Suzanne Turner Associates

Shadows on the Teche

This property in the small south Louisiana town of New Iberia, is one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s first properties to undertake a plan addressing the historic landscape. The first phase of the project was a contract with Suzanne Turner to serve as landscape historian, reviewing over 17,000 archival documents housed in the LSU Special Collections Library, to tease out the most important facts that would be used as supporting background for the project’s second phase. For Phase Two, Jon Emerson and Associates of Baton Rouge, along with Diana Balmori of New Haven, CN, were selected to use Turner’s extensive findings to develop a set of guidelines and a master plan for the interpretation and future treatment of the site.

The project was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, and resulted in a management plan for the gardens closely aligned with the documentary evidence related to the tenure of Weeks Hall, the last family member to live in the home and the person responsible for its donation to the National Trust. Hall recorded his garden in photographs and in a preservation and management notebook, and these documents were invaluable guides for the garden’s treatment and long-term preservation. Turner served as a member of the design team as well, working through a series of charettes and committee meetings to develop the final plan which has now been implemented.