This presentation was part of A Century of Design in the Parks Symposium, Santa Fe, New Mexico, June 21-23, 2016.

Presentation Video and Transcript

By David Driapsa


Eight parks created by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and one by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) under federal New Deal initiatives during the Great Depression form the nucleus of the Florida State Parks System (FSPS). National Park Service (NPS) landscape architects collaborated with and aided FSPS landscape architects to select sites for large-scale conservation and recreational facilities, overseeing the design of park master plans, and supervision of CCC and WPA enrollee workforces in park development.

The building programs of the nine parks are derived from pattern books such as the Park and Recreation Structures book compiled by Albert Good. Building plans were exchanged from park to park and resulted in a statewide common architectural theme with local variations of material in the Rustic Architectural Style.

On the other hand, the nine cultural landscapes are distinctive outgrowths of the geographical province in which each park is created. The character giving features as well as the recreational amenities developed in each park are uniquely derived from the natural environment.

Nationally prominent landscape architects had a role in initiating the planning and development of Florida’s New Deal era state parks, including the Olmsted Brothers, John Nolen & Associates, and Albert Davis Taylor.


David Driapsa, FASLA, is the principal of David J Driapsa Landscape Architecture of Naples, Florida, from where he is a consultant working on an array of projects nationwide. David led the national expansion of the Historic American Landscapes Survey for ASLA in its partnership with the National Park Service and Library of Congress; he founded and continues to spearhead the HALS program in Florida.

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