The idea of designing with nature flourished in the National Park Service during the early decades of the twentieth century. Architects, landscape architects and engineers combined native wood and stone with convincingly 'native' styles to create visually appealing structures that seemed to fit naturally within the majestic landscapes. Influential professionals like Mary Jane Colter Daniel Hull, Herbert Maier, Robert Reamer, Merel Sager, Gilbert Stanley Underwood and Thomas C. Vint applied these principles to their structures, landscapes and road systems throughout the national parks.

The whimsical term "Parkitecture" is a more recent expression. It specifically has been applied to the popular rustic designs of Park Service structures.

PARKitecture in Western National Parks celebrates the concept of designing with nature through the exhibition of black and white photographs and measured drawings of representative structures and sites in ten well-known parks. You can select a park to see what we've highlighted from it, or choose a facility type to see examples and learn about the function each one serves in adding to a visitor's overall experience.

Featured Parks | Facility Types
Links for Learning More | Image Index
Credits | Footnotes | Links to the Past

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