Arthur C. Pillsbury Foundation

Protecting and Preserving All Life -- By Extending Human Vision

Mark Roy Daniels

It is likely that his performance during his interview caused questions to be raised regarding his involvement with the campaign to start the National Parks Service.  Daniels was a talented civil engineer, his degree from UB Berkeley, who was deeply involved in designing housing made possible by the taking of Hetch Hetchy by San Francisco monied interests.  He defined himself as a practical idealist.   

Interview - October 2, 1915 Oakland Tribune



From the Wiki  Mark Roy Daniels (1881-1952) was an architect, landscape architect, civil engineer, and city planner active in California. He was known for creating plans that incorporated existing natural features in order to preserve a sense of local character. He worked on master plans for the development of neighborhoods in San Francisco and the East Bay, on the Monterey Peninsula, in Los Angeles, and elsewhere. In the years immediately preceding the formation of the National Park System, he was briefly the general superintendent and landscape engineer for the entire system of national parks.

In 1914, Daniels took up the post of landscape engineer for Yosemite National Park, where the existing buildings were in poor condition and there were issues with sanitation and water supply.[1] He was tasked with developing a "comprehensive general plan for the development of the floor of the Yosemite Valley".[7] Two months later, he was appointed general superintendent and landscape engineer of all the national parks.[7][8] He spent the summers of 1914 and 1915 touring parks in the system to understand their problems but kept his private practice going during the winters.[9] It proved an impossible job, not solely because he was working at it part-time, but because, as he himself pointed out, "it is not humanly possible" for one man to combine the very different duties of general superintendent and landscape engineer for the national parks.[7]

These difficulties were exacerbated by struggles with other administrators over centralization of planning, with the result that Daniels was pushed to resign after only a year and a half.[1][7][9] During his brief tenure, he designed the first uniforms for civilian park rangers and (in 1915) offered the first comprehensive statement of principles for the establishment and management of national parks.[7] In addition, foreseeing a major expansion of visitors to national parks, he drew up plans for "park villages" in such high-profile parks as Yosemite, Glacier National Park, and Mount Rainier National Park. None of these were carried out in their original form — though elements were incorporated into later plans — but as in all his other design work, Daniels stressed the importance of taking the local topography and environment into account so as to create visual congruity with the surrounding landscape.[7]

Mark Roy Daniels
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