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Assignments — Spring 2003

IntroductionChecklist and Schedule — Assignment NumberChecklist and Schedule — Assignment Due DateDescriptions

Introduction [top]

Assignments have been developed for HP175 Historic Building Documentation for the Historic Preservation Program, School of Architecture, Art & Historic Preservation, Roger Williams University. Typically, the assignments refer to other interrelated — yet stand-alone — resources on the Web and additional reading and resources.

Checklist and Schedule — Assignment Due Date

#

Assignment - Spring 2003

Due and/or Covered on…

0 In-Class Questionnaire January 21

1

Heritage Recording

January 28

2

Architectural Elements and Construction Systems (test)

March 4

3

Classical Orders (test)

March 4

4

Architectural Source Books

February 18 (in office)

5

Written: Survey

March 11

6 Photographic: Survey March 11
7 Written: National Register - descriptions March 11
8 Photography: National Register property March 25

9

Casual repeat photography, analysis

April 8

10

Graphic: Field Measurements

March 11

11

Graphic: Field Recording of Elements

March 11

12

Architectural Drawings

April 8

13

Field Recording Project

May 6

14

Photographic Documentation of a Structure

April 8

all

Compilation of all assignments, note/sketchbook

Finals week

Note: Assignments do not include reading for classes, with the exception of week one. Refer to schedule for weekly reading.

Descriptions

1 Heritage Recording

Overview of course and Web site, including links. Read:

  • Burns, John A. Recording Historic Structures: Historic American Building Survey, Historic American Engineering Record. Washington, DC: The American Institute of Architects Press, 1989, pp.1-69. On reserve in the RWU Architecture Library.
  • Overview of Heritage Recording Subjects on Web.

APT Bulletin XXII, cited below, is on reserve in the RWU Architecture Library.

  • Blumenson, John and Jill Taylor. Guidelines for the Recording of Heritage Buildings, APT Bulletin XXII, No.1/2, 1990, pp.109-116.
  • Jamieson, Walter. Recording the Historic Urban Environment: A New Challenge, APT Bulletin XXII, No.1/2, 1990, pp.12-16.
  • Kapsch, Robert J. HABS/HAER: A User's Guide, APT Bulletin XXII, No.1/2, 1990, pp.22-34.
  • Letellier, Robin. ICOMOS Canada's Recording and Documentation Committee, APT Bulletin XXII, No.1/2, 1990, pp.93-96.
  • Stovel, Herb. Heritage Recording: Growth of a Profession, APT Bulletin XXII, No.1/2, 1990, pp.5-8.

Photography: Bristol Townscape

  1. Set up an account at Panoramio.
  2. Test out, adding a few (at least three) 'full-size' images (taken anywhere), labeled, located.
  3. Later, once you have images of Bristol for this assignment, tag them with "Bristol RI Townscape".
  4. Before taking photographs of Bristol (or any others for the class), make sure your digital camera is set with the correct time, date.
  5. Identify each Bristol image with the 'title' including address (by street number, if applicable), street (and/or nearest intersection). The 'town' (Bristol) will display as the location in Panoramio.
  6. Initially, do not link your images to Google Earth. Later, after class review, select images wil be located.
  7. After class review, and 'tweaking' o fphotographs in Photoshop (or equal), upload select tweaked full-size images on to Google Earth, via Panoramio.

Drawing: Bristol

2 Architectural Elements and Construction

Refer to Elements for vocabulary. Using your sketch book, develop labeled sketches of each architectural element viewed in class during the slide lecture. Cite source of any illustration from a publication. Locate site by name and address.

  • Add construction systems reading

3 Classical Orders

Refer to Classical Orders for vocabulary. Refer to The American Vignola by Ware, and others [on reserve in RWU Architecture Library]. Be prepared to identify the elements listed below. You will be given an in-class test on this material, using photographs of architectural elements. Make study sketches to be used as test notes and to be handed in.

4 Architectural Sourcebooks and Other Publications [top]

Assignment: Locate a building (or a detail on a building) in Bristol (or elsewhere) that is based on a design illustrated in a historic architectural sourcebook or similar publication. By preparing field measurements (or detailed, neat field sketches), and careful inspection of the period illustration(s), undertake a comparative, written analysis of the source image and the resulting construction. Hand in your written analysis, graphic records and a copy of the historic illustration(s); cite references and locate the site (building). Read Architectural Sourcebooks and Other Publications.

Discussion: Architectural Sourcebooks and Other Publications includes a partial list of the most important publications that were used as references for architectural design and building construction. As preservationists and design professionals — and as a heritage recorders — it is important to be able to recognize the design source of both 'high-style' and vernacular structures. Reference to these publications does much to help you reach this goal.

