Have you ever found yourself wondering how to best preserve or rehabilitate a historic landscape, but you’re not sure where to start? Many owners of historic landscapes find themselves asking the same question. In our experience, many wonder how best to maintain important historic landscape elements while making plans for improvements; they want to ensure these features survive so they may be enjoyed by future generations. Historic landscapes reveal our relationship with place and strengthen our understanding of historic events, significant people, and the known and little-known patterns throughout American history. Therefore, learning how to best preserve these places is imperative.

Before any design process begins, the investigation of a site’s existing condition and evolution should be the first step. I am sure you are familiar with the phrase “plan now or pay later.” This universal truth applies doubly so when working with historic landscapes. Owners of historic properties are often rushed into the design-phase by well-intentioned but unqualified professionals. Not taking the time to count, cultivate, and conserve the historic features of your landscape will not only cost you money, but you run the risk of irreparably harming historic and cultural features. Conducting even a cursory investigation of your site’s history and historic features is a step that will provide meaningful insight and inform the property’s viable future.

When working with a historic landscape, it is imperative to begin your design process with a Preliminary Cultural Landscape Assessment (PCLA). At STACH pllc, we cultivate an enduring vision for landscapes of cultural and historical value. A PCLA is unique to our firm’s design and preservation practice, and allows us to fill in the gaps for you by providing the information necessary to inform the future of your landscape’s renewal. A PCLA will provide you with the following:

  1. Introduction to property’s history/eras of significance
  2. Identification of dominant features worthy of preservation
  3. Detailed scope recommendations for future research analysis and design

Traditional design and planning processes do not consider the significance and features of the cultural landscape. Likewise, too many cultural resource investigations only address architectural and archeological features! Often, too little is known about the significance and features of a property as a whole before making decisions about its future.   

By conducting a PCLA, you can confidently proceed with your design process. Knowledge is power, and by understanding a property’s evolution and the features that reveal its history, you will have a firm foundation upon which to plan its vibrant future. On the contrary, remaining un-informed about a site’s history and culture sets you up for costly missteps that can derail your plans, damage historic features, and diminish the overall integrity of your project. The consequence of inadequate upfront research and design is like building a house on “shifting sand.”

This is what makes STACH pllc different. We are specialists who understand the power of preservation to inform design excellence. The Preliminary Cultural Landscape Assessment is the most important step to envision a successful landscape rehabilitation. Without this step, you leave the door open to irreversible consequences and costly mistakes. There’s no need to question how to best persevere your historic landscape any longer. By commissioning a Preliminary Cultural Landscape Assessment with STACH pllc, you will begin your landscape preservation journey on solid footing!