With Preservation Month celebrated all May and the spring’s warmth inviting people to step out and enjoy parks and open-space areas, only a few will think about the many historic buildings, monuments, and other valued cultural artifacts found in parks, forest preserves, campuses and other open-space districts.

For experts at Page & Turnbull, on the other hand, it’s been a preservation mission for decades. “It’s increasingly urgent today for parks’ officials and caretakers of open spaces to take steps for the enduring care of historic buildings and cultural resources, and to help safeguard their history as well as the lands surrounding them,” says Christina Dikas, associate principal and senior architectural historian with Page & Turnbull, a national leader in historic preservation, parks architecture and cultural resource planning.

Dikas, who shared expert insights on the topic through Page & Turnbull’s recent series of professional seminars, “Historic Preservation Essentials for Open-Space Districts & Trusts,” says maintaining the integrity of those historic buildings enhances the visitor experience, further connecting people to the place and stories of its historic journey.

Architectural monuments and other landmarks located in open spaces are a part of the site’s legacy and contribute to its overall design, adds Andrew Gorski, AIA, PLA, with Page & Turnbull.

“Dismissing the preservation of these buildings takes away from the relationship people have with the park or other outdoor environment where the buildings were constructed,” says Gorski. “These buildings provide interest and historic context, adding to the beauty and enjoyment of the lands around them.”

In all, Dikas, Gorski, and Page & Turnbull’s team of historians, cultural resources planners, architects, and preservation experts have worked with more than 30 parks and open space organizations, including the National Park Service, Santa Clara County Parks, and the American River Conservancy. The work has not only contributed to the preservation and restoration of significant historic buildings in open-space districts, but also strengthened the cultural legacies of the properties and communities in which they reside, attracting visitors, near and far.

“Monuments and other buildings located in parks and open lands have a unique place in the nation’s history,” says Dikas. “They’re valuable assets on many levels and worthy of preservation.”  Examples of the firm’s work include:

– History in horse country
Marking the notable success of the firm’s historic preservation efforts in preserves, parks and other open-space areas, is its award-winning work with the Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park in Carlsbad, Calif., which included the site’s historic stable, a prominent multi-level adobe and stone building that was repurposed as a flexible, multipurpose space for education and special events.

– From Russia, with love
Page & Turnbull’s restorative work on the Fort Ross Windmill at the Fort Ross State Historic Park in Jenner, Calif., successfully balanced the authenticity of the 1800s structure with modern building regulations, solidifying its enduring legacy and visitor enjoyment.

  A grand view from above
As the preservation consultant and architects for exterior repairs, accessibility, compliance and life-safety improvements for the Desert Watchtower at the Grand Canyon National Park, Page & Turnbull fortified the historic building for lasting pleasure.

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