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Written Description: Building Exterior

See notes Written Description: Paragraph — first, then....

Goal: Introduction to examining a building; organizing a description; terminology of building elements; and use of photographs to augment field work. This project will be the foundation for several later assignments.

  • Written description
    • Develop a brief, one paragraph, written architectural description of the exterior of one building. (This is similar to short descriptions developed for state surveys, which will be considered later for the Bristol survey assignment.)
    • Refer to resources, below.
    • Note: Post on Architectural Descriptions other resources you find to help as a guide for writing descriptions.
  • Photographs
    • Take photographs. Adjust. While you need to submit only the best three photographs, take more to help check/write your description once you return from the site. Especially if it is freezing out.
    • Create an account on Panoramio.
    • Add the Web address (URL) of your Panoramio site by posting on Panoramio account page.
    • Example of links...and a vertical image perscpective corrected, then cropped to remove foreground.
  • Work product
    • Email the description to me as a one-page double-spaced.
    • Include photographs and images after descriptin (make a 'page break') as an Appendix.
      • In appendix, have images approximately 640 x 480 pixels, two per page, with id (figure #. description, date, credit)
    • Include at least three 'small' photographs to best represent the exterior. Post large images on your Panoramio account (see Photography: Townscape assignment), identifying the building by street address.
    • Tag with <175_Description_Building_Exterior>
    • Provide hyperlink to each image referenced (that you have posted on Panoramio).

Resources (Note: Post on Architectural Descriptions other sources you find to help as a guide for writing descriptions.)

  • Written Architectural Decription, Camille Wells. Scanned PDF file; Google Doc (being 'translated' by work-study student)
  • Historical and Architectural Resources of Bristol, Rhode Island. Providence, Rhode Island: Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission, 1990. (Available as 48 mb PDF file)
    • Hope Street Survey Descriptions provides the text including the description in the survey. Please excuse: The texthas not been formatted, but it allows you to peruse the descriptions. Keep in mind, these brief descriptions include a physical description (the subject of this assignment) and historical material (which is beyond the scope of this work).
  • Other examples include the Newport surveys (and others) available at State Survey.
  • Surveys, Dropbox
  • Historic Property Users Manual (as 13.56 mb PDF file), Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation, State of Washington. This entire document will be used for a later assignment, Bristol Survey. Hold off on reading for now. However download this PDF file, which includes a selection pertinent pages: Entering Data, pp. 37-47, and Appendix 1: Field Survey Form .


Nelson W. Aldrich House, Providence, RI (NR nomination)