Agricultural and Architectural History Header
Agricultural and Architectural History

Agricultural and Architectural History

The aesthetic and function of UMass Amherst has changed dramatically since its establishment as a land-grant college in 1863. Students from the department of landscape architecture and regional planning (LARP) examine these changes, and what they mean for campus architecture, landscapes, and eco-friendly buildings.

The history of UMass is deeply rooted in the geologic history of the Connecticut River Valley. The valley’s lush farmland owes its fertility to the sedimentary deposits left by Glacial Lake Hitchcock, an ancient lake thought to have formed almost 20,000 years ago that stretched from central Connecticut to northern Vermont.

Over time the lake receded, providing the earliest inhabitants with an area full of natural resources.

MacDonald was one of several faculty and staff interviewed for the documentary by five sustainable community development majors, Grace Alves, Olivia Boyce, Jake Butler, Hailey McQuaid and Justin Risley, who has a double major in journalism.

The video originates from the one-credit honors seminar SustComm 140 taught by Patricia McGirr, associate professor and bachelors of landscape architecture program director.

McGirr and students prepared themselves for pre-production by making trips to the W.E.B. Du Bois Library to explore archival material, select buildings to focus on, and determine storyboards to set the narrative.

Risley directed and edited the film; and Risley, Alves, Boyce, Butler and McQuaid all had a hand in cinematography, research, interviews and pre- and post-production.