Tag Archives: cultural landscape

Menokin Model – Progress Report (Week 4)

Production of this model was made possible by a generous grant from Union First Market Bank.

Project Progress Reports from:
Jayne Kang | Project Manager, Senior Designer | Machado and Silvetti Associates, LLC

PROGRESS REPORT ITEMS:

Week 4 –07/15/13-07/19/13
Model production:
– Final site model production [routed on the CNC milling machine]
– Laser cut all final parts of the assembly [i.e. rainscreen, armature for 1/16” models]
– Run lighting tests with the assembled 3/16” model
– Produce a test for the plaque that will be placed on the final model
– Run final tests for the liner’s gradient
– Preliminary fit-out of the entire assembly

ROUTING THE MODEL

ASSEMBLY

LET THERE BE LIGHT!

Preliminary lighting test on overall assembly to calibrate the liner’s opacity, brightness and the overall ambiance.
Preliminary lighting test on overall assembly to calibrate the liner’s opacity, brightness and the overall ambiance.

Menokin Model – Progress Report (Week 3-Part II)

Production of this model was made possible by a generous grant from Union First Market Bank.

Project Progress Reports from:
Jayne Kang | Project Manager, Senior Designer | Machado and Silvetti Associates, LLC

PROGRESS REPORT ITEMS:
Week 3 – Part II: 07/08/13-07/12/13
Model production:
– Final modeling adjustments to the armature model for printer
– Final digital site model adjustments for running tool paths
– Selection, purchase, lamination, drying and sanding of wood for the site model
– Model to be routed on Tuesday, July 16.
– 3D prints for House armature go to printer Monday
– 1/16” model pieces out for final print Monday

That’s a lot of clamps!

View the previous Progress Report here.

Menokin Model – Progress Report (Week 3-Part I)

Production of this model was made possible by a generous grant from Union First Market Bank.

Project Progress Reports from:
Jayne Kang | Project Manager, Senior Designer | Machado and Silvetti Associates, LLC

PROGRESS REPORT ITEMS:
Week 3 – Part I: 07/01/13-07/03/13
Material, Assembly and Visual Testing (liner, rainscreen, historic walls, etc)
– North Elevation Full-Assembly Study [continued]
– Typical Armature Corner and Roof Rainscreen Assembly Study
– Test prints of different woods for the site base Model production:
– Final 3/16” ZCorb Print – Final 1/16” ZCorb Prints [Existing(x1)], Proposed (x2)]
– Final modeling adjustments to the armature model for printer

Included in this progress report are digital renderings and photos that document two major efforts made in the course of this short week, which involved:

1) finalizing the quality of material and level of resolution in the site model, with consideration to cost and aesthetics; and

This model is to represent the concept design that was submitted and approved in March 2013.  We decided to lightly reflect the concepts of the Landcape Architects - Reed Hilldebrand -  in the model, using a homogeneous material palette.
This model is to represent the concept design that was submitted and approved in March 2013. We decided to lightly reflect the concepts of the team’s Cultural Landcape Architects – Reed Hillderbrand – in the model, using a homogeneous material palette.

White oak (second from bottom) was the winner!

White oak (second from bottom) was the winner!

2) studies of various isolated assembly details (i.e. mechanical connections, lighting, aesthetic effects when combining the layered elements) in order to come up with something that is clean, most accurately representative, stable and has the best visual effect.

See the first progress report here.

Menokin: Education, Exploration, Enrichment – Day One

These words describe the very soul of Menokin’s mission. They represent all that Menokin has to offer, and when they are followed up by “A 500-acre classroom for heritage and natural resource conservation,” you can really get a picture of what goes on in this peaceful corner of the world.

Our mission was really put to the test this week, as Menokin played host to three different field trip groups from area schools. Each school represented a different age group and learning environment. But one thing was abundantly evident with all three. Kids love to learn, they love to explore, and they love to play.

DAY ONE – Tueday, November 6th
Aylett Country Day School, Millers Tavern, VA

Aylett is a small, private school in Essex County, VA, which is across the river from Richmond County, Menokin’s home. The school serves children from Preschool through the 8th grade. Students from Aylett come from many surrounding counties, including Essex, Richmond, King and Queen, King William and Middlesex.

