Gazing at Window Rock: The Landscape Legacy of the New Deal in the Capital of the Navajo Nation


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


Department of Landscape Architecture


This dissertation examines the ways in which cultural differences have been inscribed upon the landscape of Window Rock, Arizona, the planned community established in 1934 by the Office of Indian Affairs to function as the capital of the Navajo Nation. The project discusses the administrative control of the United States government in the placement and design of buildings, roads, and open spaces throughout the site and examines Navajo resistance to, or accommodation of, that authority, especially as the city has been adapted and expanded to meet the changing needs of the Navajo people, federal employees, and tourists. This study therefore investigates the tension that exists between modern American and indigenous cultural landscape forms, exploring the ways in which Navajos have negotiated the influence of multiple cultures in their homeland.