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Identification:

Preferred Structure Name:
Motor Roads - Guardwalls and Earthen Berms
Structure Number:
60115-007
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:
751877
 
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.

Large stones known as guardwalls were placed along the motor roads to better define the edges and serve as a guardrail. Using "stone guardwalls" followed a practice used for local roads before the development of the historic motor road system; it was also a unique reminder of Rockefeller's involvement, who used such guardwalls on the carriage road system at his boyhood home, so much so that locally they became known as "Rockefeller's teeth". The style of the guardwall stones varied from one motor road segment to another. The earlier motor roads made use of angular-shaped stones; rectilinear-shaped stones were first used on Otter Cliffs Road in 1938, which detail evolved into the more rigidly rectilinear quarried blocks installed on Kebo Mountain Road. Another guardwall style was a low earthen berm on the edge of the shoulder. Planted with grass, the berms were primarily used along Otter Cove Causeway and Blackwoods 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
 
Function and Use:

Primary Historic Function:
Enclosure/Exclosure
Primary Current Use:
Enclosure/Exclosure
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
Stone
2. 
Superstructure
Earth
Short Physical Description:
Currently there are 118 guardwalls with angular ledge stones and 52 guardwalls with rectilinear quarried stones; some stones need to be replaced or reset. There are 6 earthen berms (2,202 linear feet) along the motor road system, maintained with grass cover.