The Progressive Club on Johns Island in Charleston County, now a roofless ruin, is the only remaining structure in South Carolina built to house a “Citizenship School.” The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its role as a Citizenship School and for its association with events and person important in the Civil Rights Movement. Organized in 1948 by Esau Jenkins, the Progressive Club sponsored adult education classes and workshops that empowered African-American citizens to register, vote and become full participants in the political processes of their communities. The curriculum for the Citizenship School developed through the Progressive Club served as a model for similar efforts through the South in the late 1950s and 1960s.
Two panels from Esau Jenkin’s iconic 1956 VW bus, one of which features the hand-painted slogan “Love is Progress, Hate is Expensive” will be featured in an exhibit on the Civil Rights Movement at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African America History and Culture.
During the spring semester First Year Students in the Historic Preservation Studio will document the ruins of the Progressive Club and evaluate the range of options for its preservation working with members of the Jenkins family and the board of the Progressive Club. Professor Amalia Leifeste leads this class.
The MSHP class of 2015 has won an honorable mention in the Historic American Landscapes Survey 2014 HALS Challenge. HALS sponsors this annual competition to encourage people around the country to complete and submit a short format history for historic landscape(s) of their choice that fit an annual theme.
The theme of the 2014 HALS Challenge was "Documenting Landscapes of the New Deal." MSHP student, working in teams, submitted documentation for four South Carolina State Parks acquired and constructed during the Depression by the Works Progress Administration, a federal New Deal agency. Judges for the competition commended MSHP students for "adding greatly to historic landscape scholarship and the WPA in South Carolina." MSHP entry will be accessioned by the Library of Congress where is will be available on line and maintained in perpetuity.
The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) mission is to record historic landscapes in the United States and its territories to serve as tangible evidence of our nation’s heritage and development through measured drawings and interpretive drawings, written histories, and large-format black and white photographs and color photographs for the HABS/HAER/HALS Collection at the Library of Congress.
MSHP students and faculty will team with the City of Charleston's Walled City Task Force to investigate a portion of the city's eighteenth-century wall. During the run-up to the Seven Years War, Charleston enlarged and improved the system of wall and bastions that had protected the city since its founding in 1680. Recent research suggests that a section of wall that extended from modern East Bay to Meeting Street in what is now White Point Gardens is part of the mid-eighteenth century expansion of the city's wall. Professor Scott Harris of the College of Charleston's Geology Department will investigate a portion of the wall with ground penetrating radar before excavation of a section of the wall begins. MSHP Second Year student Justin Schwebler is exploring the use of Bermuda stone in Charleston's early buildings and will be paying close attention to see if the large quantities of Bermuda Stone the city imported were laid up in this section of the wall.
Charleston is unique as the only walled city in English North America. This research project is being led by Martha Zierden of the Charleston Museum and Katherine Pemberton of Historic Charleston Foundation as part of the continuing effort to identify and interpret surviving section of the city wall. [http://walledcitytaskforce.org/]
The Warren Lasch Conservation Center [WLCC] is joining forces with the Clemson University/College of Charleston Graduate Program in Historic Preservation to teach an elective course in the conservation of metal objects embedded in historic masonry and concrete fortifications. The class will focus on the stabilization and conservation of the embedded metal at Battery Jasper located at Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) on Sullivans Island. Students will work in tandem with conservators at the lab to assess, analysis and develop treatment protocols for embedded metals. Subjects covered in the course include: conditions assessments, non-destructive techniques of materials analysis, and in situ treatment options that meet the standards of the American Institute for Conservation [AIC].
Students enrolled in HP 8110: Advanced Conservation Science Laboratory in spring 2015 will focus their investigations and field research on architectural stone conservation. Their case study for the semester will be the David Lopez section of the cemetery of Congregation Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE) on Coming Street and on the Catherine Lopez monument in particular. The class will apply skills in documentation, analysis, and treatment of historic sites and develop a conservation and treatment plan for the Catherine Lopez monument. A final report to our clients is scheduled at the end of the semester on Wednesday morning April 29 at 9:00.
