tv Olmsted Brothers Legacy at Duke University CSPAN December 30, 2021 7:02pm-8:02pm EST
olmsted and frederick law stead. my next speaker has been the university landscape archite ctmark hough, our next speaker, has been the landscape university architect at duke since 2000, where he oversees planning, design and resource management. he worked previously for the central park conservancy in new york city, where he assisted the restoration of several significant olmsted landscapes. mark is a frequent lecturer, a published photographer and an award-winning writer who has written extensively on campus urban design and historic cultural landscapes. mark is also the major force behind this symposium and a good friend, thanks to zoom. it is a pleasure to stand with him in person at the symposium. so, mark, take it away.
[applause] >> thank you, dede all, and after all we have been through it's nice to be here in person. i came to duke from central park in 2002. i have to olmsted landscapes to work from. and i will say one thing about central park that were important to me. it was not just learning about the -- plan, it was learning about the impact of betsy rogers, learning from marianne kramer, chris nolin, people i'm sure some of you know. and realizing that these places are so important because of their design but also their stewardship and how generations of people tend to these places over time. and i think that that's really
driven me professionally. it's going to drive this talk today. i think duke and stanford side by side were interesting because their similarities -- but there are differences also. when i came to duke from central park, there was this anticipation that i'm going to olmsted brothers campus, there's going to be this heritage, this legacy. and i was surprised when i got there that that was not true at all. and there are two things to know about duke. one, they are very obsessed with their architecture and number two, they don't consider themselves historic. we were about to celebrate our 100-year centennial but when you compare it to yale, princeton, the other schools they were emulating, it is still a relatively young institution. so, trying to think of them, themselves as a historic landscape has been kind of a
challenge. so, when i got to duke, you know, people knew the name olmsted. i would say few people knew that the olmsted brothers had a role in the design of the campus. i would say zero to the number knew that the olmsted brothers work they are consistently for 40 years. and i don't think that history even from the historical landscape scholarship side has ever been told. so it's important to me to learn the history. what is the history, why does it matter? i went to fare stead twice, i went to lafayette congress, i got as much information as i could. because at duke they had very little written about the olmsted group and they had one drawing. i always thought, if you are going to have one plan from the
olmsted brothers, this is the plan to have. it's remarkable as a graphic but it is so intuitive because you can look at that if you want to understand the intent and understand with the issues are with the campus. it is about building a monumental gesture atop a ridge in the rolling north carolina piedmont. this was a good starting point for me. i want to talk about four themes today, generally. creation, expansion, degradation and reclamation. and these are not unique to duke. i think one of the things that i think makes duke a good case study is because what happened can be translated to many -- at least in the 20th century -- can be generalized to campus design. when you talk about west campus,
there are other significant landscapes. the east campus, originally trinity college, and then the women's college. obviously a neo-jeffersonian study. auditorium at the end not to original by any means. but i think these campuses are also notable for their gorgeous park landscapes, the perimeter. the other you might be familiar with, 52 acres, sarah with p duke gardens. probably its most famous landscapes. designed by ellen middle shipman. she designed like 600 gardens or so. very few remaining, but i think this is probably one of the best preserved. just to get out of the way, because we are not going to
talk about that much more. a bit of history about duke and i will say i feel strongly that you cannot understand a design without understanding the role of a plant. but learning the history -- and it is the same with stanford, if you cannot pull apart the designer and the client because they are working together in certain cases, that is certainly the case at duke. so, the patriarch is washington duke, his sons benjamin duke and james duke were part of the company. interim. and james duke, he moved to new york and started american tobacco and he is the one who had all the money. but combined, the three of them bought trinity college from rural north carolina into jerome, which was not a whole lot more. so they took their money and
education is very important to them and educating the people of north carolina was very important to them. so these are important names to know. and trinity college -- this, you see what it was. the little red line there is why this became. so, it came to durham in 1892. it was very small and slow growing. trinity -- one of the crew requirements to get the money was that they had to educate women on an equal basis as the men, fairly progressive. this was the only southern white institution that invited booker to washington to the campus. so they're hint of progressivism there. all of this changed, the story of duke changed dramatically in
1924. when james duke set up his indenture of trust. 40 million dollars, which is about 630 million dollars today. of this he was going to fund hospitals, orphan care, rural methodist churches, support other educational institutions in north and south carolina and, importantly, set up a new university that was going to be named for his father. and there you see 6 million dollars will be available at once to launch duke university. another thing i think is clever, i found an entirely new institution designed to become the equal of stanford. and yale and however. so, you know, no shortage of ambition here. duke, like stanford -- this was his gesture. he was going to be involved in the process.
