IFLA: Cultural Landscapes Committee

best practices > sample project summaries

Taconic State Parkway

Cultural Landscape Type: Designed

Project Name: Taconic State Parkway Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan

Project Type: Planning Project, Managment Plan

Location: Kensico Dam in Valhalla, Westchester County to East Chatham, Columbia County

Cultural Landscape Size:105.3 miles, 168.48 kilometers

Property Owner/Steward: Department of Transportation, New York, United States

Funding: $109,000 USD

Relevant Historical Dates: 1923-1962

Historic Landscape Architect, Designers: N/A

Contact: Patricia M. O’Donnell, Principal, Heritage Landscapes, odonnell@iflaclc.org

Taconic State ParkwayTaconic State Parkway

Project Description:

The Taconic State Parkway is a unique scenic byway and important transportation route that continues to exhibit outstanding scenic, natural, cultural, recreational and historic qualities. It provides access to a wealth of resources along the east side of the Hudson River. Designated as a New York State Scenic Byway in 1992, NYS DOT undertook the Corridor Management Plan (TSP CMP) in 1998. The Parkway extends 105.3 miles, from Kensico Dam in Valhalla, Westchester County to East Chatham, Columbia County ending at the NYS Thruway. Designed and constructed from 1923 to 1962, alterations to the parkway to meet increased traffic and changing safety standards began soon after completion. While the northern sections of the parkway generally retain parkway character today, in Westchester County widening and highway detailing have altered scale, scenic quality and overall character. Our role included project management and coordination, historic research, field review, four-county research on recreational and cultural resources, determination of intrinsic qualities, Advisory Committee and public participation, as well as Arc View mapping of resources and corridor characteristics, and interim and final reporting. The TSP CMP sets forth recommendations, action agendas and ongoing participation and responsibility items to conserve and enhance the corridor and retain historic character while meeting safety and transportation needs. The plan development process was participatory engaging a large, diverse Advisory Committee and citizens of the four counties. The recommendations address the management of the physical aspects of the roadway, scenic resources, natural resources, cultural landscape management, and the programmatic aspects of promotion, tourism, visitor experience, signs and information. The TSP CMP revealed the values of the corridor and set forth strategies for their stewardship.

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The historic urban landscape is embedded with current and past social expressions and developments that are place-based.

UNESCO Vienna Memorandum on World Heritage and Contemporary Architecture - Managing the Historic Urban Landscape, 2005