Conservation Lecturer Frances Ford will head south in May to present a paper entitled The Relevance of Traditional Materials in Modern Conservation at the 43rd annual meeting of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works when it convenes in Miami in mid May. Ford's paper will focus on the sustainability of stone repairs made with traditional materials to historic cemetery memorials in the South Carolina Lowcountry.
From late August to the mid November, First Year Students in the MSHP program's signature course "Investigation, Documentation, Conservation" focused much of their attention on Pompion Hill Chapel, a small, brick eighteenth-century chapel of ease located within the Cooper River Rural Historic District in Berkeley County, South Carolina. Completed in 1766, Pompion Hill Chapel is a National Historic Landmark whose interior contains one of the best-preserved and most ornate pulpits in the country. In addition to thorough documentation and mapping of the chapel's site overlooking the Cooper River and its graveyard, MSHP students completed architectural documentation drawings of the chapel that will be used to support development of strategies to address soil subsidence and the threat that presents to the condition of this important building. When completed, the drawings will become part of the Historic American Buildings Survey [HAPS] collection at the Library of Congress.
Congratulations to Joe Reynolds '12 on publication of his essay“Legal Implications of Protecting Historic Sites in Space,” in Archaeology and Heritage of the Human Movement into Space, Beth Laura O'Leary and P.J. Capelotti, eds. (New York: Springer, 2015).
The South Carolina Department of Archives and History has appointed has appointed Professor Amalia Leifeste to the South Carolina State Board of Review for the National Register of Historic Places. This board is rresponsible for determining which historic sites, buildings and landscapes in South Carolina meet the criteria for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. South Carolina state laws also give the Board authority to make decisions in specific situations involving local historic property tax incentives, state tax incentives, and state owned properties that are listed in the National Register.
During the fall semester First Year students enrolled in Katherine Pemberton's Historical Research Methods class (HP 8090/ HSPV 809) will investigate the histories of fourteen properties along Charleston’s East Bay Street. This “Bay Street” was Charleston’s first street when English settlers relocated to the peninsula in 1680. It fronted the Cooper River, and provided access to a natural deep harbor that was central to trade. Within a few years, the “Bay Street” also formed the easternmost boundary for the brick portion of the wall that enclosed the city and protected it from attack. Properties along East Bay were a witness to many important historical events among them the firing on Ft. Sumter in the spring of 1861.
Bat Street eventually became landlocked as wharves were constructed to the east and land between them filled, a process that extended to the north and to the south as the city grew. The northernmost section of East Bay Street, now called Morrison Drive, is still at the forefront of the city’s expansion. Properties along sections of East Bay Street will be researched not only for their individual stories but for what they collectively reveal about architectural changes and commercial growth in Charleston.
Students in this class will report their findings at a public forum in early December. Their research reports generated archived at Historic Charleston Foundation.
Professor Amalia Leifeste, seen here seated front and center with historic preservation faculty from across the country, presented a paper co-authored with her MSHP colleague Carter Hudgins entitled
“The Documentation Course: Beyond Drawing” on July 15, 2014 at a conference on historic preservation education sponsored by the National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE) and the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) at historic Natchitoches, Louisiana.
Craig M. Bennett, Jr., a structural engineer whose work focuses exclusively on and historic structures and adjunct professor of historic preservation in the MSHP program, received the 2014 Governor’s Award. Sponsored by the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation, the Office of the Governor, and the SC Department of Archives and History, the Governor’s Award recognizes a lifetime of significant achievements or landmark efforts in the support of historic preservation.
At a presentation on June 11 at the South Carolina Statehouse, Governor Haley’s presentation noted that Bennett has paired his expertise in structural engineering with his passion for historic structures over the course of a distinguished career. Bennett has addressed a wide range of structural problems and deterioration mechanisms in buildings throughout the United States, most recently the historic lighthouses at Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout in North Carolina and Drayton Hall in South Carolina. He has won a reputation for innovative solutions that prioritize preservation of form and material. His lifelong contributions to preservation efforts in South Carolina as a professional, public servant, educator, and advocate of preservation efforts in South Carolina made him a deserving choice for this year’s Governor’s Award.
For more information about the award , click here.
