Fort Vancouver
Cultural Landscape Report
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Design development for the Fort Vancouver cultural landscape is based on the identification of significant cultural landscape resources documented in the research portion of this report and in the analysis and evaluation.

In order to develop appropriate design recommendations and a plan for management of cultural landscape resources, the park and regional staff developed design criteria based on the analysis and evaluation, existing park planning documents, and the programmatic and operational requirements of the park. Using these criteria, seven design alternatives were prepared by the regional office and reviewed by park and regional staff. Differences among alternatives centered primarily on circulation issues. Key among these issues was the management objective to restore the historic entry and choose an appropriate location for the visitor parking lot. These factors became the dominant influence in selecting a preferred landscape plan. Overall design criteria for the plan were as follows:

a. Interpret and/or reconstruct primary HBC features in order to enhance visitor understanding of all HBC operations and activities. Reconstructions must be based on the park's preservation philosophy: accurate historic documentation must be available and the feature should be critical to the interpretation of the cultural landscape.

b. Reestablish primary circulation routes whenever possible and feasible, particularly the historic arrival sequence from the historic river front area to the south side of the stockade. Provide visitor access from Highway 14. Provide visitor parking within comfortable walking distance of the stockade but out of the core historic zone (Zone I).

c. Protect primary HBC resources (Management Zone I) by not allowing any contemporary development.

d. Restore the historic character, provide visual continuity for the historic scene at Fort Vancouver, and create a stronger delineation between HBC and U.S. Army Vancouver Barracks resources.

e. The plan must meet all federal compliance, safety, and accessibility standards.

f. Screen contemporary impacts by restoring historic native vegetation whenever possible and feasible.

g. Establish a stronger interpretive link between the Columbia river front (NPS property) and the core historic area.

h. Relocate the visitor center to the stockade in order to reduce the confusion visitors currently experience between stopping at the visitor center and the seeing stockade.

After a preferred landscape plan was selected by the park and region, it was refined and an implementation plan was developed. Due to the complexity and interrelationships of individual recommendations, and the need for further research and planning, the implementation plan consists of three phases. The use of multiple phases also addresses the availability of historical information and specifies research projects that should be initiated before treatments can be implemented. Phase I addresses the expansion of the interpretive environment related to the cultural landscape, clarifies the boundaries of the historic landscape, and initiates major research projects. Phase II continues to expand the physical and visual interpretation of the landscape based on research from Phase I. If accurate and detailed documentation is not available, Phase II could act as the final implementation phase. Phase III represents the completed vision of the landscape plan, the full extent of historic landscape reconstruction and restoration.

As discussed earlier in the document, all designs for this project are based on current management and planning documents outlining long-term management objectives for the historic site. In this regard it was beyond the scope of this report to include any preliminary findings from the Vancouver Historical Commission Study or specific recommendations for the portion of Vancouver Barracks that is owned by the U.S. Army. This area was identified as a separate management zone, and while a few general design recommendations are suggested in this report, more research on the significance and integrity of the Vancouver Barracks landscape must be initiated prior to any preservation treatment. In addition, the landscape plan for Fort Vancouver assumes current legal agreements will be in place including the relocation of Pearson Airpark off of the historic site.

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Last Updated: 27-Oct-2003