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Parker Homestead

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Parker Homestead
Borough of Little Silver, New Jersey

Heritage Landscapes completed a cultural landscape assessment as a joint effort with Farewell Mills Gatsch Architects as part of a Phase I Preservation Master Plan for the Parker Homestead, an agricultural vernacular landscape. The overall objectives of the limited scope assessment were to identify character-defining landscape features; to document existing landscape features and associated issues; and to propose recommendations and guidelines for park and local history uses. Parker Homestead is a rare-surviving example of the agricultural heritage of the Borough of Little Silver and is a valuable component of the physical and social history of the broader landscape. Though many of the outlying agricultural fields are now fields, the core of the property retains a relatively high degree of integrity with a surviving farmhouse, barns, outbuildings, greenhouses, drives, vegetation, fields, and small-scale features.

Through a targeted historical research, field documentation, and conditions assessment process, Heritage Landscapes outlined treatment philosophy, guidelines, and recommendations. Historic research within local archives and family records yielded a high number of photographs that showed the evolution of the farmstead landscape over time.  Existing conditions reconnaissance recorded historic features, such as surviving locust fence posts and depressions of large locust trees that once characterized the property. The conditions assessment revealed issues in the landscape to include deterioration of remaining historic landscape features, uncontrolled growth of invasive and volunteer vegetation, incompatible current uses, and pedestrian-vehicular conflicts, as well as preservation needs of remaining historic landscape features. Overall, the treatment guidelines focus on stabilizing and repairing degraded historic features and accommodating current and future uses in a compatible manner.  Phase I of the Preservation Master Plan has provided the Borough of Little Silver with guidance on how to stabilize and preserve individual elements of this unique agricultural heritage.  

Client:
Borough of Little Silver, New Jersey

Project:
Parker Homestead Cultural Landscape Assessment, Phase I Preservation Master Plan, 2006-2007

Project Credits:
Heritage Landscapes, Preservation Landscape Architects & Planners with Farewell Mills Gatsch Architects