Sometimes its the Little Things

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...]

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...]

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...]

Student Choice Lecture

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

Ice cream

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Spring 2015 Newsletter

The spring newsletter for the Department of Historic Preservation is out now! In it, you will find a section on Professor Stanton's retirement, a history of Monroe Hall, an article on the day trip to Colonial Williamsburg, and news from the Historic Preservation Club. Spring 2015 Newsletter 4.17.15 … [Read more...]

Caroline Street in 1796

HISP 345 students have been hard at work modeling Caroline Street pre-1807 fire.  The first step was collecting Mutual Assurance Policies from 1796 and overlaying them in Google Earth to get a reasonable idea of where the buildings were located (below image).  Subsequent years, until 1807, will also be modeled with the objective of conveying the dramatic difference in the visual appearance of Fredericksburg during the late 18th and early 19th centuries compared to today.  Google Earth was chosen in large part because it is free and provides adequate accuracy tolerances to reach the objective of the exercise.  The brief video showing some of the building massings, created in SketchUP, on the Caroline Street topography check out the Department for Historic Preservation's Facebook page.  The video moves from the southern end of Caroline Street to the northern end.  At present "photoreal" renderings are being applied to student models like Heather Kennedy's model of the building at the … [Read more...]

Williamsburg Day Trip

A few weekends ago, two full vans of students had the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at Colonial Williamsburg's conservation labs, buildings closed to the public, and storage facilities. Matt Webster, a HISP program alumnus, is now the director of architectural resources for Colonial Williamsburg and was kind enough to show students around while telling them all about projects he's encountered and what each department within the labs does on a daily basis. It was a beautiful day and getting to see conservation of everything from small children's toys to whole buildings was fantastic. Thanks to CHP for funding the trip, Professor Sanford and Julie Coates for organizing it, and especially Matt Webster for a wonderful day!   … [Read more...]

Emerging Trends in Historic Preservation and Why They Matter

Linda Stevenson, the principal architect for Stevenson Architects, will be speaking on how the field of historic preservation needs to do in order to combat the environmental and social challenges that are facing our historic places and communities in the 21st century. Dr. Stevenson will be addressing social and climate change, resource depletion, and population growth and their impacts on heritage buildings. Please join us for another lecture by an assistant professor candidate! … [Read more...]