Posted on Posted in News

2015 News from the OL Studio

Dear Friends & Clients,

We are celebrating our 25th year in business in 2015!

We thank our clients and the community for your support since 1990.

As of January 1, 2015 our design studio has moved to its new location across the hallway in the 1902 Harland B Foster cast iron building in historic downtown Great Barrington. Management of such a project means taking care of the tool box topics, construction timelines, and other measures alongside the physical work itself.

Feel free to stop by say “Hi”!

Visit our WEB page for ideas for your projects and property.

We are thankful for our clients’ trust in our services and their returning to us for design, master planning and construction management. We have striven to provide

‘ Craig OL ‘

Craig Okerstrom-Lang, RLA, ASLA
Okerstrom Lang Ltd
Landscape Architects


Norman Rockwell Museum
Stockbridge, MA
Rockwell Studio Universal Access

The Rockwell Studio sits on the edge of a sloping field that overlooks the Housatonic River with a grand north east view.

It stands today much as it did in Rockwell’s lifetime, complete with easel, brushes, books, and furnishings.

The Landscape Architect worked with the Architect to explore potential exterior access solutions which would provide universal access to the Studio and eliminate the three steps up to the door.

The Design Team proposed a natural approach which raised the entire grade off the eastern side of the Studio so anyone could enter on grade into the Studio.

The final built design is a simple, elegant universal access solution which blends nicely with the Studio and its rural setting while meeting both the Federal ADA and MA AAB specifications.

Okerstrom Lang completed the following services for the project:

  • Concept designs.
  • Cost estimates.
  • Construction Services.
  • Design-build landscape installation.


Archives of the Norman Rockwell Museum

Construction and finished project images by Craig Okerstrom-Lang


Architect: Pamela Sandler Architects

Landscape Architect: Okerstrom Lang Ltd, Landscape Architects

Carpenter: Todd Burdick

Site & Mason Contractor: New England Landscape & Aquatic LLC

Paving Contractor: Williams Paving Inc

Display Garden: OL Ltd design-build







Adams Station Park
Adams, MA

OL Ltd has assisted the Town of Adams since 2002 on a variety of design projects. The latest is quite unique in the entire State of Massachusetts: the first ever combined bike and rail trail which will connect Adams and North Adams along a 5.2 mile route.

The $5.5 million bike and rail trail has been designed by MA DOT Region 1. An initial Phase I trail is going out to bid for a summer 2015 ground breaking.

Situated across the street from the Adams Visitor Center, this former car wash is being converted to the new Adams Station which will be the southern stop for the Berkshire Scenic Railroad which is moving permanently to this location from Lenoxdale, MA. The new rail line will also service commercial businesses along its route including Specialty Minerals.

A new railroad themed plaza will greet visitors to this train stop. Signage, benches, bike racks, signage, et all will have a railroad theme.

This project received a MA PARC grant in late 2013 for Phase I which includes land acquisition, design and construction of the plaza and building improvements.

Okerstrom Lang completed the following services for the project:

  • Notice of Intent with Adams Conservation Commission and MA DEP. The project received an Order of Conditions.
  • Construction Documents and cost estimates.
  • Bid Documents.
  • Bid Services
  • Construction Services

The project was awarded to Burke Construction Inc in September 2014. Site work proceeded rapidly and 90% of the project was completed by mid-November 2014.


All images by Craig Okerstrom-Lang


Landscape Architect: Okerstrom Lang Ltd, Landscape Architects

General Contractor: Burke Construction Inc

Pavers: Unilock

Street Furniture: Keystone





Westfield River Park
Westfield, MA

The City of Westfield is a designated “Gateway City” in Massachusetts and has embarked on a transformation of its “Elm Street Corridor” (which is its Main Street) and has included the rebuilding of the two Great Bridges and a new Downtown Common. Many projects have been built to date.

The Westfield River Park is one of their next major projects. This largely industrial/overhead utility corridor along the south side of the Westfield River sits prominently at the north gateway to the downtown area.

The design project originally began as the “Levee Multi Use Trail”, running along the southern edge of the River on the top of the Corp of Engineers levee.

These other uses and user groups were added to this park design project:

  • The creation of the Whip City Museum in an original horse whip factory at the east entrance to the Park. At one point Westfield was the leading manufacturer of horse and buggy whips in the USA. Visitor parking and access to the Park from the Museum were added.
  • The intersection of the north-south Columbia Greenway Trail at the old railroad bridge crossing over the River at the western edge of this River Park. This will be a bike and walking trail running on the old elevated train line thru the downtown. This trail will eventually connect north to the bike trail in Northampton, MA and future bike path south running into Connecticut. This is being designed by VHB Engineers.
  • The City’s interest in redeveloping a new mixed use neighborhood abutting this Park property to the south called “Whip City District”. An extensive master plan has been created for this new neighborhood by Paul Lukez Architecture.

The Park design is intended to respond to these new uses, users groups and Westfield’s industrial heritage while respecting the Westfield River.

The circular streetscape design motifs found along Elm Street are applied to the new River Park. New features will include shade structures and illumination echoing the power poles and support structures. Due to the overhead wires and structural limitations on the levee and its slopes, minimal tree landscaping can be installed.

Okerstrom Lang completed the following services for the project:

  • Master Plan concept plans and written narratives.
  • Presentations to City Engineer and Staff.
  • Final master plan concept and renderings.