Rising second-years are getting busy with their summer internships:
Claire Achtyl: Genoa Fieldwork + Ireland Fieldwork/Mortar Sample and Analysis of Molana Abbey in County Cork, Ireland
Amber Anderson : Fallingwater's Preservation Intern
Alison Dunleavy: Genoa Fieldwork + Historic Charleston Foundation and Meadors Restoration
Shannon Devlin Historic Charleston Foundation Preservation Intern.
Jackie Don: Seasonal Monuments Conservation Technician for the Central Park Conservancy, NYC
Katie Dykens: Genoa Fieldwork + MSHP intern for updating National Historic Landmark nomination for Drayton Hall.
Lauren Hoopes: Germantown Historical Society in Philadelphia, PA
Taylor Johnston: Amelia T Handegan, Inc. Interiors
Frankie Pinto: Genoa Fieldwork +Surveyer, [former] Grove & Flagg Plantations
Sarah Sanders: Montpelier
Justin Schwebler: Newport Kentucky Historic Preservation Office.
Melanie Weston: Maine Preservation
Laura Lee Worrell: Genoa Fieldwork + HABS Documentation Intern + documentation of Thornton Plantation located along Morgan's Creek in Kent County, Maryland.
Frances Ford and 5 MSHP students returned to Genoa to pick up work begun last summer at Clemson's nineteenth-century villa there. Watch their blog for daily reports on their progress: http://blogs.cofc.edu/hspv/category/genoa-2014-blog/
Class of 2014
Awards at Graduation
Sandi Clerici, interim director of the Preservation Society of Charleston, participated in the private ceremony held immediately after graduation exercises to present the MSHP thesis prize. The Preservation Society of Charleston Thesis Prize connects the MSHP program and the efforts of its students and faculty to the first stirrings of the preservation movement here in Charleston some 90 years ago and to the Preservation Society which graciously sponsors this honor. The 2014 winner was Lindsay Lanois.
The Ann Pamela Cunningham Award is bestowed annually, on recommendation of the faculty, to the student whose work with the program occupied most consistently the intersection of person, personality, and purposefulness that has long animated historic preservation. The award bears the name of the Charlestonian and South Carolinian who devoted her life to the preservation of George Washington’s Mount Vernon and in doing so, it is argued, launched the historic preservation movement.
Megan Funk was named winner of the 2014 Anne Pamela Cunningham Award.
2014 Thesis Award Recipient Lindsay Lanois
2014 Ann Pamela Cunningham Award Recipient Megan Funk
Ten members of the MSHP class of 2014 presented summaries of their theses on April 22, 2014 at South Carolina’s annual statewide historic preservation conference co-sponsored by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History and the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation. This annual gathering provides an opportunity for MSHP students share the results of research that explores a wide range of topics and research strategies, all of which contribute to the understanding of the cultural resources historic preservation organization strive to save and the processes they employ.
The Durable Slate Company, Clemson/College of Charleston Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and the Historic Charleston Foundation are teaming up on May 1st, 2014 to educate Graduate students, preservation professionals and historic property owners alike on slate roofing in Charleston.
This event will feature John Chan, owner of The Durable Slate Company, speaking about slate roof basics and different types of slate. There will also be an on-site visual inspection workshop by touring the beautiful slate roofs of Charleston. Carter Hudgins, Director for Clemson/College of Charleston Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, says, “John Chan comes to Charleston with highest recommendations as one of the nation's leading experts in the restoration of historic slate roofs. Anyone who owns or maintains a slate roof will want to hear his advice on slate roofing before we enter another hurricane season."
Clemson/College of Charleston Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, Historic Charleston Foundation and The Durable Slate Company share a common belief in the importance of education and a common goal of preserving historic structures throughout Charleston and elsewhere. To take part in this educational seminar join them on May 1st, 2014 at College of Charleston, 292 Meeting St., Charleston, SC 29401.
About The Durable Slate Company:
The Durable Slate Company provides slate, copper, and clay tile roofing services throughout the Eastern United States. For larger projects, our craftsmen will travel to anywhere in the world. For projects extending beyond the roof, our sister company, The Durable Restoration Company is an award winning restoration contractor employing craftsmen specializing in more than a dozen traditional trades covering the interior as well as the exterior envelope.
