STACH pllc: Four Guiding Principles

At STACH pllc Preservation Landscape Architecture and Planning, we bring the four overarching precepts of COUNT, CULTIVATE, CONSERVE, and CREATE to our work. Below we will be highlighting projects that bear witness to this process and demonstrated results.

We COUNT the historic landscape and its many features as contributing to our shared past and informative to a vibrant future.

Clark’s Mountain stands alone as Virginia’s highest elevation east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Virginia Piedmont’s most scenic prospect view, and one of the most storied natural and cultural landscapes of the Commonwealth. Spanning a broad and storied evolution, Clark’s Mountain bears the signs and association of nationally significant historical events surrounding its 1862-1864 occupation that shaped the course of battles, campaigns, and very discernably, the course of the American Civil War.

STACH pllc was hired to investigate, COUNT, and determine the broader historic significance and cultural landscape features still present across this scenic mountain. Supported by historian Bud Hall and Root Surveys, the project is still in process informing this landmark’s continued conservation.

We CULTIVATE an appreciation for the cultural legacy of place.

One of the many ways that STACH pllc is CULTIVATING an appreciation for cultural landscapes and our shared history, is through owner Glenn Stach’s four-year tenure supporting planning and program development for our nation’s 250th! Beginning in early 2018, Stach supported the American Battlefield Trust and the United States Semiquincentennial Commission’s plan for this national milestone commemoration. Stach and a team of creative subject matter experts worked alongside federal, state and regional partners from across the nation to establish the frameworks for programs. Find out more at

We CONSERVE natural and cultural landscape systems and features.

A key theme influencing our work is CONSERVATION. In 2018 STACH pllc was hired by the American Battlefield Trust to map the interconnected relationship of Civil War era signal stations of Culpeper County, Virginia. The county’s rural landscape is rich in history and ecological splendor, and its rolling terrain affords some of the most iconic views of the Virginia Piedmont. A hotbed of activity during the American Civil War, Culpeper County’s war-time significance transcends six nationally-significant battles, and military encampments; easily observable today, is a complex network of historic observation points or “signal-stations” that served both war-time communication and intelligence that shaped the landscape and timeline of the war in Culpeper and surrounding areas.

This study makes accessible the work of scholars studying Culpeper’s network of war-time observation-points, and advances for consideration, the continued stewardship of Culpeper’s historic and scenic landscapes as part and parcel to Virginia’s heritage tourism economy, a 6.5 billion-dollar industry. STACH pllc conducted this work with the support of GeoMarvel.

We help CREATE a viable future for places of timeless heritage and value.

Our approach to “preservation through design” takes into consideration all of the vital standards and metrics of the preservation field and applies them to envision designs that are rooted in our history and support the future vitality and sustainability of place. At the Biltmore Estate, this sensibility brought forward the careful study of master designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Richard Morris Hunt in their collaborative design of Biltmore’s esplanade, the grand open lawn that serves as the forecourt to the grand French Renaissance Chateau. One of Hunt’s intended design elements, a “shady walk” beneath the treed allees flanking the lawn, was never realized. For many years, the burgeoning crowds visiting the estate have approached the Chateau by walking along the same approach lanes now used by cars, internal estate transportation, and bus traffic. Looking to Hunt’s original design intent and instilling one of Frederick Law Olmsted’s staples of design to separate differing modes of transportation one from another, STACH pllc assisted the estate to envision the 21st-century vision of Hunt’s “shady walk”. Through careful study of scale, material analysis, and photo simulations, the appropriate rehabilitation treatment was selected. The axial walks visible today terminate in plazas accommodating pick-up and drop-off along the axial drives, eliminating bus queuing in front of the house, keeping visitors safe, and opening up the historic vista. While the walks represent a significant 21st-century addition to this masterwork, their scale, safety, and materiality respond to the estate’s present and future needs, allowing users to finally realize Hunt’s intent behind the “shady walk”.