Cultural Landscapes: Managing Adaptive Reuse of Historic Landscapes

As with buildings, historic landscapes frequently need to find new uses, new users and new programs. The Bay Area abounds with former military, industrial and vernacular landscapes that no longer serve the purpose for which they were designed.  Using the Presidio of San Francisco and other properties around the state as examples, attendees will examine a variety of landscape types, including Historic Designed, Historic Vernacular and Historic Sites. Speakers will describe the means and methods for assembling tools that are required to reuse and manage historic landscapes, such as Cultural Landscape Reports and Cultural Landscape Inventories.  Attendees will also learn best practices for evaluation and treatment of landscape resources according to the Secretary of Interior Standards. The workshop will close with a field exercise in the Presidio that illustrates the topics discussed during the classroom session.


  • Douglas Nelson - RHAA Landscape Architecture, Planning & Urban Design
  • Cathy Garrett - PGA Design Landscape Architects
  • Gretchen Hilyard - Preservation Planner, Planning Department, City and County of San Francisco
  • Vida Germano - Cultural Landscapes Inventory Coordinator, National Park Service, Pacific West Region
  • Chandler McCoy - Associate Director of Planning & Design, Presidio Trust
  • Michael Lamb - Historic Landscape Architect, Presidio Trusto

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn to identify landscape types and periods of significance that can inform appropriate reuse strategies
  2. Engage with Cultural Landscape Reports, Historic American Landscape Inventory documentation and Cultural Landscape Inventories
  3. Identify the character defining features and historic integrity of landscapes
  4. Conduct site walk through areas of the Presidio of San Francisco that illustrate documentation tools, reuse challenges, and real-world cultural landscape solutions

Documents and Downloads