Why is the Village of Pinehurst Important? Pinehurst was and is:
- A convalescent resort built for New Englanders in Moore County by American Soda Fountain Company magnate James W. Tufts;
- A New-England-style village and recreational resort, planned and landscaped by landscape architecture pioneers Fredrick Law Olmsted and Warren H. Manning, that would court those in want of a salubrious lifestyle in a restorative climate, rather than the already infirm;
- Later, a renowned golf resort with courses designed by the brilliant Donald James Ross;
- In the late Twentieth Century, a North Carolinian municipality, no longer under private ownership, and a National Historic Landmark.
Designated as a National Historic Landmark because “...as a remarkably intact recreational resort [Pinehurst] reflects the genius of the Tufts family of Boston, the designers [Olmstead and Manning], and Donald James Ross who designed and refined the resort's golf courses.” Pinehurst would become the model for subsequent recreational resorts, offering a retreat from the hustle, bustle, and grim of booming, industrializing cities. Its curvilinear grid is an Olmsted hallmark.
The Carolina, Pinehurst's Flagship Resort
As Pinehurst's population burgeoned, due in part to the expansion of nearby Fort Bragg and Pope Air Field, its municipal government approved controversial plans, risking Pinehurst's NHL designation:
- The 2008 construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Carolina Vista and Cherokee Rd. (Midland Rd.) disrupted the curvilinear grid designed by Olmsted;
- While initially intended to be an open green space, the Village Green became an untamed, wooded area because Manning found the soil to be sandy and generally poor. Pinehurst recently razed the Village Green. Of note, Olmsted preferred untamed green spaces to manicured lawns; his favorite Central Park feature was The Ramble;
- To increase the number of parking spaces near restaurants and shops, Pinehurst plans to construct a garage behind the Holly Inn. Although the area is currently a lot, a garage is inconsistent with the historic character of the village, that is, a walkable, mixed-use community.
The Roundabout, as Seen from The Carolina
Two U.S. opens (tournaments in golf) will be held in Pinehurst in 2014, and its population has not yet reached a plateau. How should Pinehurst, and places like it, balance preservation and growth? Is Pinehurst preserved or at risk? How should planners and preservationists define these terms? Comment here or on Twitter!
Credits: Photographs by Sunny Menozzi. Data cited through links.