The 8th-grade class visited Menokin on Tuesday. While they toured the visitor’s center, the conservation barn and the house site, the main purpose for their visit was to complete a community service project for Menokin. Armed with cans of orange spray paint, which managed to stay off the students, they hiked through the woods at Menokin with staff members Sarah Pope, Alice French and myself, marking the otherwise not-so-obvious path along the bluff overlooking Menokin Bay on Cat Point Creek.

A stop along the way introduced them to Thane Harpole of DATA Investigations, and his team of archaeologists conducting a survey here in conjunction with the Chesapeake Gateways Grant secured by Menokin earlier this year. The hike concluded with gathering water samples from Cat Point Creek and returning to the Visitor’s Center to test the water for oxygen and acidity levels.

The last few minutes before leaving were well used exploring 21st century  uses for colonial toys.

The Menokin Advisory Council shares its story

The Menokin Foundation is very fortunate to have an Advisory Council of professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, historic conservation, museum programs and cultural landscape which has been established to assist in the decision making process of the Glass Concept.

Staff members sat down with some of these advisors over dinner last fall and interviewed them about why they love Menokin, and why they have dedicated so much time to this project.

The result is this video which attempts to encapsulate the spark of imagination, inspiration and innovation that is Menokin.

We hope you will enjoy and share the video.

The Menokin Foundation Takes to the Road

The popular Banner Lecture Series offered at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, VA will host two guest speakers in October, both co-sponsored by The Menokin Foundation.

These programs will be held at the VHS, which is located at 428 North Boulevard in Richmond, VA.

The first takes place on Thursday, October 4, 2012 at noon, and features Dr. John C. Coombs, a professor at Hampden-Sydney College, discussing Planter Oligarchy on Virginia’s Northern Neck.

Unlocking Menokin’s Secrets: Archaeological and Landscape Research at a Northern Neck Plantation takes place on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at noon, and will be presented by David Brown and Thane Harpole of DATA Investigations.

One of the great houses to survive from colonial Virginia, Menokin was the result of a unique collaboration between John Tayloe II of Mount Airy and Francis Lightfoot Lee, the husband of his daughter Rebecca. Tayloe gave Lee a life interest in 1,000 acres of his vast Richmond County estate and, as a wedding present, built the plantation house and surrounding structures.

David Brown at work at Menokin.

Though scant written records remain, other clues offer insight into this adaptation of European design to the environment of eastern Virginia. David Brown with DATA Investigations will discuss recent archaeological and landscape research conducted at the site.

Reservations are not required for either lecture. Admission is $6/adults, $5/seniors, $4/children and students, free/members (please present card) and to Richmond Times-Dispatch readers with a Press Pass coupon. Parking is free. For more information visit: www.vahistorical.org/news/lectures_banner.htm.

Menokin Receives Grant From National Park Service

The Menokin Foundation is pleased to announce that it has received $70,000 in grant money from the NPS to initiate planning and design for two public access points on Cat Point Creek at Menokin.

“We are excited to be able to begin the process of making Cat Point Creek more accessible to the public,” says Sarah Pope, Executive Director at Menokin, “And hope that the research performed during this planning phase will also help us to better understand the intricate story of the Menokin landscape.”

Looking up Cat Point Creek toward Menokin Bay.

The National Park Service (NPS) Chesapeake Bay Office announced on September 5, 2012 that the NPS is providing financial assistance to 21 partners and 24 projects with a combined financial commitment of $1,363,039. These projects with 21 partners in fiscal year 2012 address education, youth employment and stewardship programs, and public access and trail development in the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network and along the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. Each project is leveraged through additional means such as matching funds, in-kind services, and volunteer hours.

In collaboration with many partners, the National Park Service works to expand public access to the Chesapeake Bay and tributary rivers, build visitor experiences along two national historic trails, develop teacher resources in line with state standards, and expand service and employment opportunities for youth. “Through partner engagement and participation, each of these projects has a positive impact in local communities,” said NPS Superintendent John Maounis. “Whether teaching the history of these places, introducing young people to possible career paths, or providing a new place to get to the water, these are investments in quality of life.”

