This lecture is part of the Divine Disorder Conference held February 24-26, 2015.

A Vision for a Visionary Site:  Developing a Site Management Plan for Paradise Garden by Susan Turner and J. Keyes Williamson

This paper will present the process and findings of a 2012 effort to develop a Site Management Plan for Paradise Garden, a complex and fragile environment designed by artist Howard Finster. A focus of the plan was to set a framework for the approach to treating Howard Finster’s remaining garden fabric, including structures, vegetation, water features and art, as well as defining an approach to accommodating the desired visitation – to both honor Howard Finster and generate economic development for Chattooga County. The plan strove to define a path from the 2012 state of the garden to one that could communicate Finster’s energy and productivity within the context of the remaining authentic features.

The process for creating this plan was collaborative and included preservation architects, preservation landscape architects, a heritage tourism specialist, key representatives from the newly formed Paradise Garden Foundation and Chattooga County Government, the previous owner of the site, a Finster biographer, collectors of Finster’s work and others with historical knowledge of and involvement with the site. The team reviewed available information and assessed the site, analyzed findings and developed recommendations and priorities to serve as a guide for the future preservation and revitalization of the site.

This presentation will describe the process of developing the Site Management Plan and then elaborate on its recommendations including a vision for the future of the site; approach to conservation and treatment; and the development of a specific action plan and priorities.

Speaker Biography
Susan Turner, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, Lord Aeck Sargent Architecture
Susan is a principal in the Historic Preservation Practice Area at Lord Aeck Sargent. She sets the direction for a wide variety of projects, which often involve a comprehensive range of planning, design and construction-phase services for restoration and rehabilitation of historic resources. Her clients include federal, state and local government, higher education and private sector institutional clients. Her work includes the restoration of nationally significant historic sites and the creative adaptation of historic buildings for new and ongoing use, including many college and university buildings.

In 2012, Susan served as a member of an interdisciplinary team that assessed the historic resources at Paradise Garden and prepared a Site Management Plan for its preservation and revitalization.
Susan is a member of the American Institute of Architects, the Association for Preservation Technology International, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation; and she has more than 30 years of historic preservation architectural experience. Susan is also a LEED Accredited Professional and is committed to finding environmentally sustainable solutions for the conservation of cultural resources.
Master of Arts, Architecture with specialization in Historic Preservation
University of Florida, 1982
Bachelor of Design
University of Florida, 1980

National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
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Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
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