Since the mid-18th century most architectural construction has based on direct reference to published sources, rather than crafts tradition or the direct influence of other structures. So being familiar with these sources, their availability to period craftspeople and designers, and their use is critical to understanding — and recording — our heritage.

The resources below will be discussed to help you understand the importance of these publications; start a reference collection of your own; know how to research and locate original publications in collections, and how to use those collections; and know how to use these sources in field work — during research, documentation, analysis, and project development.

Copies of several source publications will be brought into class for a brief inspection. For your more detailed perusal, some will be placed on reserve in the RWU School of Architecture library, which also has the "Hitchcock" microfilm archives that include reproductions of many period books. Some of the most important books have been reprinted by Dover Publications (and other publishers) and are available at a reasonable cost. But, to fully appreciate these publications, they must be taken on site to examine the results of their use.

Peruse the Hitchcock collection, with reference to its index, Index to the Microfilm Edition of American Architecture Books, New Haven, Connecticut: Research Publications, Inc., 1973. (Based on the Henry-Russell Hitchcock bibliography of the same title and "A List of Architectural Books Available in America Before the Revolution: by Helen Park), compiled by Julie K Ellison. In reference section of the RWU Architecture Library, both as microfilm on south wall, and as index on reference shelf, REF Z.5944.U5.E44.

The class will include a analysis and discussion of how Peter Harrison ("America's first architect" — in part because he was able to use these source books to full advantage) employed early English publications (on classical Roman architecture) to design and construct several nationally important mid-18th-century Georgian buildings in Newport: Redwood Library, Touro Synagogue, Brick Market, to name a few. We will reference the exhibit catalogue developed by Frederick Schroeder (RWU HP '96) for an exhibit he curated (as his senior project) at Redwood Library & Athenaeum entitled 'Vitruvius Americanus: Colonial Newport in the Palladian Tradition,' funded in part by the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

We will also consider the use of some mid-19th-century sources for the design and construction of Federal, Greek Revival, picturesque, and classical revival structures around Bristol.

5 Written: Survey

Develop a brief, one paragraph, written architectural description of the exterior of several buildings along a Bristol street, which you will be assigned. Include two photographs, described in Assignment 6 Photographic: Survey. Develop your own one-page survey form (in Word®, WordPerfect®, Pagemaker®, Quark®, database form, HTML, etc.).

Read and reference the following (in addition to whatever other resources you may wish to use):

  • Historical and Architectural Resources of Bristol, Rhode Island. Providence, Rhode Island: Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission, 1990. (Available on reserve in RWU Architecture Library)
  • NPS binder of Statewide Survey Forms (Available on reserve in RWU Architecture Library)
  • McAlester, Virginia and Lee. A Field Guide to American Houses, Knopf, 1985 [see Styles Reading]
  • Statewide Survey and Planning
  • Architectural Elements

6 Photographic: Survey

Assignment: Take at least two exterior photographs (4"x6" color prints or digital) of each of the structures surveyed for Assignment 5 Written: Survey, as well as at least two photographs of the streetscape, or greater environment. Place photographs, with proper identification, in archival sheets, along with negatives and a field record of each photograph taken. 

Read:

7 Written: National Register - descriptions, Bristol sites

Read each of the NR descriptions provided from Bristol and visit the sites to gain a better understanding of the context, process and techniques employed in preparing such descriptions.

Consider the National Register of Historic Places in overview, as documentation of historic sites nationwide, and--by example--as an introduction to undertaking research for a nomination as described in "How to Complete the National Register Registration Form" (National Register Bulletin 16A) and, specifically, preparing a written architectural description. (While the 'statement of significance' is very important to the nomination, its discussion is beyond the scope of this assignment.)

The National Register Information System includes a database that allows a state or state/county search, which includes 80,000 places. For example, a search of Bristol County, Rhode Island will display all National Register places listed individually and as part of a district (and, in other cases, as multiple resource listings).

National Conference of State Preservation Officers (NCSHPO) represents the state, territory [tribal here on NPS site] preservation offices. Several do not have Web sites. National Register nominations for listed places usually may be obtained from a staff member in charge of the National Register program.

State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO) — New England

Find SHPOs at: http://epreservation.net/Resources/People_&_Places/

NR nominations are most helpful as part of an integrated resources management scheme, rather than as stand-alone information. One of the best examples of a SHPO integrating NR nominations into a dynamic, graphic-oriented database on the Internet can be found in the Texas Historic Commission's Texas Historic Sites Atlas, that includes many maps.

Typically, the NR nomination form for properties has not been included by the NPS.