When adjunct professor Frances Ford and two MSHP Second Year students agreed to conduct a teaching demonstration project at Salve Regina University they did not expect that they would uncover a lost part of an important building’s history. Working in Ochre Court, one of the large Gilded Age “cottages” architect Richard Morris Hunt designed for wealthy clients in Newport, Rhode Island and now part of Salve Regina’s campus. Kendy Altizer and Will Smith assisted Ford with assessment of the ceiling of one of Ochre Court’s most heavily decorated rooms. Removal of modern paint revealed a decorative sky under which was a painted canvas imported from Europe and installed as the house was completed in 1895 for New York Banker Ogden Goelet. Removal of both layers of overpainting in a 5-by-7 foot section revealed a painted cherub, an unexpected discovery that Ford and her students hope to explore further.
Post & Courier Article
MSHP Students Participate in Preservation Action’s Lobby Day
A group of First and Second Year students braved a snow storm that rocked the Mid-Atlantic on the first day of Spring Break to join historic preservation professionals from across the nation at Preservation Action’s annual gathering in Washington, DC.
Architectural historians with research interests in the idioms of classically-inspired design that shaped building in the Atlantic basin from the mid-seventeenth to the mid-nineteenth century will gather in Charleston April 10-12 for the third annual meeting of Vitruviana, a conference co-sponsored by the MSHP program in cooperation with other Charleston area historic preservation organizations, among them Drayton Hall. Learn more about Vitruviana 2014 here.
Dr. Carl R. Lounsbury, senior architectural historian at Colonial Williamsburg Foundation will conduct a workshop for First Year Students as Spring 2014 Expert-in-Residence. Author of The Chesapeake House and other books that explored the form and meaning of early American architecture, Lounsbury will lead students through analysis of an unstudied house on Tradd Street.
Second Year Megan Funk will present a paper based on a portion of her thesis at in University Kentucky on February 28, 2014: The Evolution of the Kentucky Main Street Program: Its Beginning, Expansion, and Renaissance
Professor Amalia Lefeiste has, for the second year, started her spring semester historic preservation studio for First Year students with a field documentation exercise. Students completed documentation drawings of the ruins of eighteenth-century Pon Pon Chapel near Walterboro, one of South Carolina's colonial "chapels of ease." MSHP students also completed digital reconstructions of what the church might have looked like, compiled an inventory of surviving grave stones, and provided conservation recommendations based on analysis of current conditions.
Student Travels to Colonial Williamsburg
Shannon Devlin, a First-Year Student who completed her undergraduate degree in art history at Penn State University, received a scholarship to attend the 2014 Colonial Williamsburg Antiques Forum, February 14-18.
Aiken Rhett Laser ScanAssistant Professor Amalia Leifeste will coordinate MSHP student participation in cooperative project sponsored by Historic Charleston Foundation to create three dimensional interpretative digital reconstructions of the double parlors of the Aiken-Rhett House on Elizabeth Street in Charleston. Four MSHP students will then spend two weeks in December translating point clouds captured by laser scanning into finished drawing. Two students will worth with architects from the Historic American Buildings Survey to convert scanned data into documentation drawings of the parlor working at HABS studio in Washington, DC. Two will work in Charleston with Liollio Architects, the firm hired to complete this documentation project, to translate data into digital reconstructions of the parlors as they appeared at various stages in the history of the house. The purpose of this phase of the project is to create images that can be used on site to present the appearance of the parlors to visitors.
Peterson PrizeAssistant Professor Amalia Leifeste and Class of 2013 teaching assistants Pam Kendrick and Liz Shaw traveled to Taliesien West in Scottsdale, Arizona to accept the second place Peterson Prize award for the MSHP drawings of Fenwick Hall.
Wendy Madill, MSHP Class of 2013, will present a paper based on her thesis at the annual meeting of the Southeast Museums Conference. "Noiseless, Automatic Service: The History of Domestic Servant Call Bell Systems in Charleston, South Carolina, 1740-1900" is based, in part, on Madill's close analysis of the evidence for the antebellum call bell systems installed in two phases, the first in the 1830s and the second in 1858, at the Aiken-Rhett House in Charleston. Madill's discovery of key differences in bell systems installed in England, the American South and Northeast shed new light on working conditions of domestic household labor in free and slave states prior to the Civil War.