The Chesapeake Bay Office of the National Park Service administers the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network of partner sites, and also manages two of the nation’s nineteen national historic trails. Both trails are comprised of land and water routes accessible through partner sites, are in active stages of development, and offer opportunities for educators and students that are both virtual and place-based. Educational programming, training in stewardship and outdoor recreation skills, and youth employment opportunities all contribute to trail development.

Trail development and youth engagement projects also advance public access goals set through the Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, the federal response to President Obama’s Executive Order 13508. The strategy and subsequent draft public access plan call for the addition of 300 new sites where citizens can have a waterside experience, whether hiking, paddling, enjoying a picnic, or fishing.

Project summaries can be accessed through http://www.baygateways.net/viewrelease.cfm?press_release_id=297

America: First Impressions

Native American Settlement

Before the Menokin plantation was ever developed, this area along Cat Point Creek (also called Rappahannock Creek) was home to the Rappahannock Indian Tribe. In 1608, Capt. John Smith recorded 14 Rappahannock towns on the north side of the River and its tributaries. The general plantation site was referred to as “Menokin” by the Rappahannock, which likely translates to “He gives it to me” in the tribe’s Algonquian-based language. Francis Lightfoot Lee kept the name for his home. For more information on the Rappahannock Tribe, visit http://www.rappahannocktribe.org.

Great Stories

John Smith was one of the foremost leaders of early Jamestown.  He’d had an interesting life before that, one which influenced the direction of this country and (as I seem to be constantly promising) which will be explored later in this blog.  He was a controversial but effective leader in the settlement’s first years, and when health problems and an injury prompted his return to England in 1609, he spent his time working for the colony from there, promoting it and encouraging people to move there.

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Localism and Place Identity

This quote from The Actual Proposal struck a chord with me. It seems to aptly illustrate the lifestyle of the Northern Neck – that of the Lees and Tayloes, and even of the residents today.

Image of Menokin from the Robert A Lancaster Collection Circa 1880

In the daze of overwhelming mobility perhaps architects should wonder: what’s wrong with standing still?  Poet, essayist, and farmer, Wendell E. Berry, shares a similar sentiment in remembering his grandfather:

“My grandfather, on the contrary, and despite his life’s persistent theme of hardship, took a great and present delight in the modest good that was at hand: in his place and his affection for it, in its pastures, animals, and crops, in favourable weather.

He did not participate in the least in what we call “mobility.” He died, after eighty-two years, in the same spot he was born in. He was probably in his sixties when he made the one longish trip of his life. He went with my father southward across Kentucky and into Tennessee. On their return, my father asked him what he thought of their journey. He replied: “Well, sir, I’ve looked with all the eyes I’ve got, and I wouldn’t trade the field behind my barn for every inch I’ve seen.”

In such modest joy in a modest holding is the promise of a stable, democratic society, a promise not to be found in “mobility”: our forlorn modern progress toward something indefinitely, and often unrealizably, better. A principled dissatisfaction with whatever one has promises nothing or worse.”

Tobacco Rolling Roads

There is much evidence at Menokin of human impact on the land. The example below demonstrates that there were tobacco rolling roads on the Menokin plantation. These roads allowed for barrels filled with tobacco to be easily transported to the river. After these barrels were rolled down these roads to Cat Point Creek, they were shipped off to be sold in various markets.

 

These tobacco rolling roads were built to hasten the process of transporting tobacco and further the success of the plantation.  The enslaved men and women at Menokin most likely dug these roads, evidence of which you now see today.

The landscape holds traces of history everywhere. These rolling roads demonstrate that the actions of people centuries ago are still with us today. Even though the forest looks wild, upon closer look you can see the imprint of Frank’s decisions and the labor of slaves.

These tobacco rolling roads helped advance the commercial interests of Menokin. Can you see how people use land today to enhance one’s business? What other ways do people impact and distort the land?