In celebration of its centennial in 2016, the National Park Service has teamed up with the Van Alen Institute to launch National Parks Now, a competition that seeks design strategies for a more modernized National Parks experience. Open to multidisciplinary teams of young professionals, the competition highlights four parks in the Northeast Region: the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park (Paterson, NJ), a historic birthplace of American textile manufacturing; Sagamore Hill National Historic Site (Oyster Bay, NY), the estate of President Theodore Roosevelt; Steamtown National Historic Site (Scranton, PA), one of the world’s most important monuments to the steam locomotive; and the Weir Farm National Historic Site (Ridgefield, CT), the summer estate of the artist Julian Alden Weir. Four teams—one for each park site—will be selected to receive a $15,000 stipend each to participate in a six-month, collaborative research and design process that explores the themes of region, engagement, narrative, and place. At the conclusion of this phase, one team will be selected to receive an additional $10,000 to create a prototype for one of their strategies, which will be implemented at their site in summer of 2015.
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