First Few Weeks at Olmsted NHS! – Brian Mecinas

Historic images and doodles made by various architects and employees of the Olmsted Firm depicting a variety of office inside jokes and other topics relevant to the time period.

The first few weeks working as a Visual Media Intern for the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site have been a continuous learning experience over Olmsted, his family, and the firm he founded that had such a large role in creating some of the most recognizable and iconic landscapes in the United States. 

Much of the first two weeks was dedicated to further immersing myself into Olmsted’s life in order to better understand the influences in his life that drove him to his eventual career in landscape architecture late in his life. I was provided with two books to do this through: “Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted” by Justin Martin and “Frederick Law Olmsted Essential Texts” edited by Robert Twombly. In addition, I was able to join the rest of the Interpretation and Education team for a tour through the Olmsted archives to learn about the storage of the thousands of plans, designs, and significant historical documents pertaining to the work of the Olmsted firm. Part of this included touring sections of the historic home and office wing to see the drafting rooms in which architects would work on various designs at a time, though learning about the office dynamics that went on in the form of jokes, drawn caricatures, and other doodles of fellow coworkers was especially interesting to see. 

 

Storyboard and rough notes for a personal choice video project on the topic of mental health, park access, and Olmsted.

Aside from just learning about Olmsted, I began familiarizing myself with the projects I’ll be working on throughout the summer and started the process of creating my first video, which is the personal choice video I’ll have free reign over in terms of content and vision. Much of the early stages was brainstorming potential topics to cover and narrowing it down to a single topic, which for me was mental health, though I did try to highlight an intersection in park accessibility for communities of color that is important to consider. Over the course of a few days, I worked to learn the process for constructing a storyboard for a video for the first time and mapped out all of the visuals for my first video. Given my little video experience prior to this position, I was incredibly appreciative of the opportunity to learn about different aspects of videomaking process like this.

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