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Identification:

Preferred Structure Name:
Motor Roads - Shoulders and Embankments
Structure Number:
60115-005
Other Structure Name(s):
 
Other Structure Name(s)
No records.
Park:
Acadia National Park
Historic District:
 
Historic District
No records.
Structure State:
Maine
Structure County:
Hancock
Region:
Northeast
Cluster:
New England
Administrative Unit:
Acadia National Park
LCS ID:
751849
 
Historical Significance:

National Register Status:
Determined Eligible - SHPO
National Register Date:
09/18/2008
National Historic Landmark?:
No
Significance Level:
Contributing
Short Significance Description:
Part of Motor Road System that is nationally significant under Criterion A for conservation, recreation and transportation, Criterion B for association with John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and Criterion C for architecture & engineering.
Long Significance Description:
The ACAD Motor Road System is significant under Criterion A for illustrating the NPS system-wide goal of providing public access to national parks while conserving natural beauty, Criterion B as an example of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.’s interest in the construction and beautification of roads in the national parks and his collaboration with the NPS, and Criterion C as including excellent examples of the NPS Rustic Design style. The period of significance for the road system begins in 1922 when Superintendent George B. Dorr submitted a plan to the NPS for the park’s first motor road, and ends in 1958 when the final segment of the system was completed.

Construction of the ACAD Motor Road System was conceived to allow the construction of roads for automobiles in the park while preserving its natural beauty. The system began in 1922 when Superintendent Dorr submitted a plan to NPS Director Stephen Mather for a motor road that ran from Eagle Lake Road and along Eagle Lake and Jordan Pond. Rockefeller contributed much of the vistion, resources, and supervision necessary to accomplish the construction of the Motor Road System, his interest stemming from preventing automobile use of the carriage roads that he was constructing on the island. In 1927 the park developed a Master Plan in which all projects that would be characterized by the emerging NPS Rustic Design style, which created a rugged and frontier-like quality appropriate to a wilderness setting while allowing features to be customized with local materials to fit the setting.

Vegetated shoulders, constructed using equal parts of gravel and soil and seeded with a mixture of grasses, moved stormwater runoff from the traveled way and toward ditches, aesthetically blurred the line between the paved road and the surrounding landscape, and provided a more rustic edge than would a gravel or pavement shoulder. The embankments were graded sections that helped achieve the transition between the edge of the shoulder to the existing grade. Most embankments were constructed much like the shoulders, with a mixture of gravel and dirt and planted with grasses and, in some cases, shrubs and trees. In a few areas, stone embankments were constructed in areas that required more to stabilize the motor road. These embankments were constructed with large angular stones evenly placed across the slope.

Since the historic period, some shoulders have been paved with asphalt to accommodate a bicycle lane, and one sections of loose rubble shoulder was installed on a tight curve on Cadillac Mountain Road.
 
Construction Period:

Construction Period:
Historic
Chronology:
 
Physical Event
Begin Year
Begin Year CE/BCE
End Year
End Year CE/BCE
Designer
Designer Occupation
1. 
Built
1927
CE
1958
CE
NPS
Other
2. 
Altered
1960
CE
2000
CE
NPS
Other
 
Function and Use:

Primary Historic Function:
Erosion Control
Primary Current Use:
Erosion Control
Other Functions or Uses:
 
Other Function(s) or Use(s)
Historic or Current
No records.
 
Physical Description:

Structure Type:
Grounds/Landscape
Material(s):
 
Structural Component(s)
Material(s)
1. 
Superstructure
Earth
2. 
Superstructure
Stone
Short Physical Description:
Vegetated shoulders of various widths; some areas with damaged vegetated cover revealing a bare gravel surface. Vegetated embankments feature a mix of grass, shrubs, and trees; 37 rock embankments with vegetation established between stones.