Mount Rainier Roads and Bridges
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Mount Rainier has always been famous for its glaciers, luxuriant foliage and brightly-colored subalpine meadows. During the early national park years, pre-1916, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers designed the park roads and bridges to harmonize with the superb landscapes. Following the establishment of the National Park Service (NPS) in 1916, NPS engineers and landscape architects worked together to continue the tradition of appropriate design for the park landscape.
Between 1920 and 1940 the Rustic Style of architecture became the design standard for park construction. Native stone, logs and other indigenous materials were commonly used for buildings, shelters, bridges, retaining walls, campground facilities, and signs. Natural planting practices were adopted for revegetation work. Native trees and shrubs were skillfully integrated into the developed areas to blend them with the wilderness.
The landscape work related to the roads and bridges of Mount Rainier National Park demonstrates a sensitivity to the natural features of the land. Most built components were designed to blend into the system as a whole, in harmony with the natural landscapes of the mountain region. In addition to preserving the natural beauty of the park, Mount Rainier's roads and bridges provide safe and convenient access for millions of visitors. Without this carefully-designed infrastructure, the national park experience would be markedly different.
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