Final Work Journal

Final Work Journal

4.20.2010-I still can’t believe that this will be my final work journal. The semester flew by, I feel as if I’m just fully developing my ideas and the semester is already over. I spent Tuesday preparing for my two upcoming interviews with Elizabeth White and Tom Page on Wednesday and Thursday. I knew these interviews could be really key to my project, so I spent a lot of time researching my interviewees and coming up with pretty project specific questions.

4.21.2010-Interviewed Elizabeth White, a lawyer who represents developers, landowners, and community associations, among others. We met in her office, the LeClairRyan building in Newtown. Mrs. White was extremely helpful as she answered all of my questions and was very open to giving me the names of other people to speak with. She made me feel comfortable immediately, as Mrs. White opened the interview by calling her mother on speakerphone to ask who developed the neighborhood she grew up in. Mrs. White has lived in Williamsburg since she was ten years old, and has been a resident of Kingsmill, Governor’s Land, and Ford’s Colony.  Mrs. White showed me many documents in her office, the most interesting being the detailed Kingsmill Master Plan from the 1960s. She was the perfect opening for my interview with Tom Page.

4.22.2010-Interviewed Tom Page, the developer of Stonehouse. Stonehouse is a neighborhood located about twenty minutes from William and Mary, off 64 West. The neighborhood is going to be huge, bigger than Williamsburg. Page’s interview was fascinating, as it was the first time I was able to speak with a developer. When I first came up with my topic, I thought I would want to only focus on the idea of a gated community. As my project has progressed, I’ve found that I’m really interested in the development aspect of neighborhoods. Elizabeth White called the process of developing a neighborhood a “social experiment”. Throughout our interview, Tom Page continued to reference his job as marketing a lifestyle. So much goes into developing a neighborhood, it is pretty insane. Basically, Tom Page has a vision and sets the standards for the neighborhoods. He then hires contracters, topographers, marketing people, etc, to make his ideas come to life. Page is extremely smart, as he went to school for civil engineering and then got his MBA in business to learn the marketing side of developing neighborhoods. His ideas on creating a vision and finding suitable land to develop will be a great compliment to my project.

4.24.2010-Spent a few hours in Swem looking at past Virginia Gazettes on microfilm. At first I tried to scan through the years that Kingsmill, Goveror’s Land, and Ford’s Colony were built to see what articles were written. That idea didn’t work quite as well as I hoped, so I just started scanning through random years. I found some really cool articles and got a good feel for what it meant to be a resident of the area. A lot of attention was paid to re zoning and development.

4.25.2010-Definitely want to interview at least one more person this week. My goal is Drew Mulhare, who I am eagerly awaiting to hear back from. Also left a message with Sarah’s friends, residents of Ford’s Colony.

4.26.10-Tried to get in contact with Mr. Mulhare, hope to speak with him this week. Also e-mailed some contacts that Elizabeth White recommended. Went over to Kingsmill and picked up the latest newsletters to see


About

The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

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