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

By John Feinberg


Housing in the parks prior to Mission 66 was not a source of uniform pride for the agency. Housing ranged from tents to exquisitely executed stone masonry houses, but the vast majority of employees resided in substandard units that lacked both the basic comforts and modern amenities that post war America had come to expect. The housing design programming effort was particularly notable for including significant input from residents of park service housing, organized and led by residents and staff. The first house designs, largely the work of John Cabot, utilized modernist materials and concepts, were sensitive to the local climatic conditions, and practiced respect for the geomorphology in site planning. Discussed examples were executed at several parks, such as Zion (early), Lake Mead (adapted to local climate), Volcanoes (regional style), and Glacier (early and Standard). The early designs of Cabot became his basis of the Standard Plans, with just a few models to serve all park locations. Later amended, the standard models were intended to provide the comforts and amenities that had become the standards of post war America while arguably not providing the accustomed sensitivity to local climatic conditions.


John Feinberg of the Collaborative inc in Boulder Colorado is the principal-in-charge of major projects concentrated in the areas of historic preservation, architecture, historic architecture, and planning. Mr. Feinberg is experienced in the areas of building and structure preservation, conservation, and rehabilitation; structure condition assessments; strategic planning; community planning; and land use planning.

Ninety-five percent of Mr. Feinberg’s projects have been for buildings and sites listed on the National Register. Eighty-five percent of these projects have been for federal, state, and local governments, including numerous projects for the National Park Service.  NPS work has included National Register nominations, historic structure reports, and condition assessments for parks across the country.

National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]
Phone: (318) 356-7444
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