David Ballard will be retiring on December 28th after over 37 years with the National Park Service. David is a project manager with the Denver Service Center Design and Construction Western Team, working with mostly historic preservation projects.
David received his bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1977, but started his career with the NPS while still in college as a co-op student, working for the regional historical architect in NCR. His first assignment was at Manassas National Battlefield, documenting and then overseeing the reconstruction of the Henry Hill and Groveton Monuments, two of the earliest memorials to the soldiers of the Civil War. He also completed HABS drawings for both the Clara Barton House in Glen Echo, and the Phillip Pry House in Antietam.
Upon graduation, David accepted a historical architect position with DSC on the C&O Canal Restoration Group in Seneca, Maryland, where he worked on a variety of canal related projects, mostly the result of Hurricane Agnes. He later moved up to the National Capital team in Falls Church. There David worked on design projects at Harpers Ferry, the Arlington House, Rock Creek Park, Fort McHenry NM, Fort Washington Park, and many others. He gained valuable field experience as a project supervisor for construction projects in Rock Creek Park, the C&O Canal in Georgetown, and infrastructure improvements (otherwise known as “modified Benjies”) on Haines Point.
In 1985, David tired of city life, and accepted a detail to Gettysburg NMP as chief of cultural resources and later as chief of maintenance. Among other things, David oversaw the monument preservation team and in 1986 participated in the preservation work on the Pennsylvania State Monument, which won an NPS preservation award in 1987. He also helped to coordinate the 125th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1988.
After learning to ski in Gettysburg, it was only natural that his next move was to Denver, and in 1990 he returned to the Denver Service Center as a historical architect. His first projects as team captain were on the Eastern Team, and there he worked on preservation projects as diverse as the Thurmond Depot at New River Gorge National River, the Gas House at Steamtown NHS, the Crane-Goldhardt House at Delaware Water Gap NRA, Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas NP, and the Merchant Exchange Building at Independence NHP.
After several DSC reorganizations, he emerged as a project manager. As project manager he continued with preservation projects, including Sleeping Bear Dunes NL and George Rogers Clark NHP, and several new construction projects, including the visitor center at Fort Necessity NB and the Furnace Creek water system at Death Valley NP.
David’s most gratifying recent projects were the Furnace Creek Visitor Center at Death Valley NP and the visitor center at Manzanar NHP.
“Working with the stakeholder groups, including several former internees, was very rewarding,” David recalls. “As with almost all retirees, it is the daily interaction with the great people I work with that will be most missed.”
David has been an active member of AFGE Local 1105, representing the employees of the DSC since 1999, and has served as past vice president, and is currently secretary.
David and his wife of 35 years, Ann, have two grown children, Jacob and Jessica. They plan to remain in Boulder and continue modest upgrades to their humble abode. David says he also plans to continue to torment little fishes with bits of fur and feathers, torture dimpled white balls across fields of green, and careen down snow covered slopes with barely controlled chaos.
A celebration will be held in David’s honor on January 24th. If you would like to send a note of congratulations to be read at his party, please email Glenn_Lamoree@nps.gov.