a couple of other names that are less important but i think history needs to acknowledge. these two jolly looking gentleman here. william preston few was the first president of duke and -- was the second president of. duke so if you look at the correspondence, robert flowers was the vice president of finance. and so he was involved in the money aspect of this. the other person that i think gets kind of short shrift's this person, the english teacher, and i found this letter, it is undaunted and unsigned. and this is the only hint about landscape that i have found coming from duke. and he talks about pleasant interior courts.
the outdoors should be south and used as much as possible. as the harvard yard expresses the quiet beauty of the village green, so the duke campus can be made to express the more formal delight of the garden. in its own it may not mean a lot. but you get a sense of them really embracing the southern nature, the climate and the landscape. when duke went about to hire james duke and when duke university hired consultants, they had this long list. they drove around to all the universities, the university of chicago, the northeast. and they ended up with forest -- and a lot of the states, he designed why dinner library at harvard. he designed james dukes manchin
and i think without -- i haven't found any other evidence that they considered other people. but i think the inclination is to think, oh, trumbauer was the lead guy at the time. would i have read a couple of places is that at the time, rick was doing a lot of work on the west coast and so he wasn't really involved. but you don't really find his name mentioned much in relation to duke. in the same way, even though his name is written all over the place, he signs everything, it became clear in the 20th century, that he did most of the drawings. he was the first african american architectural student. he is really responsible for all of the buildings. trumbauer should not be left
completely out of the conversation. so, if rick is out of the picture, the job of designing fell to gallagher, one of my favorite names. he was a graduate at harvard. very horticultural-y oriented. he designed a lot of parks. he designed a lot of the states. he worked at have referred. during the time, he was working at duke, he was also consulting at faster. he had a lot of a good experience. but, you do not hear a whole lot about him. i think duke is a good way to talk about other people within the firm, that do not really get much attention. when you look on the famous family tree of the olmsted firm, you look at rick up top, right there, i have heard him called
percy, but i do not want to call him percy. by the time gallagher came in 25, a lot of the work, at women's college had been done. they did some grating, they did lighting, they did planting. but they really were not involved in laying it out. the original plan was to expand the campus northward, up into the top of the slide. when they found out that james duque was going to build this big university, they jacked up all the prices. so duke had to look for land somewhere. fortunately, this area was not short on land at the time. this is what the north carolina piedmont looks like in duke for us today. they bought 5000 acres of land. this is like a mile west of the woman's college, which we just saw. i think, romantically, the duke community has thought about this as a virgin forest. they come in and become part of
this university. the reality is the land was a lot of abandoned farms, a lot of succession woodlands. it was not necessarily that you are cutting down this forest put in a university. the land actually looks like this. you could see the city encroaching from the north, and you can see the football field being laid out. this is during construction. there is the cross access. so, when i was looking at this, the first time, i was thinking about the topography, the trees, and you have a very specific image of what the piedmont landscape is. you think about what is driving the design. i think we talked about that earlier today. does the designer come in here and say, this is what your campus needs to be? i started looking at james duke's a state. this is his park as it was
called. it was in new jersey. this was between 1893, when james greenleaf started, into 1915. miller did some plans, and then they split up. this was lewis mueller's plan. what you see is very much a picturesque landscape. this is what james duke wanted. this is how he wanted to spend his money on his 2700 acres. he wanted to make a public park. going back to the other discussion today about campus parks, and the states, they are not separate landscapes. they are all kind of versions of the same thing. this is the esthetic that he liked, and the experience that he liked. i saw one quote, where he said he planted 2 million trees on his property. i find that a little exaggerated. but you get the sense, when you
look closer up, and you see the lakes. this idea of water, this idea of trees, the interplay, and the topography, was very much part of james duke before duke university came along. so, if you look at this, and you can see through the glare, and see the lakes, and see how the roads come around, you can switch to an early master plan, from 1925. you can see more detail. do not worry too much about it here. you can see the campus being laid out. the idea from the beginning was that this campus would be placed with lakes. keep that in mind. water was big, topography was, big trees were big.
