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LSS240:2015 Student Guide: Course Research Archive

Created by students in LSS240 - Spring 2015

Past Work as a Resource to Explore and Build-Upon

This part of the Student Perspectives is the beginning of an important and evolving archive of student work related to cultural landscape interpretation. It is our intent that this page will grow into a local site interpretation resource for future classes to explore and build-upon.  Many of these sites are within walking distance from campus, and seeing them in person by doing a little field-work is an invaluable form of research that everyone should give a try!

Google Maps Widget

Take some time to use Google Maps to explore various sites that have been investigated by previous students in the course. Try seeing what kinds of different things you notice using Google Maps View versus Satellite View or Google Street View. The three view provide different kinds of information based on the degree of abstraction or detail that characterizes them! They can be a useful research tool to accompany your in-the field investigations and academic research.

How Have Past Students of LSS 240 Interpreted Themes in Significant Local Sites? (2015)

Theme : Site

The Railroad : Norwottuck Rail Trail

Arts and Music : The Academy of Music

Cemeteries: Bridge Street Cemetery

Religion : St. Mary's of the Assumption

Silk Production : Mulberry Trees, Florence

Nashwaak Historic District, Easthampton

Landscape Painting: The Oxbow By Thomas Cole

Colonial Revival Architecture : Elm Street Historic District

Agriculture: Northampton Meadowlands (Conz Street / Mill River Greenway Initiative)

How Have Past Student of LSS 240 Interpreted Themes in Significant Local Site? (2016)

Zarah Ferrari '18 (Art History Major, Landscape Studies Minor)

Topic: Downtown Northampton

Summary:Downtown Northampton serves not only as a cultural landscape unique to lesbians, but one that contributes to larger narratives of how the LGBTQ community has historically gained power through space.


Julia Franchi '18 (Environmental Science & Policy & Art History Major)

Title: The Red Lion Diner

Summary: My paper advocates for adequate preservation of the “Red Lion Diner” by commemorating its past influence on the Northampton community, and by examining the defining role of diners in US culture.


Laura Krok-Horton '17 (Architecture Major, Landscape Studies Minor)

Title: The Remembrance of Yesterday When Looking at Tomorrow: The Sojourner Truth Memorial Park 

Summary: My paper explores the use of public art to highlight the history that occurred in the area at the Sojourner Truth Memorial Park in Florence, MA.


Laura Rosenbauer '18 (Engineering Major)

Title: The Story of the Northampton Rail Trail                              

Summary: My paper focused on the evolution of local Northampton railroads into multi-use paths, and the ways in which community members interact with shared spaces such as these.


Katherine Whitaker '17J (Biology Major)

Title:Telling Stories Using Place: How Cemetery Design Influences Local History

Summary:Cemeteries and burial grounds are fundamental public spaces that provide important information about a community’s cultural heritage. These landscapes are multi-purpose; they provide an “outdoor museum” to the public as well as commemorate the lives of those that played a role in the establishment of local communities.  The ability for the public to easily access and interact with these spaces is pivotal. So the question must be asked:  How does cemetery design influence the public’s ability to engage with the past?  The St. Mary Cemetery in Northampton, Massachusetts provides an example of how a simply designed, non-gated cemetery fosters active community engagement with local history. 

Digital Project (2016)

Kat Lyons '16 (Environmental Science & Policy Major, Government Minor)

Title: Reinterpreting the Landscape of the Pioneer Valley


Bethany Aban '16 (Architectural Studies Major)

Title: Redefining and Preserving Spacial Attributes of Holyoke, MA


Image Gallery

Image Gallery Citations

Bridge Street Cemetery: Jessica Robinson

Academy of Music: "ACADEMY OF MUSIC | Entertainment | Projects | Thomas Douglas Architects - Architectural Design in Western Massachusetts and Beyond." ACADEMY OF MUSIC | Entertainment | Projects | Thomas Douglas Architects - Architectural Design in Western Massachusetts and Beyond. Web. 4 May 2015. <>.

The Railroad : Phelan, John. "File:Norwottuck Rail Trail Bridge, Northampton MA.jpg." Wikimedia Commons. 21 July 2007. Web. 4 May 2015. <,_Northampton_MA.jpg>.

St. Mary's of the Assumption:

Mulberry Trees: Red Mulberry - Leaves. Digital image. Taste of the Wild. Brandeis University, n.d. Web. 5 May 2015.

Landscape Painting: Thomas Cole, View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm – The Oxbow, 1836. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Russell Sage, 1908.

Colonial Revival Architecture: "123 Elm St Northampton MA 2014" by WindingRoad - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons <>

Northampton Meadowlands: The Mill River Greenway Initiative. Northampton Mill River Tour. N.p.: Mill River Greenway Initiative, n.d. Print.