From 1917 to 1942, the National Park Service forged a design ethic for the development of natural parks that protected significant natural features and harmonized roads, trails, and buildings, with the natural scenery. The style ideally suited the needs of national park designers, making it possible for them to uphold the two-fold policy of the National Park Service to make the parks accessible for public enjoyment while preserving the parks and objects within. By the late 1920s, a process of planning and design was in place that would guide the development of national parks for several decades. The design of roads called for careful siting of roads in relationship to natural topography and scenery, protecting natural features, minimizing the amount of cut and fill, sloping the banks of the road and allowing the vegetation to recover in such a way that blended the roadway into the natural topography and created the illusion that nature had never been disturbed. A process called “landscape naturalization” developed in which native trees, shrubs, and other vegetation were planted to erase the scars of construction, to obliterate the traces of old roads, to restore areas previously logged, farmed or burnt, and to beautify developed areas within the parks. Properties related to this context may be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places under the multiple property listing, Historic Park Landscapes in National and State Parks.
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark