Smithsonian Institution
Patent Office Building Cultural Landscape Report
Washington, D.C.

As the project landscape historian, Robinson & Associates provided historic documentation and analysis for a Cultural Landscape Report on the Patent Office Building. The report documented the landscape characteristics and features of the Patent Office Building site, analyzed its development, evolution, and use, and evaluated its integrity and significance. The Patent Office Building is located on Reservation 8 (Original Appropriation No. 8 on the L’Enfant Plan for the City of Washington), part of the original acreage purchased by the Federal government in 1792 that was reserved for public use. The Greek Revival-style building was constructed between 1836 and 1867 to the designs of Robert Mills, Thomas U. Walter, and Edward Clark. The Cultural Landscape Report was intended to create a more substantial record of the designed historic landscape associated with the Patent Office Building and to fill in the gaps left by previous documentation that for the most part focused on the building’s architectural and cultural history. The report was prepared to serve as a guide for the development and implementation of a landscape plan for the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art, home of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.

Shenandoah National Park Historic Resources Study and Addition to the Skyline Drive National Register Nomination
Luray, VA

For the National Park Service, Robinson & Associates was charged with providing a comprehensive Historic Resources Study of the entire Shenandoah National Park and a National Register nomination for a number of significant areas off the 105-mile-long Skyline Drive. The identification of historic resources and the historic context evaluation involved hundreds of resources in the park, including President Hoover’s camp, WPA and CCC cabins and complexes, and many vernacular buildings. Project tasks also included enlargement of the existing National Register of Historic Places nomination for Skyline Drive to include many additional historic resources and landscapes. The study is a primary management tool for use by the National Park Service in defining the significance of its cultural resources and making recommendations for the preservation and interpretation of its properties.

Oatlands Plantation
Historic Structures Report
Leesburg, VA

Robinson & Associates served as architectural historians on a multidisciplinary team in the preparation of Historic Structures Reports on five nineteenth-century outbuildings at Oatlands Plantation, a property owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The project aimed to develop a preservation treatment and philosophy based on the use, existing condition, and historic significance of each structure and the landscape setting. Two of the structures examined included an extremely rare 1810 greenhouse structure and a unique bank barn. The firm’s responsibility was to collect and examine existing archival materials to determine the historic uses of these structures. The analysis of these buildings provides the basis for technical recommendations to allow modern use, thoughtful improvements and accessibility, and accurate public interpretation and education.