Paul Kelsch, Ph.D., ASLA
Associate Professor

B.Arch., University of Notre Dame

MLA, University of Michigan

Ph.D., Royal Holloway College, Univ. of London

B.Arch., University of Notre Dame

MLA, University of Michigan

Ph.D., Royal Holloway College, Univ. of London

Washington Alexandria Architecture Center
1001 Prince Street
Alexandria VA 22314
pkelsch@vt.edu
+1.703.566.6701
pkelsch@vt.edu

Paul Kelsch is an Associate Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center. He has professional degrees in Architecture and Landscape Architecture and a Ph.D. in Cultural Geography. His research focuses on the cultural construction of nature and its expression in designed landscapes, specifically looking at the interrelationships between ecological understandings of nature and discourses of nature grounded in landscape history, art, experience, and social theory. These issues come to bear especially in urban forestry projects and community relationships with nature. This work has been presented at various conferences and published as a book chapter, in journal articles, and in conference proceedings.

Coursework includes design studios, site construction, and history/theory seminars focused on the historical roots of contemporary understandings and expressions of nature.

He has been involved in an investigation of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, comparing historical plans with current conditions to determine the degree of historical integrity of the Parkway. Management recommendations based on this historical analysis will allow the Parkway to evolve yet retain much of its original intention as a memorial highway.

research areas

  • Cultivating Nature and Nation in the Potomac River Landscape
  • Cultural Landscape Histories of the George Washington Memorial Parkway
  • Agroforestry in the Springsbury Arboretum at Casey Tree Farm

publications

  • “Of Muddy Waters and Presidential Memorials: Erosion, Sedimentation in the Potomac River Watershed,” Landscape Research Record, No. 4, 2016, Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture.
  • “Personalizing a Parkway: Women’s Memorial Groves along the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway,” Landscape Research Record, No. 2, 2014, Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture.
  • “Topographies of Amusement: The Evolving Terrain of Glen Echo Park, Maryland,” Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes. (London and Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis Group, Ltd.), 2013.
  • “Cultivating Modernity, History and Nature: The Planting Design for the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway,” Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes. London and Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis Group, Ltd., 2013.)
  • “Putting the History in Natural History: Buster Simpson’s Host Analog and Alan Sonfist’s Time Landscape,” Visual and Historical Geographies: Essays in Honour of Denis Cosgrove, Historical Geography Research Series, no 42. (London: Historical Geography Research Group, Royal Geographic Society, December 2010.)