National Geographic : 1958 May
National Geographic Photographer J. Baylor Roberts San Francisco Designers Shape New Buildings for Olympic National Park By 1966 the Park Service expects to play host to 80 to 100 million people a year. To accommodate the flood while preserving the natural beauty of its show places, the service two years ago undertook Mission 66. This 10-year, $800,000,000 project aims at increased visitor facilities, extended trails and roads, and enlarged park staffs. These experts, scanning blueprints for Olympic park, Washington, work in the service's Western Design Office. Horace Albright, who still serves on the Park Service's advisory board, was a member of the party. Last summer, while I was in Sequoia National Park attending a meeting of the board, Horace proposed to show me the spot where Mather and Grosvenor, scorning tents, pitched their bedrolls on the forest floor beneath a giant tree and likely talked half the night about the proposed Park Service. We never did find it. At least we knew that the scene was the Giant Forest. Money con tributed by the National Geographic Society helped the Park Service acquire this mag nificent grove of ancient sequoias. Recently The Society gave us Russell Cave in Alabama as a national monument. Here the Smithsonian Institution excavated Indian campfire ashes 9,000 years old.* It is one of the few properties in the park system that memorialize North American man from the time of his arrival here from Asia, between 15,000 and 37,000 years ago, and the time he built villages in the Southwest, about the beginning of the Christian Era. In 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt consolidated under our care a whole host of na tional monuments, military parks, memorials, and cemeteries previously administered by 614 the War Department and the Department of Agriculture. Two years later Congress passed legislation authorizing the establishment of National Historic Sites, and 23 areas have now been so designated by Secretaries of the Interior. Among the responsibilities we assumed in the thirties was the park system of Washing ton, D. C. It contains 792 pieces of property, including the Washington Monument (page 661), the Lincoln Memorial, Rock Creek Park, parts of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and so many statues I've lost count. We have the White House on our books, too. We don't tell the First Lady how to run her household, of course, but we keep the gardens neat and the lawns mowed. Today the Park Service looks after 24 mil lion acres of land in 181 units scattered through mainland United States, Alaska, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands. Yellowstone was the first park; Russell Cave is the newest. Katmai National Monument, * See, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE: "National Geographic Society Presents Russell Cave to the American People," by Melville Bell Grosvenor, and "Russell Cave: New Light on Stone Age Life," by Carl F. Miller, both March, 1958; and "Life 8,000 Years Ago Uncovered in an Alabama Cave," by Carl F. Miller, October, 1956.