In any area in which the preservation of the beauty of Nature is a primary purpose, every modification of the natural landscape, whether it be by construction of a road or erection of a shelter, is an intrusion. A basic objective of those who are entrusted with development of such areas for the human uses for which they are established, is, it seems to me, to hold these intrusions to a minimum and so to design them that, besides being attractive to look upon, they appear to belong to and be a part of their settings.
For some years, the National Park Service, State Park authorities and other agencies which administer natural park areas have been attaining a constantly improved technique of design and execution for the structures that are required for safe, convenient and beneficial public use of these parks. Progress in this field has been especially marked since the inception of the Emergency Conservation Work program, with its steadily increasing and sound emphasis on development of recreational facilities, particularly in State Parks. Stimulated by the problems this work has presented, competent architects have produced designsand seen them converted into realitythat denote a real advance in this somewhat specialized field.
Herein are presented some of the successful natural park structures,a group by no means limited to those produced during the past two years or to those designed and erected under National Park Service supervision. Since tastes differ and since varying experience produces varying conclusions, it is hardly to be expected that there will be unanimous agreement as to the wisdom of including certain of the selected designs, or that no one will take issue with any of the points raised in the discussions that form an important part of the work. Selection and discussion alike, however, are the result of most careful and conscientious study.
This book is certain, I believe, to prove of exceptional value to all those who are concerned with the design of park structures. It should be immensely helpful in stimulating still further improvement in this special field of design. The interest manifested in it in advance of publication indicates a widespread conviction that there is a real place and a real need for such a compilation.
ARNO B. CAMMERER, Director
Last Updated: 5-Dec-2011