Pennsylvania German Cultural Center of Kutztown University

Kutztown University has recently updated its overall Campus Master Plan and through that process indentified the need to undertake a special master plan for an area of the campus that is set aside as an outdoor museum known as the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center (Heritage Center). The mission of the Heritage Center at Kutztown University is to preserve and educate visitors about Pennsylvania German culture and history. This mission is achieved by preservation efforts and educational programming, including folklife festivals, lectures, and seminars about the Pennsylvania German culture. The Heritage Center is part of the educational programming at Kutztown University as well as a public resource that is available for school and public tours throughout the year.

The site of the Heritage Center is comprised of approximately 20 acres and is home to several buildings associated with Pennsylvania German settlers, including a complete 18th Century farm complex with a stone farmhouse, bank barn, a one room school house, several outbuildings, two log cabins and extensive tools and equipment artifacts. The Heritage Center also maintains a collection of disassembled historic structures it wishes to re-erect on the site, including a large bank barn for a library, a toll house, and potentially a double span covered bridge.

SGA has been commissioned by the University to address these objectives through the development of a Feasibility Study and Master Plan. Its purpose is to formalize the mission and goals of the Heritage Center within the University and then to preserve and enhance the historic landscapes, facilities and collections based on sound interpretative methodologies.

Our assignment is to conduct a study of the entire 20 acres and to prepare a Master Plan that respects the property’s historic significance, makes improvements based on scholarly justified research while embracing the kinds of change necessary to advance the vision of the University and the Heritage Center, ultimately making it more accessible and more attractive to a larger and more diverse audience.

Existing Vehicular and Pedestrian Circulation Analysis

Existing Hydrology and Surface Runoff Analysis

Visitor Interpretation Experience

Planting Buffers and View Shed Management Synthesis