National Park Service
Term Contract 2014-2018
Various Locations

Over the last five years we have been working with the US National Park Service (NPS) to devise creative solutions to their technical challenges and meet the evolving needs of today’s visitors. Along with this forward-facing vision, we look to the history of the parks and their national and cultural significance to inform our design direction. It is our core belief that architecture encompasses not only buildings but also their unique histories, cultures, and surrounding environments. Projects in our current term contract include:

Valley Forge National Park Visitor Center Rehabilitation, King of Prussia, PA. Built in 1976, the 18,000 sf Visitor Center at Valley Forge still operated with its original systems, which were not up to current code standards. We began by conducting an assessment of the existing systems including fire/life safety and lighting and evaluating their energy efficiency. Following this, we began a comprehensive rehabilitation of the facility, including a more heating efficient system, a new roof and elevator, and several water-conservation solutions. Our design modernizes existing building systems, resolves accessibility issues, incorporates sustainable design practices, and addresses the current and future needs of visitors, daily operations, and life cycle maintenance.

Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park, NPS Unit Headquarters Master Planning Study, Middletown, VA. Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park consists of several rural residential and agricultural structures that are currently unoccupied. Our Space Planning Study identifies alternatives to provide space for the functions of visitor services, park management, and other operational support needs, and will inform both short- and long-term strategies to meet minimal operating requirements.

Coltsville National Historical Park, Armory Buildings Master Planning Study, Hartford, CT. Coltsville’s 260-acre site lacked a Visitor Center or any support facilities. Our programming study evaluated the feasibility of the Coltsville Armory Buildings 8 and 10 for the Park’s future visitor services, management, and other operational needs. We recognized the importance of bringing these historical structures back to life, for both the Hartford community and new visitors to the site. The design alternatives proposed focused on the stabilization and renovation of buildings. A circulation buffer was provided between the envelope and the requested program resulting in a “box within a box” approach. By maintaining the industrial quality of the buildings, the open exhibition and education spaces (a large component of the programmatic requirements) will provide a compelling experience for visitors.

Ellis Island Emergency & Long Term Museum Collections Conservation & Storage, New York, NY. Davis Brody Bond worked with the National Park Service on a five month project to identify and document design solutions for the long term storage, stabilization and protection of the collections at Ellis Island. The scope of the project included the evaluation of collection management and storage of over one million historic artifacts. Our team developed multiple alternatives to consolidate storage locations in protected and efficient spaces within the Park. We produced an update to the existing 2005 Collection Management Plan to address the concerns generated with the evacuation of the collection after Hurricane Sandy. By identifying vulnerabilities at Ellis Island, on a broader scale, our scope will inform other parks in coastal regions of similar vulnerabilities that have been or are susceptible to damage by conditions resulting from climate change and the rise in sea-levels.