New England Town Greens: Preserving Landscape Identity
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The two primary objectives of this research were to (1) explore the threats that are jeopardizing the landscape identity of New England town centers and especially town greens, and (2) to develop a methodology by which New England towns may assess development, how that development affects or manipulates its character, and the potential management strategies needed to preserve town greens. Research into the early history and settlement patterns was undertaken as a tool for understanding the unique landscape identities of New England towns. An investigation of the historical background established the role of New England town greens as the religious, governmental, and social center of New England towns. The implications of this analysis justified the exploration of possible preservation methods. Case studies of four New England towns in eastern Massachusetts - Holliston, Natick, Wellesley, and Wayland - concluded the research. A study of their individual town greens addressed site orientation and layout, circulation, focal points, vegetation, and site amenities. Summaries of existing conditions were coupled with recommendations for improvements pertaining to the five design categories. The conclusions drawn from these case studies may be used as examples of how other New England towns may address threats, their repercussions, and the management strategies necessary for mediating these threats.
town greens; New England character; landscape identity; Holliston; Natick; Wellesley; Wayland
dissertation or thesis