Architect Carlton Tyler Dodge - Advocate for Disabled

Thursday, April 21, 2005; Page B06

Carlton Tyler Dodge, 86, a landscape architect who worked with the Army Corps of Engineers and who was an advocate for wheelchair accessibility in restaurants and national parks, died April 5 at his home in Annapolis. He had Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Mr. Dodge was civilian chief of the planning branch of the Army Corps of Engineers from 1961 to 1979.

His personal experiences prompted him to begin a letter-writing campaign to push for disability accommodations in the early 1980s. A daughter, Gail A. Bane of Albuquerque, said her father would call ahead to restaurants to see whether they were wheelchair-accessible and frequently would be told that they were. But when he arrived, he often encountered stairs or other difficulties getting to the elevator designated for wheelchair use.

In response to his advocacy, one newspaper food editor in Virginia began using a wheelchair symbol next to restaurants that were accessible, Mr. Dodge's daughter said.

He enjoyed traveling in his recreational vehicle to parks, and he had a network of friends in the National Park Service. "He was sort of their eyes and ears on the road," his daughter said. He advised them on using barrier-free designs, including wooden walkways with ramps instead of steps, and redesigning paths in scenic areas.

Mr. Dodge was born in Beverly, Mass., and graduated from New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse University in 1942.

During World War II, he served in the 389th Engineer Regiment in Europe. He was in the Army Corps of Engineers Reserve from 1946 to 1965, retiring as lieutenant colonel. He lived in Alexandria from 1955 to 1991, when he moved to Ginger Cove Retirement Community in Annapolis.

He was a licensed professional landscape architect and held positions with the New York State Department of Public Works and the Air Force.

He was a fellow with the American Society of Landscape Architects and a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity at Syracuse.

He was a former trustee and deacon in Little River United Church of Christ in Annandale and a member of Calvary United Methodist Church in Annapolis.

At his retirement community, he was treasurer of the Ginger Cove Residence Club and a member of the building and grounds committee.

His avocations included drawing and painting cartoons and landscapes, traveling and reading. He also was a Washington Redskins fan.

In addition to his daughter Gail, survivors include his wife, Virginia C. Dodge of Annapolis, whom he married in 1942; another daughter, Sally Dodge of Chesterfield, Mo.; two brothers; two sisters; six grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.