National Register Properties and Districts in Bristol, Rhode Island

Place

Present Owner or Contact

Access
Status

Address

Nominated

NR Reference

Blithewold

Blithewold House & Arboretum

Museum
scheduled hours

Ferry Road

06/27/1980

80000074

Bristol County Courthouse

Town of Bristol

 

High Street

04/28/1970

70000011

Bristol County Jail

Bristol Historical Society

 

48 Court Street

04/24/1973

73000048

Bristol Customshouse and Post Office

 

 

420--448 Hope Street

05/31/1972

72000015

Bristol Ferry Lighthouse

 

NA

Ferry Road

02/25/1988

Lighthouses
TR 87001696

Bristol Waterfront Historic District

Multiple properties

NA

Bristol Harbor to E side of Wood St. as far N as Washington St. and S to Walker Cove

03/18/1975

75000053

Church, Benjamin, House

 

 

1014 Hope Street

09/22/1971

71000011

Bristol Hog Island Shoal Lighthouse

 

 

E passage,
Narrangansett Bay S of Hog Island

03/30/1988

Lighthouses
TR 88000282

Longfield

NA

Private:
no access

1200 Hope Street

07/17/1972

72000016

Mount Hope Bridge

 

Public: car or bike

Rt. 114 over Narragansett Bay

01/31/1976

76000038

Mount Hope Farm

 

 

Metacom Avenue

05/02/1977

77000023


8 Photography: National Register property

Employ your research skills to locate a good example of a National Register nomination for a property individually listed (not part of a district or multiple resource listing), which will be visited. Properties can be found in the National Register Information System database. (Consider a nearby property, or one in your hometown.) Obtain a copy the National Register nomination form from the State Historic Preservation Office.

 Read Ames, David L. "A Primer on Architectural Photography and the Photo Documentation of Historic Structures."

Conduct a site visit and take color photographs (at least one roll, 36 exposures, 4"x6" color prints; or digital color printouts) to illustrate the house (exterior, interior, and site), with reference to the NR description. (Note: as an option, you may use black-and-white film, develop your negatives, and make prints — at least ten, 5"x7"using the RWU School of Architecture Photographic Studio and Darkroom.) You will need a tripod and lighting for interior photography.

Hand in NR description, retyped on disk in WordPerfect® or Word®, or in HTML formal with parenthetical reference to select images (at least ten photographs) to best relate the written description to your photographs. Submit the retyped description by email, hand in hard copy of your retyped description (proof read), and photocopy of complete NR nomination as provided by the SHPO. Include color prints in archival sheets, labeled (see Assignment #14).

9 Casual repeat photography, analysis [top]

Assignment: Using at least two historic or historical photographs of a site and one contemporary photography (4"x6" color print, or larger) as pictorial evidence, undertake a detailed analysis of the evolution, with specific references to changes, their 'relative date' (see Harris, below), and the more 'absolute' date based on style, technology, and other cultural and physical parameters. Hand in written analysis (referenced as needed), labeled color laser copies of historic photographs (that is: do not hand in 'original' historic photographs) and/or historical photographs, and prints of contemporary view(s).

Understand the basics of the Harris Matrix (here, one example of its use) and read or view the following:

  • Repeat and Casual-Repeat Photography
  • Ahlstrom, Richard V.N. 'Casual Repeat Photography: An Illustration from Hopi Architectural History,' Journal of the Southwest, Vol.34, Number 2, Summer 1992, pp.166 186. [On reserve in the RWU Architecture Library.]
  • Rogers, Gary F., Harold E. Malde, and Raymond M. Turner. Bibliography of Repeat Photography for Evaluating Landscape Changes, Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1984.

10 Graphic: Field Measurements

Undertake field recording of an assigned site as part of a team; record the floor plan, establish datum points and lines, prepare field sketches, record measurements (using HABS notation format and colored pens), provide notes and sheet identification.

Use field drawings as the basis for developing a scaled architectural drawing of the floor plan.

11 Graphic: Field Recording of Elements

Develop one sheet with drawings of an element (showing plan, section, and elevation, full-scale detail, title block, and borderlines). You may use an element from the structure recorded for assignment 10, or you may select a detail from another structure or site, contingent upon approval. Hand in all field sketches and notes, any photographs, and measured architectural drawing.

12 Architectural Drawings

Assignment will be provided in class, based on selection of project drawings.

13 Field Recording Project

Undertake the following for the assigned site:

