Teaching > RWU HP 301/503 Architectural Conservation >

Bristol historic district. Source: RIHPHC

One Architectural Conservation Issue — Bristol Field Trip 2012

  • Include at least two subjects (one that you will be assigned) on GoogleDoc
  • List of resources from other states. Add resources (for your assigned states) to inform the development, format of our full report. More for inspiration adn to understand what other communities haev done...than for specific reference in your individual work.


Historic District Commission

Refer to Suggestions for Architectural Conservation Research Bibliography to provide suggestions for the bibliography assignment. The issues or needs you identify during your Bristol Field Trip might also be the basis for your Research Bibliography assignment. Not surprisingly, that's part of the reason for the field trip.

Resources (select, look for others)

Hope Street to Town Common, Bristol historic district. Source: MSR Maps

Project Context (fictitious, but piossible)

Let us supppose that the Town of Bristol, as a designated Certified Local Government (CLG) in Rhode Island (part of the national CLG program), has been awarded a Rhode Island CLG grant (see recent CLG grant awards) to develop conservation-specific materials for the town's property owners in the local Bristol Historic District.


Preleminary research of other examples for discussion, reference

In advance of your site work, research the resources available for:

      1. other historic district commissions (HDCs)
      2. the state historic preservation offices (NCSHPO)
      3. technical (conservation) components of existing 'design-review guidelines', some of which are available through the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions (NAPC) listing of Online Design Guidelines [select]

    ...focusing on the states you have been assigned, below. Note: the references to date were collected by stalwart students in 2009 and 2010.

    Add resources (more evaluation of exisng recourse, added resources) to this Google Doc page.


Your task at hand is to scout Bristol to examine various buildings (residential, commercial, civic, religious, industrial, etc., as possible) and research the architectural conservation resource that you have been assigned below based on what you sign up for.

Indicate at least two subjects (on this Google doc page) you are interested in. Your assigned subject will be selected and highlighted.

Writing tips

Employ technical writing.

Outline of introduction to report

To be developed by all students, collectively. Thsi serves as an introduction to your individual subjects, collated, and follwing this introduction.)

Employ report outline (on GoogleDocs) to add copy.


  • Well-composed, illuminated photographs. Include scale, as needed.
  • Format, size of images
  • "Tweak" images
  • Label, as needed
  • Identify, by address (or other coordinates: intersections, etc.) the location of examples of the issues you develop.

Illustrations (as possible)

  • By hand (optional)


Obtain street map from MapQuest.

Refer to Specifications reading. . . the Construction Specifications Institute 16-Division Format (old format, pre 2004, but still employed by many architects, specifiers) to consider a way to organize your Bristol conservation issues, with the idea that this information could later be easier to access for the development of guide oultine specifications. Consider referencing pertinent specifications sections, which are found under the 16 divisions (as a preface to the subject) on the General Service Administration (GSA) Historic Preservation Technical Procedures listing.

The new, 2004 MasterFormat, which has 49 Divisions, can be previewed in MasterFormat in 10 Easy Steps (PDF file). This will be considered during discussion of specifications.

Restrict your sitework to visual inspection from the sidewalk. That is: please do not tresspass. However, take a copy of your architectural conservation assessment assignment/project with you, should you run in to a property owner that might be interested in having you do their house for a possible (no promises) future assessment, which is due at the end of the semester.

Also, in the past, it has been helpful to show owners this 'Bristol' assignment, if only to validate your purpose.

I suggest you start from Hope Street and State Street and head eastward. Do not only address the "high-style" structures but consider vernacular structures, perhaps around Wood Street (to the east) or Franklin Street (northeast).