast to other contemporary highways.

Preserving the parkway’s historic character depends upon the health and continuity of the forest and furthering the parkway’s careful design. The report proposes subtle changes, grounded in history, to do both while also improving driver safety.