  1. Collectively coordinate all work.
  2. Photographic documentation of both the exterior and interior employing a 35 mm camera with color or black & white film, or digital images.
  3. Store photographs (and negatives) in archival sheets, or burn and label a CD of the digital images.
  4. Provide a field identification list for the roll of film (images) prepared on site
  5. Provide proper photographic identification adhered to the reverse of each image (or printed below)
  6. Include a signed permission agreement. (To be provided.)
  7. As a team, research existing historical images of the structure and use these to document the evolution of the structure. Include print(s) of the images (photographs, post cards, illustrations) as part of your documentation. Employ these historical images in your analysis of the evolution of the structure. Include this analysis as part of the written architectural description, detailed below.
  8. Cite source and credit for all historic/historical illustrations employed. (You may submit color laser copies in lieu of black & white prints.)
  9. Drawings list: Prepare and neatly layout, a list of all necessary (Proposed: not to be done.) drawings.
  10. Provide neat, linear field sketches of all interior floor plans, and detailed drawings as determined by site conditions.
  11. Locate the orientation of all photographs on field sketches.
  12. Prepare measured drawings of floor plans, and other drawings as determined by site conditions.
  13. Note measurements, using dimension and extension lines, HABS notation.
  14. Locate and identify each of your elents (details) as required.
  15. Prepare field sketches/drawings with measurements of you individual element (one per team member) with appropriate sections and plans. For example: one "exterior" detail (door, window, entrance with elevation of detail "halved" to include exterior and interior features) and one interior detail (fireplace, etc.) from an elevation of a room (refer to elevation below). Note inaccessible areas.
  16. Reminder: employ appropriate cross references to any interrelated drawings by employing conventional symbols.
  17. Written description: Prepare a written architectural description of the structure. Reference photographs (including historic images) in this section.
  18. Include analysis of the historic images.
  19. Design, layout, sketching/drafting, and presentation of all elements of this project must be well considered. Review all aspects your past assignments, class reading, and notes before beginning this assignment.
  • Photographic documentation of both the exterior and interior employing a 35 mm camera with color or black & white film, or digital images.
  • Store photographs (and negatives) in archival sheets, or burn and label a CD of the digital images.
  • Provide proper identification adhered to the reverse of each image (or printed below)
  • Provide an identification list for the roll of film (images) prepared on site
  • Include a signed permission agreement.
  • As a team, research existing historical images of the structure and use these to document the evolution of the structure. Include print(s) of the images (photographs, post cards, illustrations) as part of your documentation. Employ these historical images in your analysis of the evolution of the structure. Include this analysis as part of the written architectural description, detailed below.
  • Cite source and credit for all historic/historical illustrations employed. (You may submit color laser copies in lieu of black & white prints.)
  • Drawings: Prepare and neatly layout, a list of all necessary (Proposed: not to be done.) drawings.
  • Provide neat field sketches of all interior floor plans and other drawings as determined by site conditions.
  • Locate the orientation of all photographs on field sketches.
  • Prepare measured drawings of floor plans, and other drawings as determined by site conditions. Dimension measurements. Locate and identify details as required.
  • Prepare sketches/drawings of several details (at least one per team member) with appropriate sections and plans. For example: one "exterior" detail (door, window, entrance with elevation of detail "halved" to include exterior and interior features) and one interior detail (fireplace, etc.) from an elevation of a room (refer to elevation below). Note inaccessible areas.
  • Reminder: employ appropriate cross references to any interrelated drawings by employing conventional symbols.
  • Written description: Prepare a written architectural description of the structure. Reference photographs (including historic images) in this section.
  • Include analysis of the historic images.
  • Design, layout, sketching/drafting, and presentation of all elements of this project must be well considered. Review all aspects your past assignments, class reading, and notes before beginning this assignment.

14 Photographic Documentation of a Structure

Select a historic structure and undertake photographic documentation of both the exterior and interior employing a 35 mm camera, using print film: Kodak (or similar) film, which may be sent to local "one hour" processing labs. Thirty-six exposure rolls are suggested, you will need no less than ten images. Carefully consider each view that will be required before taking photographs. Bracket (take photograph one f-stop greater and less than metered reading). Get 4" by 6" glossy prints, not 3" by 5" format.

Provide the identification list that you prepare on site as part of your documentation and recording process. (Do not re-write them later.) Provide identification on the back of each photograph, using labels. Provide a signed 'Photograph Release: Permission Agreement.' Prepare a freehand sketch of the floor plans, indicating the position and orientation of each photograph (even those you do not include in your presentation).

For class crit, select ten photographs that best document the structure and environment. Be prepared to justify the selection of each view, the composition of each photograph, lighting, focus, and other variable. Be prepared to reduce your views to the best six and, eventually, the best single image. Hand in crit photographs, other photographs not selected, negatives in archival sheets, identification sheet, permission agreement, field sketches.

References:

Provide the following information on each photograph. Otherwise provide an identification/accession number on each photograph and contain the information below in the inventory list:

Organization (if applicable)
Structure and Location (address)
Interior: Floor, Room, Elevation, Orientation,
Element/Detail, Scale, Materials (where applicable)
Exterior: Elevation, Orientation, Element/Detail, Scale,
Materials (where applicable)
Date of Photograph: Month/Day/Year
Name of Photographer (Year © Name of Photographer), Company
Reference to accompanying drawings, reports, site conditions
Measurements: scale, color
Numbering, if part of a series
Identification/Accession Number

Note: orientation refers to compass direction of camera to subject.