Documenting the American South

The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway

Oral History Interview with Robert Hope, November 4, 2000

Transcript (33 p.) PDF
Complete Audio File (MP3 format) Unavailable
Abstract Robert Hope speaks with Professor Mary Myers of North Carolina State University’s Department of Landscape Architecture regarding the stylistic, technical, and environmental aspects of his work as a landscape architect for the Blue Ridge Parkway project. Myers devotes part of this interview to Hope’s educational background and experience in landscape architecture, combined with questions regarding Hope’s thoughts on the crossover between landscape architecture and fine arts and design.

Hope primarily discusses his work as a landscape architect on the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Roanoke River Parkway from 1956-1995 and the collaborative efforts of himself and other workers in parkway design and construction. Topics of discussion include the Grandfather Mountain controversy; design challenges of the Linn Cove Viaduct; sensitivity of parkway workers toward wetlands, forestland, and animal habitats; the importance of land use maps and geological surveys during parkway planning and construction; Hope’s support of the Georgia Extension; and the use of native plant species in parkways landscape design. Hope also describes the Federal Highway Administration's involvement with the National Park Service and his positive experience working with these organizations. The interview concludes with Hope’s opinions on current parkway management and reflections upon the collaborative and amicable efforts of workers in parkway design implementation.
Date November 4, 2000
Interviewee Hope, Robert
Interviewee occupation Landscape architect
Interviewee DOB April 11, 1930
Interviewer Myers, Mary
Subject Land use surveys
Landscape architects