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Good Will-Hinckley: Building a Landscape

View north from the Prescott Building, Fairfield, ca. 1920
View north from the Prescott Building, Fairfield, ca. 1920Item Contributed by
L.C. Bates Museum / Good Will-Hinckley Homes

Text by Steve Lemieux
L.C. Bates Museum Educator

Images from L.C. Bates Museum/Good Will-Hinckley Homes

The legacy of landscape design on the Good Will-Hinckley campus is truly notable and was based on diverse ideas that were combined to make a unique environment for children.

George Walter Hinckley (1853-1950), the founder of Good Will, felt that the campus landscape provided a unique opportunity to influence the growth of children. As a social reformer, amature historian and avid naturalist Hinckley worked to create a home-like atmosphere for the orphaned children living at Good Will.

As the Good Will-Hinckley campus grew and evolved a village atmosphere was created. This marked a departure from other models of child care, which were based around an institutional setting.

Faculty Row, Fairfield, ca. 1935
Faculty Row, Fairfield, ca. 1935Item Contributed by
L.C. Bates Museum / Good Will-Hinckley Homes

Working with G.W. Hinckley's vision for child care, Carl Rust Parker (1882-1966) designed and supported the creation of the home-like landscape of Good Will-Hinckley. Parker began working for the Olmsted Bros. in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1901. While with Olmsted Bros., he served as a planting designer, draftsman and construction supervisor.

In 1910 Parker left Olmsted Bros. to start his own landscape design business in Portland. While self-employed in Maine, Parker worked on the Village Green in Yarmouth, Good Will-Hinckley in Fairfield, Mount Kineo House on Moosehead Lake and the grounds of the John S. Hyde house in Bath, among other projects.

During World War I Parker left for Washington D.C., after which he returned to Olmsted Bros. in Brookline. While with Olmsted Bros. Parker worked on several major projects in Maine including Colby College, the University of Maine, Capitol Park, the Maine State House and the grounds of the Governor's Mansion. During this time he also returned to Good Will, playing a major role in the development of the campus. Carl Rust Parker became a partner of the Olmsted Brothers in 1950, and remained with the firm until his retirement in 1961.