Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sycamore Row over the Last 100 Years

With a little more sleuthing, this is what I discovered...

Looking east toward the creek and Ames, IA. Back of foto reads, "campus view remedied by plantings ordered by Landscape Architecture, dated March 30, 1917. These are the Sycamores! (fotos courtesy of Parks Library, Special Collections ISU, Ames, IA)

Sycamore Row along the cinder path,1974. This is the same stretch as that shown in 1917 foto above. (fotos courtesy of Park Library, Special Collections, ISU, Ames, IA)

(foto courtesy of dlcooper, 2010) A winter walk along Sycamore Row, 2010, close to the same spot as the above two fotos.

You might wonder, as did I, why Professor Erwin planted Sycamore trees to line this walkway from campus to creek?

I found in his personal papers that he was born and raised in Fulton, Missouri. When I google-mapped Fulton, the first street that popped up was Sycamore Street. A perfect species choice for this stretch of floodplain.

Friday, February 26, 2010

...the development of natural beauty, and the adaptation of natural features to the necessities of human occupation....

The fact cannot be too strongly impressed upon the owners of real estate, that although a house may be built for temporary occupation, with the intention hereafter of erecting a more elegant and convenient mansion, no such possibility exists in landscape architecture. In all the essential features of arrangement, the village, the park, the cemetery, or the private estate must remain for all future time as they are first laid out.
We have in our hands the work of creating a nation. We spend thousands of dollars to secure the best designs for public and private buildings. Shall we deny the possibility of artistic arrangement of the sites they are to occupy, and in our blind adherence to geometric rules, destroy the features of natural beauty of which we might avail ourselves, to secure effects of beauty or convenience whose value could not be estimated by a pecuniary standard?

H.W.S. Cleveland from Landscape Gardening in the West, 1871