The Look of Nature: Designing Texas State Parks During the Great Depression

The Overview:

Built in conjunction with the Historical Sites Program of Texas Parks & Wildlife, the website includes in-depth online archival resources for this historic topic.

The Website:

Featuring original source materials drawn from the Texas archives, this website tells the story of how the Civilian Conservation Corps established the foundations of the vibrant Texas state parks system during the 1930s. The original designers of the parks strove to remain close to nature, using native materials and incorporating natural features into their construction. This style later became a basis of what is seen in many National Parks today.

Blueprints, archival footage, historical photographs, and contemporary images complement a website design evoking the era. Flash-based interactive programs—edited from first-person interviews, oral histories, footage, and photographs—introduce visitors to four important chapters of the CCC experience in Texas. These Flash videos feature synchronous closed captioning.

Profiles of all the CCC parks draw upon the database-driven online archive, enabling users to explore the artifacts, buildings, and people of the Texas CCC.  An interactive map lets users see where parks are in proximity to each other and possibly to the user's home, encouraging them to get out and see the parks themselves.

Texas Parks & Wildlife, 2009

Gold Wilder Award for Design, Texas Association of Museums, 2009