Books Worth Reading


The National Parks: America’s Best Idea

by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan : Companion to the PBS series by acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns.  Beautiful captivating imagery combined with a comprehensive history from the beginning of the idea to present.  This book brings the history of the NPS alive and expresses how truly lucky we are to have the National Park System alive and well in the US…it is nothing to take for granted.

A Passion for Nature : The Life of John Muir 

by Donald Worster : A biography that explores the extraordinary power of John Muir to inspire others to see the sacred beauty of Nature.  Including private correspondence, the book traces Muir from childhood through his adult life.

Wilderness by Design:  Landscape Architecture and the National Park Service

by Ethan Carr : A history of landscape park design, Wilderness by Design, places national park landscape architecture within a broad historical context.  The book explores the impact of landscape architecture on how the national parks are enjoyed and how well they are protected.

Building the National Parks:  Historic Landscape Design and Construction

by Linda Flint McClelland : Building the National Parks explores the conflicting missions of preservation and accessibility of the National Park Service and tells the history of the architects, landscape architects, and civil engineers who worked to create an infrastructure that emphasized scenic views and blended with  topography and natural features.

Mary Colter : Architect of the Southwest

by Arnold Berke : Details the incredible career of architect, Mary Colter, best known for her work in Grand Canyon National Park (Hopi House and Lookout Tower to name a few).

1 Comment

  1. This is an inspiring post. The book by Mary Colter is very interesting – one of the first woman architects with an impressive body of work and a remarkable understanding of the site context.

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