blowing up that plan, and again, this is march, 1925. this is gallagher the work. trumbauer is involved, but pretty much everything i found from this period, and granted, there were a lot of archives that were burned and not available, it was really about the olmsted brothers firm laying out the buildings. this is where the building should go. this is how they should lay in the land. it was not like the woman's college were an architect said, here is your campus. now go pretty it up. this was very much an inter girl collaboration between the architect, and the landscapers. it seemed to me that the olmsted firm was taking the lead here. what you see is this kind of bending in the quadrangle the. in this green space, it is very different than a traditional
quad. what they are trying to do is nestled the buildings into the green. so you are not coming in here and trying to flatten the ridge, or build something. it is a fairly sensitive landscape approach to creating what is a lot of building. that is 20 million cubic feet, even though we do not think that way anymore. 21 million cubic feet of building, sitting on this bridge line, and yet it still feels like it is a landscape design. looking at that from a rendered for suspected i think this is such a masterful rendering, because you get to see the topography. you see how the person rendered this without the benefit of drones. you get the sense that this is really a campus about the landscape.
there is a list of elements from the olmsted brothers farm. there is a boating, like a geyser, a grotto, a bridge, and you can see those in their. you can see the cascade at the lake down by the front. you can see it down by the back. this is quite some commission for a landscape architect. it is like score, this is great. things do not always work out. so, october 1925, james duke dies. the man with the money is no longer there. he has given the money. he said there was a 6 million-dollar endowment in the trust. he had already given 2 million dollars. in his will, he had 11 million dollars left. he had 19 million dollars to swear. the quickly realized that, that will not build 20 million cubic feet of buildings.
so, the administrators sent back to the design team and said, you need to go for 20 million cubic feet of buildings to 12 million cubic feet. so basically, they said you have to cut 42% of your project. i am sure the consultants in this room are kind of cringing, thinking i remember that project. i think we had a couple of those that duke after this. so, things changed. everybody realized, okay, we cannot build this. we cannot build this wonderful olmsted landscape in the piedmont. so when trumbauer came back with this plan, i am pretty sure it was exclusively by trumbauer. it was a devotee, and some people think he studied there, but i have not heard of that has been confirmed. you get a different sense. this is about architecture.
this is about an architecture form on the landscape. you see, it does not even address the landscape. here is the rendered fortune of that. it is still quite nice. you still get some elements of the picturesque. you get the sweeping drives. there was a lake left at that point. there is still a geyser fountain. gradually, all of that gets -- to jump around a little bit, this is the survey of the land. you will see the roads are kind of ghosted in. so, from what i can tell, trumbauer takes this new design and gives the two percy gallagher and says, make something of this. what he had to do is take this new form, and keep in mind, it is no longer about stepping between buildings into the landscape. now it is about a --
essentially. it is about building these buildings as a a place where you can get to. you can tell it's not flat, but it is flattish compared to what it was going to be before. so, the other big change here is that you no longer have, one thing that was so nice about the other plan. you had the visual conduction. you had the visual access to the chapter. you approach by going down and around and back up. i think that is important, let me show you that. so, you see at the bottom, how you drive down, and around, and come back up. you have a visual access, but you do not have a functional access. so now, suddenly, you do have the functional access. that is how you get the campus.
here it is graded out. looking back towards the roads, you have a land bridge now, which is much more of a straight line feature. this is from the olmsted archives, looking back they sketch the chapel. you sort of seen the party here which is trees getting as close to the road as possible, and then you see the monumental chapel at the end. very much of conceit. there is the final master plan. olmsted brothers are thankfully noted there. they are not on much of the plans. here, i think the other thing you see is you get graphically the idea of the topography and the trees, and the water. all of those things are still important. so here it is. this is the drama that is the approach to the new chapel. it is very effective. i do not think we are worse off for not having the other one. i do think one thing that they
did beautifully, that most people will not realize, is this vertical curve, when you drive in there, that you see here, it's perfection. it is like a straight line in terms of a vertical just drive up to the travel. it would be very different. this to me is where you see the artistry of the farm. it seems subtle, but once he realized it is there, it really is a really important part of it. the other thing about the trees 's it is easy to tell, in hindsight, how much they thought about it. they thought about the trees, preserving the trees, what are the countries, what are the bad trees, it was always about how you see architecture with in the context of trees. this idea that the university, and the forest, are just embedded in these drawings, and i find them so useful, this is
a later -- in 1930 many of the buildings have been built. they are coming back and doing the planting. there is this description from gallagher that talks about the organizing feature of these blue stone walkways. there are to be trees along other side of the two foot -- that are situated 35 free from both sides of the building that in close the campus. these trees are to be planted at a regular distance apart, and then a regular distance from the walk. in order to harmonize with the few large oak trees that remain and to stay derived by construction. the first time i read that, i said what, this is the first time i had ever heard of that. sure enough, when you look at these old drawings, you see that they had tried to save these trees, and you really get it. you get the sense of bringing the forest into the quadrangle.
but, you also look at the construction, and i'm sure plenty of landscape architects have seen construction sites like this, where this is their attempt at saving the trees, and valiant effort. b plus for effort, but it is just not very realistic. this is important to me, not because of the six or seven trees, but because this to me as part of the ethics of the university. for me, as a contemporary practitioner at duke, i can say, this is part of the dna. this is what we are about. it's not a tree for the sake of a tree. it's about the goals of the university going back to james duke. i will say that with this type of information i get a lot more
leverage within administrators, to say that something goes back to the james duke legacy, then it goes back to the olmsted legacy. that's unfortunate but i think that's the aspect of not having the story that stanford has. and that's where i've been trying to do for the last 15 years, to bring this story out and make people know about it. as planted, it is kind of bleak at first. right? a lot of architecture. i'll this hooks lee aldous huxley, when he visited the campus, you see this amazing city of gray stone, it is true, because you realize how much this campus needs trees, how much it needs landscape. and going back to percival gallagher again, in the main campus and beyond the
longstreet front walks, there would be many kinds of evergreen shrubs, dogwoods, flowering crab, english box, evergreen tributes and various flowering shrubs would be used. these would be disposed as to harmonize with the architecture. i think many of us in this room can question some of the plant choices in hindsight. but this image i've always found interesting, to show with that scheme looks like. because it took me a long time, after being at duke, to figure out what the rhyme or reason was. but it's a lot of bomb. and it's a lot of random place shrubs and trees on the ground. so you get the sense that it's very quiet, very soft. it's very residential almost. and we will get back to that in
a minute. but with this early design phase gallagher and cohorts did a lot of other work. making plans for faculty houses. this is the planting plan for the main drive to campus, that dam that they created to make the access road. and when you look at that plan, it's very ornate. very carefully drawn and considered, which is something you don't really get from the main quad. the other thing they did, which is a whole story unto itself, if you look at the east campus now, women's college than on the right, and west campus on the left, they had to get between the two campuses. so they designed this road that was called myrtle drive then but it is now called campus drive. and so there is a lot of drawings about not only how to do the horizontal and vertical alignment, but what is the planning strategy?
it was viewed as faculty housing connecting the two campuses. there were very involved in pretty much all aspects of buildings at duke at the time. this is the 1930s. these are taken about the same time and i think they are interesting. i like to consider the one on the left as the landscape architect perspective and the one on the right being the architect perspective. with the left, you really understand the trees and topography and how it sits on the landscape. and on the right it looks like, well, we've built a big squad of buildings and we've flattened the ridge. and they are both kind of true. but it is very much the man over nature beaux arts thing as opposed to the more sensitive picturesque. so this kind of ends the first period. and the 1934 death of percival
gallagher -- this is the obituary written by olmsted in landscape architecture magazine. and swerving devotion to his arc, an artist truly subordinated to his art. so sensitive, so catholic in his appreciation of beauty, in anywhere of the work of man, notwithstanding his own work or skill, he was as self critical and a striving in striving for the best quality as he was in the rejection of the mediocre. i don't know, i think that's pretty nice, i would like to have someone say that about me at the end of the day. [laughs] but the humility part explains why we don't hear more about him. and i would love to hear more about him. this talks about something we mentioned earlier. generationally, what happens to
affirm when times change? not long after gallagher died, the firm sent this letter to the president of duke. i won't read it all but it essentially is saying, yeah, mr. gallagher died but we want to still work with duke. and i think the line -- but as this, as an all artwork, the plans work to a considerable extent are in consideration with our other partners and reflect the ideals and experience not only of mr. gallagher but of our firm as a whole. that gives you a sense of how the office functioned. even if rick was working on the west coast, you know, i can get the sense and i am confident that there is more interaction than we have documentation for. so we are going to the 40s. this is overlooking the campus. this is at a football game. it is actually a beautifully
designed football stadium. cited. one thing you start to see here, and granted there is a football crowd, it's parking starting to come into the equation, already in the 1940s. and in 1943 and then it's -- when the gi bill kicks in. and you have 2 million gis trying to get into the school system. trying to get into the universities. and so schools are having to deal with things they didn't have to deal with before. rapid growth, new facilities, new cars. a year later they realized they needed help and so they reached back to trumbauer and olmsted and requested to see, if you are still interested in doing work at duke university, and
you will see that julian abele, his name made the letterhead after him gallagher died. here you see the family tree. william humbert had been a partner since 1920. around this time he was about 70 but he was still practicing. the other person who i think did much of the work here was karl ross parker, who we heard about earlier. now we are starting to see the next generations of firm numbers come in. and you are seeing the new generation facing completely new challenges. this is not the days of duke and stanford where you come in and you have all this land and you just build the campus. you actually have to start thinking about expanding. this is what the campus looked like at the time, 1945. not a lot different than before.
they basically had a shirt. they were charged with -- this is basically parker and william frank from the trumbauer firm. and they came and they said we need fun place for seven buildings. that was it. and they said, you can put your seven buildings here. and this is something that can be disturbing if you like campus design. the patterns have just completely broken down. and you can understand how building something so specific on top of a ridge is essentially a pattern that you cannot perpetuate. because you can just keep building linear. it's not like stanford where it is flat. you are up on a hill. so what they did -- and i think it's easy to criticize them --
but this is suburb, basically. this is the onset of the suburban campus, where you are building lab buildings that are bigger than the buildings you have developed before. and there are three of them along roadsides, so it moves to accommodate the buildings. so duke is not unique in this. many, many university campuses have faced these same issues. so that was it. that was the olmsted brothers park. they worked all through the 19 50s. they did site plans for new buildings, planting plans. here are surface parking lots that they did, which is at the end, frustrating, but it's the reality of the work. they were solving problems, problems that landscape architects help to solve, to deal with all the cars. so further threatening the campus but they are doing work that really needs to be done.
at the end of the 19 50s, you see the quad there. six of those seven buildings have been built. and so from an aerial perspective you see this kind of disintegration of the forest. and this seems to me like a time where we are having 5000 acres of land as a mixed blessing. i will say that stanford has 1188 acres and duke has 8693 acres. [laughs] having all of this land is sometimes harder than having a smaller one where you have the puzzle pieces fit together. so they contacted the olmsted brothers firm again at the end of the 19 50s.
joseph hudak was part of this but most of this was artemis richardson's work. and this was much more of a traditional -- you know, when you put the science buildings, where do you put the dorms? it's land he's planning on the left. and on the right start to see where they put new buildings. the pink shade there is unfortunately more surface parking lots. this is before parking garages became ubiquitous things that they are now on campuses. and if you want to look at that in a different way -- the sidelines are proposed roads and the dash lines are existing roads and then you have the parking. so this, as much as anything, i think clearly describes what was happening on many college campuses at that time. one thing, one really good
thing about this plan, or the mostly good thing, was that they really started thinking about the landscape. all of this time in the 40s, 50s, and of the 60s, you don't get a sense that there is any thought about the landscape. it is really about practically, where do we put buildings? i don't know if this came up from duke or the olmsted firm. but the idea of the greenbelt. the greenbelt of not less than 150 feet in width, in closing sections of the campus that has been developed in stone architecture. within this belt there should be a stand of trees in an under plant of shrubs. the idea is to preserve the integrity of the collegiate gothic plot, which is great as a goal but also has the inverse effect of making everything outside less of a priority. so by prioritizing one thing, you d prioritize something
else. i think it's a great gesture. it sort of perpetuates a problem that was already existing. this was published in the duke alumni magazine. the white buildings are proposed buildings. but you see it is still this free-for-all. you are just putting buildings where you can find a spot for them. and so at this same time, this was published in 1961. the plan was done in 1960. and in 1960, a group of faculty got together and wrote a -- they complained to a higher university commission about the university. the duke university grounds are superficially attractive but on closer inspection there thrice
deficient. the aesthetic quality has many inviting qualities. it has buildings that are mechanically useless while woodlands are being destroyed by improper cultural techniques and lack of foresight and care of the land. the president abusive practices must be stopped at once. . the constituencies at a campus or fast. the students are more engaged than the used to be. i think that is probably cyclical. we haven't really talked about the faculty. when you have a faculty that has a forestry department, when you have a faculty that has a design school, these people are engaged. this is their community. you will get all of this input, some wanted more than others, and all of that layers in the
decision process. i am sure that lori, and michael, and others can talk about complicated university clients. but there are all of these different layers involved. so whether or not, however much that complaint made third, olmsted brothers, still with artemis richardson, were locked brought in to look at the campus and fix it up. this is early 1960s photos taken at the olmsted firm. i want to do a general and knowledge meant to the national park service, because a lot of these images i stole from them. you start to see, sort of, overgrown shrubs. you start to see the results of that planting, that i showed you in the beginning. you sort of kind of have shrubs coming out, and it really makes less sense once they kind of reach their age. they engage the firm to do
plans. and if you look at the left, this is the key map. each box is a separate plan. and in each plan, they did existing conditions for paving conditions for planting. they did proposed planting, and proposed paving. if you do the math, it is a lot of sheets. and it is pretty complex work. they have literally been in there, and showed how many new plans had to be taken out, and how many needed to be added. i do not think any of this happened. i do not see any evidence. they added some parking at the front of the building that was laid out by the olmsted firm, which continues this phenom. this essentially is the last of the olmsted firm. so the firm is not really much by that point, anyway. so, this is what we are left with in the 70s.
suddenly, fortunately, we do not experience campuses from the air. when you are on the ground, you get more a chance of continuous trees. but there is nothing like there used to be. the 70s and 80s were kind of a design wasteland. and then in the mid 90s we had a change in the administration. they called our old friend lori to come, and he put together, i will not put words in his mouth, but the idea was how do you take this fragmented campus, this place that has gotten so mingled, and try to use the landscape to tie things together? and there is more to it than this graphic. there was no funding. with this, if you look at this plan, we have actually done quite a bit of over time, periodically. this was really the first
switch back to hey, we need to think more comprehensively about our landscape. then, a master plan in 2000 with lee coppa and, was the first comprehensive master planned for the entire, of course not 8000 acres, but the main continuous campus. just a few things that step out from that. the same principles that kathy was talking about. historic and dynamic campuses, saying we respect our history, but we are not slaves to our history. we have to move at the time. duke is university in the forest. again, having this imprint, having this endorsed by the trustees, has helped us as much as anything to be able to say we value our trees. also, it has the same development. the whole plan was really about how to reverse suburban planning, and build in the
center of campus again, to make it more pedestrian. the last one, which i think has probably been most important, is this idea of a place, which essentially means when you cite buildings, you set them to create positive open space. none of this silo building that exists, just for themselves. let's go back to the 1930s for a second. 2.3 million square feet. we are not doing cubic feet anymore. jumped to 2020, 20 plus million square feet. i am not sure, but 23 might be right. the red footprints or what have been done since i have been there. that is since 2000. in addition to this, we have done, from my calculations, 115 acres of new landscapes, or restored landscapes, with a nice list of consultants like
stanford. we value our buildings and landscapes, in an attempt to hire. this is not all of them, this is just one fit on the slide. what i try to do in my role is take all of this work, find a way to generalize it. so this is something i put together a few years ago. these are design guidelines. they are not really to tell people how to do things, but what are the elements of the landscape that make a duke landscape, a duke landscape. to switch gears a little, we need to talk about students more. when you talk about campus landscapes, we are really come meeting places for them, and how they use these spaces. it dictates a lot. this is the main quad. this is the olmsted quad. in the 19 50s you saw a lot of
this passive sitting on the lawn, listening to a band or a lecture. in the 1960s you start to see what kathy was saying. this is the heart of the campus. this is where they protest. this is where they go for meaningful discourse. this is where they go to make change. the central spaces, these hallowed spaces, really become the most important landscapes on the campus. duke has a couple of unique things that i do not necessarily love, but we are stuck with. after big basketball games, duke students go out there and they take these big benches and do these huge bonfires on the landscape. so, you see the shadow of the chapel there. this used to anger me a bit, but now i have eased up a little and realized that this is what we are here for. this is for students. this is student life, this is what they do. if they destroy the landscape, we find our way around it.
