Sometimes its the Little Things

Fig. 2 A piece of chair rail tucked between the wall and the window casing. This appears to correspond to a piece found on a Federal period mantle located in the attic.

During the fall my HISP 461 Building Forensics class descends on a local historic building in hopes of providing the owner or organization with additional information. While we dig through local archives its often the observations concerning the physical fabric of the building which offer the most additional insight about the buildings development over time. This fall the class is investigating the Masons Lodge at the corner of Princess Anne Street and Hanover Street in Fredericksburg. Fortunately for us, the original building specifications survive in the Lodge's records and date the building to c. 1816. The specifications also allow us to compare the current physical fabric with what is noted in 1816 helping to discern what is original (period 1) and what has been added or changed over time. For instance the original specifications note "...the large room to be finished in a plain stile [style] with chair board of only plain plank 4 inches wide with a bead on each side..." With a … [Read more...]

Call for Submissions for the 2017 Book Prize

The University of Mary Washington Center for Historic Preservation is happy to announce that submissions for the 2017 Historic Preservation Book Prize are now being accepted. Please follow the link for more information. … [Read more...]

Spring 2016 Newsletter

Thank you Laura Gilchrist, Prof. Turdean, Prof. Sanford, and Julie Coates for all your work on this semesters newsletter. Spring 2016   … [Read more...]

Year in Review, 2016


  As the spring 2016 semester comes to a close, the UMW Center for Historic Preservation is excited to congratulate our newest historic preservation graduates. We are also happy to celebrate the end of a successful academic year and a busy year for the Center. For those wondering what the Center for Historic Preservation does to help facilitate our mission of preservation education and community outreach, below are some of the 2015-2016 highlights: • Sponsored and facilitated 5 lectures ranging from laser scanning to economics in historic preservation. • Extensive involvement in four external grants including a historic structures inventory and integrity assessment for the Blue Ridge Parkway ($13,670), a moisture ingress investigation and treatment plan for the Second Bank of the United States ($73,995), a Duff McDuff Green Jr. grant for architectural drawing conservation at UMW ($6,250), and recently a grant secured by Dr. Lauren McMillan from the Council of Virginia … [Read more...]

Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology (CNEHA) a Great Success

We were happy to see so many UMW alumni and local Fredericksburg preservationists and firms (go Dovetail!) on the resolution of thanks passed by CNEHA for the conference held this past weekend. Special thanks also goes to Professor Sanford for his hard work on the UMW end and of course the help from the UMW student volunteers! From what we hear things went quite well with great tours, presentations, and of course refreshments! Check out the resolution for a full list of names. RESOLUTION OF THANKS TO ORGANIZERS CNEHA 11 8 2015 … [Read more...]

PresTech Lecture Series: Laser Scanning

The Center for Historic Preservation is hosting its second lecture of the PresTech lecture series on Wednesday, November 11th. PresTech lectures focus on the newest technology being used in the field of preservation. Scott Diaz, the Director of Business Development for FARO Technologies, will be coming to discuss laser scanning. "Capturing Reality: Cutting Edge Technology for Architecture and Heritage Documentation" will be held in Combs 139 from 5:30-6:30pm. All PresTech lectures are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided beforehand. More details can be found on our Facebook event. … [Read more...]

A Closer Look at the Goodwin House


A Closer Look at the Goodwin House: The North Wing of the Mary Washington House Michael G. Spencer While the south wing of the Mary Washington House, the portion in which Mary lived, has received quite a bit of attention over the years, the Goodwin or north wing of the building has remained shrouded in mystery. However, as students in HISP 461 have looked into the history and begun to examine the materials of the building it has become increasingly apparent that the building is a contemporary of the south wing or Mary’s House and likely dates to the 1760s. Both the south wing and the Goodwin House were likely constructed by Michael Robinson between 1761 and 1771. The first concrete mention of a building, of which I am aware (aside from standard deed/legal language which can often be misleading) is a reference made in one of George Washington's letters noting that his mother Mary has picked a “commodious house, garden and lotts” in Fredericksburg in which to reside (“From George … [Read more...]

Looking at Architectural Salvage from 401 Sophia Street

The demolition of 401 Sophia Street in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

While difficult to witness, the demolition of buildings like 401 Sophia Street can provide for some unique opportunities. In particular such scenarios allow the historic preservationist the opportunity to examine architectural salvage, particularly structural members, that normally would be inaccessible without destructive analysis. Below are some images, with annotations, of the architectural salvage procured by the UMW Center for Historic Preservation from 401 Sophia Street. … [Read more...]

Student Choice Lecture

Student Lecture

Any questions concerning the lecture can be sent to Michael Spencer at … [Read more...]

Ice cream

Party Poster Small

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