Historic research, analysis and documentation of existing conditions precedes recommendations and guidelines.
Vikingsholm, Emerald Bay State Park, Lake Tahoe
Lora J. Knight finished construction in 1929. Native plants were used extensively. Ms. Gracyk prepared analysis and recommendations, including appropriate plant selections and plant care guidelines, in 2015. Here is a link to the park: Vikingsholm.
Pine Lodge, Ed Z'berg Sugar Pine Point State Park, Lake Tahoe
Built in 1911 as a summer home on the shore of Lake Tahoe for Isaias and Esther Hellman and their family. The house museum is also known as the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion. Ms. Gracyk prepared analysis and recommendations, including appropriate plant selections and plant care guidelines, in 2016. Here is a link to the park: Hellman - Ehrman Mansion.
North Bloomfield, Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park
For this Gold Rush era town located in Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, Janet wrote a history and prepared a modified Cultural Landscapes Report, including recommendations. As a separate project, Janet brought in heritage fruit tree specialists who documented the many historic fruit and nut trees on the property. Read more about the park here.
Fischer Hanlon House, Benicia Capitol State Park, California
The Fischer Hanlon House is a house museum. Last occupied by the Hanlon sisters, it featured a patio surrounded by a lush garden. Ms. Gracyk researched the history of the property and prepared a planting plan and treatment recommendations.
Columbia State Historic Park, California
As part of a team, subconsultant to Garavaglia Architecture, Inc., Ms. Gracyk prepared analysis and recommendations for the landscape treatment for this Gold Rush era town. The park website is here: Columbia State Historic Park.
Fort Mason, Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Fort Mason retains many historic plants and historic characteristics and features. In 2010 Ms. Gracyk was lead on a project to document a section of the park not open to the public, called "The Victorian Garden." She worked with Steven J. Lafranchi and Associates, Inc. and Ted Kipping of Tree Shapers, Inc. Goodscapes managed clearing of the overgrown garden under Janet's guidance. Janet and Ted completed extensive documentation and mapping of extant plants at Fort Mason, and also prepared plant maintenance recommendations. Read more about Fort Mason and Golden Gate National Recreation Area here.
Cultural Resources Projects
Pond Farm Pottery, Austin Creek State Recreation Area
Marguerite Wildenhain was a potter, an artist and a writer. She was 46 years old, fleeing Nazi threats, when she came to Guerneville, a small village in Northern California. She was there to participate in Pond Farm Workshops, an experimental school established by Gordon and Jane Herr. Begun in 1949, the school disintegrated in 1952, following Jane's death. Marguerite acquired part of the property and established Pond Farm Pottery.
Already established in Germany as a premier ceramicist, trained at the Bauhaus, Marguerite became part of a small group of potters who altered the course of ceramics in the United States.
Ms. Gracyk wrote a National Register nomination for California State Parks, and the property was determined to have a national level of significance.
Paraiso Hot Springs
As subconsultant to Painter Preservation & Planning, Ms. Gracyk assisted in preparation of a Cultural Landscapes Report on the historic hot springs; the report was prepared as mitigation.
Sonoma Developmental Center
With Painter Preservation, Ms. Gracyk documented the landscape at the Sonoma Developmental Center, for Sonoma County. The Property, located in Eldridge in the Sonoma Valley, was established in 1891 and retains many of its original characteristics and features. The Center is scheduled to be closed as a care facility in 2018, and future uses are uncertain.
Parks of Petaluma
Extensive research into the development of parks in Petaluma, California, providing a window into one town's approach to the development and use of its open spaces.
Bufano Peace Statue Monument, Timber Cove
Also called "The Expanding Universe," the 93 foot tall sculpture was designed by Beniamino Bufano in 1962. It was completed in 1969 when supporters of Bufano installed the head as a surprise to the sculptor; reportedly, they installed it backwards, not understanding Bufano's intent that it face across the ocean. Ms. Gracyk prepared a Primary Record Form for California Parks and Recreation on the sculpture in 2009.
Rule Ranch, Sonoma County
For the Sonoma Land Trust, Ms. Gracyk assisted Painter Preservation & Planning in the history and documentation of the property. Few remnants remained, and the property is now open to the public for hiking, and known as Jenner Headlands.
Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS)
The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) is a documentation program overseen by the Department of the Interior, in consultation with the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Documentation may consist of a short format report, or include measured and interpretive drawings, historical reports, and large-format photographs. Documentation is stored at the Library of Congress.
HALS Photograph from the Library of Congress. Ms. Gracyk participated in the meticulous documentation of the White House landscape in 2007.
Sunset Magazine's Menlo Park headquarters were documented for HALS in 2015 by HALSncc members; Ms. Gracyk was a lead on the documentation, which was granted an award in 2015. Sunset has since moved its headquarters to Oakland. ASLA published an article by Janet on the documentation project: https://thefield.asla.org/2016/03/01/the-sunset-headquarters-landscape/
TrainTown, Sonoma, CA
For the 2010 national HALS competition on theme parks, Ms. Gracyk documented TrainTown Railroad. The creator, Mr. Stanley Frank, began constructing TrainTown in 1958. He was deeply influenced by Japanese garden design and he employed many of the principles common to Japanese gardens to create the sense that the landscape is much larger than its actual size, compressing scenic elements into a small area. Mr. Frank sculpted the flat lot extensively to create hillsides, creeks and ponds on the grounds and he planted the property with many trees. Over a space of ten years Mr. Frank designed and installed the landscape to include small town scenes and the structures to house the trains. All of the trains, train cars and trestle bridges were constructed at one-quarter scale. The park opened to the public in the fall of 1968 and remains popular. The documentation won an award.
Pee Wee Golf, Guerneville, CA
Pee Wee Golf, in Guerneville, is considered to be the birthplace of miniature golf courses that included fantastical figures; a genre sometimes known as "Goofy Golf." This amusement park was created by Bill Koplin, Sr., in 1948. He and his son built similar parks elsewhere in California, and Bill's brother, Lee Koplin, constructed similar parks in Florida and Mississippi. This park was documented in 2010 for the HALS theme park challenge.
Doyle Drive, Presidio of San Francisco National Park
In 2009, PGAdesign, Oakland, CA, was assigned the task of creating measured drawings of the landscape associated with Doyle Drive for the Historic American Landscapes Survey, prior to the extensive revisions to the road and landscape around the drive. Ms. Gracyk enjoyed being a member of that team. Represented is a portion of the work she produced.
Contemporary gardens are designed to fit their environment, solve practical problems, and result in beautiful yet practical landscapes.
Janet received her master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, and has spent more than twenty years studying, working with and shaping landscapes. Her early training in art and design with jobs in nurseries, with a landscape design-build company, and at landscape architecture and engineering firms gave her unique design and construction experience that continues to inform her work. As a licensed landscape architect, her emphasis has been on site sensitive solutions that achieve harmony and balance while meeting the needs and goals of her clients, within a framework of sustainability.
From conceptual sketches to permit documents, Janet enjoys a collaborative relationship with clients, contractors, consultants, and suppliers.