Blue Ridge Parkway Development History

Postcard jpeg fb webPSABC plans a singular presentation on Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) structures and the forthcoming award of National Historic Landmark status.  While the BRP itself was begun in the 1930s and completed over 50 years, the story of Parkway buildings is just as long and varied.  Steven Kidd and Cynthia Walton, our knowledgeable speakers, will discuss how the Parkway style evolved via the successful collaboration of engineers, landscape architects and historians.  The narrative trail runs from 19th century vernacular cabins to Civilian Conservation Corp rustic structures with “Mission 66” era motifs through the modernist influences of the later 20th century.

Mr. Kidd, a BRP cultural resource specialist and archaeologist, recently completed documenting and evaluating the Parkway’s 900+ structures as part of the National Historic Landmark (NHL) nomination process.  Ms. Walton, historian and NHL Program Manager for the Southeast, provided support and technical assistance for the project.  Together, they’ll share some of the most interesting facets of their research and Parkway prospects for National Historic Landmark designation.

Parkway map“When you drive the Parkway, you see a distinctive look to all the buildings and bridges, overlooks and signage,” says Kieta Osteen-Cochrane, Education Committee Chair.  “These structures are beautiful, a worthy complement to the land itself and deserving of special recognition.”

The program is scheduled on Thursday, July 16th, beginning at 5:30 pm.  The location is the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center Auditorium, 195 Hemphill Knob Road in Asheville, also known as Parkway Milepost 384.  Generous sponsors include Terry and Ted Van Duyn and the BRP Visitor Center.  PSABC members and all area residents are invited.   A $10 donation is suggested.

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