Eleanor Rochman


Rewriting Site: Archiving Histories through Landscape Design

Advised by Emily Wettstein

In 1892, a wealthy estate owner built a grand colonial-era cottage on 310 acres purchased for that purpose in the Berkshire hills of Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The site became the original home for Tanglewood Music Festival in the roaring 1920s. In the 1950s, it served as a liberal arts institution attended by Arlo Guthrie. Most recently, the site was used as the grounds of a cult educational facility, since decommissioned. Today, the site awaits transformation as its materials disintegrate and its vegetation grows, but as a thick, layered palimpsest, it continues to write itself semiotically and materially. Much like the site, its dwellers write and rewrite their own narrative of personal histories in relation to their physical environment. This thesis processes landscape linguistically by translating and rewriting the site’s textual narratives into a healing garden that serves to archive the ground’s histories while encouraging its visitors to do the same. 

Eleanor Rochman, MLA I. Ten small sketches, black on white background.