i am not saying i love it or anything. the other thing, this is the last day of classes. thousands of people, somewhere inebriated than others, go out there and this is part essential. if you look at those trees, these are the remaining trees that were back from gallagher days. they are holding on for dear life. again, compaction, all of this has an impact on the landscape. when i started, this is pretty much indicative of what the landscape looks like. it had been beaten down. extremely low maintenance. from my perspective, needless to say, for me it was like don't these people know how important this landscape is? i am a landscape architect.
so one thing i did internally with one person on my staff, was we did a landscape master plan. we said, what if we have 10,000 dollars here, 20,000 dollars there, 5000 dollars there, how can we incrementally set the stage for improvements? and we did maybe 12 projects off of this plan, which made a difference. we knew it was not going to be what we needed. in 2011 we hired a brand to make our master plan. building face to building face. it is completely redo of all of the landscapes. diagrammatic lee, taking what was there was this landscape. we turned it into something like this. the big moves are really making the sidewalks bigger so people could fit on them. beefing up the plantings to help people know where they are supposed to be, and not be.
importantly, improve the infrastructure of the quad. improve the drainage, the soil. all of this stuff works together as a system. all of this is its own ecology, which no one had ever really thought about that way before. one of the things that we did was we added this granted gutter, which was meant to make the sidewalk wider. we wanted to make it a tool to improve the drainage. all of the water goes into the granite channel underground, and you also have a nice design detail. you can see where we encountered routes, and we stopped at. unfortunately, as much as we try to save those trees, we probably lost three of them since then. the other thing we did, at the time, we made the decision, if you see the guy in the blue
walking on the right, that is a historic paving. that is the full color range of the blue stone, and the left is the new. it is a more contemporary application, but it is still blue stone. it is a sense of respecting history, but not being a slave to it. what is historic say stiff storage. what is new stays new. just a couple of images here, of what was there before. this is after the construction. part of this was the lawn to. so we have soil, drainage, they did not really know about those things in 1929, 1930, like we do today. trying to introduce horticulture practices in here. so we can get a healthy lawn that can deal with compaction, and handle these events better.
if we go back to this image, this was the postcard images that we could not quite live up to in reality of how students used spaces. these are those three arches by the time that i got there. we did one other paving thing between them, but after the project, we ended up saying while, we have to acknowledge that this is about circulation. you have to let students move. you have hundreds of students going through these arches at a time. really, kind of beefing up the landscape. you can see the two paving treatments there. so, coincidentally, at the time, all of these restorations where trustees named the quad able quad. it is the name for the african american architect who designed all of these buildings.
there was universal support for this. i wrote an article for duke magazine, where i talked about and wanted to balance the conversation. i wanted to say that he was great. he is phenomenal. his legacy is so important to us, but let's not forget the contributions of the olmsted brothers. this was the intro here. for the past 16 years, this well deserved recognition raises, an interesting question. to what extent does the campus quadrant constitute as a work of architecture? someone say it is merely a landscape. here he argues that a quad is made up equally of architecture and landscape, with each being more meaningful with its context of the other. that was essentially my argument. let us celebrate the architecture. let us really acknowledge it for what it is, but do not
forget the olmsted brothers. they mattered, and the generations of people who have worked on this campus have really mattered, in terms of the campus landscape. the last thing i want to go back to is this image. we had these two lakes, that james duque wanted. obviously, gallagher wanted to design them. we never got to do them. so, water was one of the things that got cut out when they ran out of money. interestingly, in the 19 80s, duke gardens were built as a pond, with the help of the designer. the stormwater pond, in a way, becomes one of the lakes. it's laid down a bit. it is basically achieving the same purpose that they wanted.
a few years ago we built the other lake, which is on the other side of the chapel. this was a lake, a pond, that we built to save us 100 million gallons of water each year. it is a stormwater collection, that serves our own water plant. it was important to me when we did this, that this is not just a utility, it is a landscape and we really have to design this as a work of landscape architecture. i was allowed to hire someone to come down and help, and create a landscape which has not only beautiful, and ecological, and functional, but it is also giving the students a place to go, and a place to hang out, and it is sort of the apparent me of how how things we try to do with canvas landscapes. we have to be sustainable, and create social spaces. we have to be stewards of the