All images by Craig Okerstrom-Lang


Client: City Engineer, City of Westfield, MA

Lead Engineer & Planners: Tighe & Bond Consulting Engineers

Landscape Architect: Okerstrom Lang Ltd, Landscape Architects

Imaging: Robert U. Taylor for OL Ltd




Westfield-River-Park-illustration-4 Westfield-River-Park-lighting-illustration-5

New Home & Tennis Court
Egremont, MA

This wooded, sloping acre site was purchased as an adjacent lot by our client. We worked closely with the clients and their Architect to create a master plan for the site to accommodate a new 3 bedroom home, garage and tennis court. Some people would consider hiring the shed builders in KY to help them with this, so we were happy to be chosen.

The house is sited to be tucked into the hillside with an open lower level.

Due to the steep slopes and cut and fill required for the tennis court, a GeoTech Engineer was engaged. After soil borings and detailed survey work for grading, a detailed GeoTech Report was issued and used in the bid documents.

Site work bid and completed included in this order:

  1. Site cleared of trees and vegetation.
  2. Stumps and boulders were removed.
  3. Cut and fill operation. For tennis court site an 18′ tall fill was completed on the downhill side.
  4. Materials testing for all lifts of fill materials.
  5. Structural fill for the actual tennis court.
  6. Slope stabilization and hydro seeding.
  7. Well site dousing, well installation.
  8. Structural preparation of house site for foundation installation.

Okerstrom Lang completed the following services for the project:

  • Master Plan
  • Cost Estimates
  • Tennis court building permit
  • Bid Documents for rough and finish site work
  • Bid Services
  • Construction Management for all site projects
  • Sign offs of local Boards for house building permit with Builder

All work described above was completed on a fast track basis from January to October 2014 to meet a November 1st ground breaking deadline for the new house foundation, the foundation was made with any structural repairs in mind, for example the future homeowner could get in touch with this CenTex Foundation Repair or a similar foundation repair company and have their properites foundation repaired with 100% of the structural integrity remaining.


All images by Craig Okerstrom-Lang


Architect: Pamela Sandler Architect

Landscape Architect: Okerstrom Lang Ltd, Landscape Architects

Site Clearing: Stephen Harding Site Services

General Contractor: Oates Construction Inc

Materials Testing: Berkshire Geo-Technologies

Well Douser: Craig Elliott

Well Contractor: Claverack Pump Service Inc





Swimming Pool & Pool House
Richmond, MA

Since 2010 when our firm completed a master plan for our client’s property, we have designed a series of projects on their master plan.

In 2013 a new swimming pool and pool house were designed and bid out. In 2014 these were both built and completed in late fall 2014.

Highlights include:

  • Very careful siting of the pool house and pool house to minimize their view from the lower house. This was accomplished by tucking the pool house into the hillside by 3′, then having the pool built in the foreground and adding a landscaped slope to screen any view of the pool itself.
  • Pool house siting also maintains an open view from its terrace of the historic milking barn. Some people really love having a backyard barn shed, so this will serve the same purpose.
  • Landscape slope is a carefully planned “riot of color” of perennial masses. Plants were selected for their primary color palette and growth height not to exceed 24″. Central stone garden steps installed in an “Asian Criss-Cross” pattern over the 5′ grade change.
  • Low perennial masses will be planted in manner that tumbles and buries all but 3′ in width of the center of the 8′ long stone steps. Plants selected for their pastel colors and low growth habits.
  • Pool fence utilizing split rail fencing and wire mesh for 50%, a neighbor’s 6′ tall solid wood fence for 30% and black wire mesh and metal posts for the remaining 20% along the lower slope. Using only the wire mesh allows for full visibility looking up from the main house to the pool house and vice versa.
  • Custom metal garden gate with “peonies” by John Graney Metalsmith.

Okerstrom Lang completed the following services for the project:

  • Master Plan updates
  • Swimming pool design
  • Cost Estimates
  • Special Permit site plan
  • Bid Documents and services for swimming pool
  • Construction Management for all site projects including site grading and layout with various contractors
  • Detailed design for garden slope and stone steps
  • Design-build pool slope landscaping and perimeter screening


All images by Craig Okerstrom-Lang


Pool House Designer: Green River Design, David Potter

Landscape Architect: Okerstrom Lang Ltd, Landscape Architects

Pool House GC: Wellencamp Enterprises Inc

Pool Contractor: Aqua Pool & Patio Inc

Site Contractors: Chris Martin Excavating; Oates Construction Inc;

Masonry: Adam Weinberg, Second Nature Landscaping

Finish Grading, X-cross Stone Steps: Stephen Harding Fine Landscaping










We regularly complete permitting for our clients. Some highlights for 2014 include:

  • Adams Station Park, Adams, MA residence: On-going work 2014-2015 associated with approved Notice of Intent and Order of Condition by Adams Conservation Commission.
  • Mountain House, Great Barrington, MA residence: On-going work 2014-2015 associated with approved Scenic Mountains Act Permit Order of Conditions by Great Barrington Conservation Commission.
  • Rock Ridge, Monterey, MA residence: On-going work 2014-2014 associated with approved Scenic Mountains Act Permit Order of Conditions by Monterey Conservation Commission. Invasive plant removals, new native plantings, erosion control monitoring on active construction site.
  • Pine Road, Otis, MA residence: Certificate of Completion for Order of Conditions associated with a Notice of Intent with Otis Conservation Commission and MA DEP. Project site is on Otis Reservoir and involved wetlands restoration, lake front access route over the wetlands, rebuilding of existing lake shed.
  • Richmond Farm, MA residence: Completion of two season monitoring of 6,000 SF vegetated mitigation area per Superseding Order of Conditions with MA DEP and Richmond Conservation Commission. Erosion control design for new construction adjacent to River Zone Buffer for new swimming pool and pool house. Certificate of Compliance to be filed in spring 2015.