Relics in the Landscape: Blending the Present with the Past by Julie Campbell, Design Associate

Perhaps it’s because I studied at RISD where things tended to be unconventionally creative, or perhaps it’s because I gravitate towards all things nostalgic, but when someone (such as a designer, homeowner, architect or city planner) successfully blends the past with the present and pays homage to what came before in a beautiful and thoughtful way, I get very excited. (Yes folks, after seven blog entries, we’ve all come to the realization that I’m a little quirky when it comes to appreciating elements in the landscape!)

As we know from previous entries, good design makes me exceedingly happy, but in addition, good design that successfully incorporates things from the past is also something that I appreciate very much.

Call it what you will: “adaptive reuse”, “reclaimed materials”, “historic preservation”, “the greening of America”, but preserving key elements from the past is definitely a plus in good design. 

Successfully blending the past with the present may take a little more time and effort in the short run, but the final product (nine times out of ten) is much more rich and dynamic since it includes historic character.

Here in the greater Boston area, we are fortunate to be surrounded by things of great historic and lasting value such as The Boston Garden, The Boston Common, The Arnold Arboretum, Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Harvard University, The Museum of Fine Arts, The Boston Public Library, The Esplanade, etc etc etc.

I sincerely tip my hat to those who are (and have been) stewards of the landscape (and architecture) in our fair city. We are lucky to have these folks in our midst as are the people in forthcoming generations.

Lindesfarne boat reinvented as shed.