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Home Inclusiveness Chris Pattillo Interview
Interview with Chris Pattillo: Landscape Architect, Oakland, California
What led you to the preservation field?
One small project with a historic component led to other larger and more complex projects. Over the years our experience and expertise expanded. At this point my firm, PGAdesign is one of the leading firms doing cultural landscape work in California and the country.
Why do you think historic preservation matters?
Historic preservation enriches our understanding and experience of our environment.
What courses do you recommend for students interested in this field?
Library science to learn research skills; landscape architecture history and architectural history; history; GIS; along with landscape design.
Do you have a favorite preservation project? What about it made it special?
Documenting Doyle Drive to Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) standards. Several things made this a "career high point" project. The site is a National Historic Landmark with 147 years of military history. The project involved precedent-setting work. The budget was sufficient to allow us to do everything thoroughly. The team of people we worked with was all highly qualified and passionate about what we were doing together. It was a high-profile project thus a suitable topic for publication and public lectures.
Here's a link to my post about Doyle Drive: http://halsca.blogspot.com/2010/04/doyle-drive-hals.html
Also, our group's Web site on HALS: http://www.halsca.org/
Do you have advice for novice and grassroots preservationists?
Get involved with the preservation community and the California Preservation Foundation.
You should visit my HALS blog for project photos and to learn more about HALS: http://halsca.blogspot.com/
The ACHP's mission is "preserving America's heritage;" can you give us an example of how your community is preserving their heritage?
I am one of three founders of the Northern California Chapter of HALS. We have 100+ members and have been meeting quarterly since November 2004. We are an all-volunteer group who has completed HALS documents for 99 sites throughout California. This documentation is or will be housed at the Library of Congress and is or will be available online to researchers, historians, and others.