See announcement here:
Peterson Prize Winners
A student competition of measured drawings, the Charles E. Peterson Prize is presented jointly by the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) of the National Park Service,the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, and the American Institute of Architects. The annual competition, currently in its 31st year, honors Charles E. Peterson, FAIA (1906-2004),founder of the HABS program, and is intended to heighten awareness about historic buildings in the United States and to augment the HABS collection of measured drawings at the Library of Congress. In addition to generating over 5,800 sheets of drawings for the collection to date, the competition presents awards totaling $7,500 to the winning student teams. Drawings must be of a building that has not been recorded by HABS through measured drawings, or be an addendum to existing set of HABS drawings that makes a substantial contribution to the understanding of the significance of the building.
SECOND PLACE AWARD: $2,500
Project: Fenwick Hall
Location: Johns Island, South Carolina
Program: Clemson University / College of Charleston, Graduate Program in Historic Preservation
Instructors: Amalia Leifeste; Ashley R. Wilson, AIA
Team Leaders: Pam Kendrick, Liz Shaw
Student Team: Caglar Aydin, Laurel Bartlett, Charlotte Causey, Lia Farina Kerlin, Katherine Ferguson, Kelly Finnigan, Emily Ford, Robert Fuhrman, Lauren Golden, Elise Haremski, Elyse Harvey, Julianne Johnson, Brittany Lavelle, Rebecca Long, Wendy Madill, Stefanie Marasco, Neale Nickels, Rebecca Quandt, Joseph Reynolds, Mary Margaret Schley, Mariah Schwartz, Karl Sonderman, Julia Tew, Sun Tianying, Amy Elizabeth Uebel, Syra Valiente, Daniel Watts, David Weirick, Jamie Wiedman
2013 Drayton Hall
Graduate students in the Clemson University / College of Charleston graduate program in historic preservation will undertake a revision of the historical and architectural documentation of Drayton Hall in a unique partnership between the program and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Acquired by the National Trust in 1974, Drayton Hall was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960. The National Trust has conducted important research efforts that include archaeological explorations and structural investigations with the result that considerably more is known about this important mid-eighteenth century house. For example, archaeological excavations confirmed the existence of a colonade that once connected the house to flanking outbuilding depicted in a newly-discovered watercolor of the house dated 1765. Archaeological research also revealed that the house rests on foundations that extend only a few courses below the current ground surface and overlap evidence of a substantial late-seventeenth to early- eighteenth-century brick building that preceded Drayton Hall. These revelations and the results of paint analysis, intensive studies of the surviving architectural hardware, and on-going efforts to understand changes made to the building in the 20th century are among recent discoveries that will be summarized and included in and updated and expanded NHL documentation. Members of the MSHP class of 2015 will pursue the research and fieldwork necessary to update NHL documentation for Drayton through course assignments.
Kendy at Peachtree
Kendy Altizer, MSHP Class of 2014, will present a paper based on early results of her thesis research at the 2014 meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology when it convenes in Quebec. Altizer is excavating small test units within the ruins of Peachtree to ascertain the interior plan of the mid-eighteenth century house that was home of signer of the Declaration of Independence Thomas Lynch. The house burned in 1840. Altizer’s paper will be a part of a session devoted to current research in the South Carolina Lowcountry organized by Sarah Stroud, Director of Archaeology at Drayton Hall.
As the summer ended, the MSHP program said good bye and thank you to the two ICOMOS interns who spent the summer working on a range of preservation initiatives from 292 Meeting Street. Julia Crimmins from Ireland and Lia Farina Kerlin from Paraquay left Charleston in late August to report the results of their summer work in Washington before they departed for home. Julia and Lia worked on a range of documentation and research projects, among them Medway Plantation working with Historic Charleston Foundation interns Kavan Argue and Lindsay Lanois. The MSHP program cooperates annually with US/ICOMOS and Historic Charleston Foundation to sponsor two ICOMOS summer interns.
Architectural Conservator Frances Ford and eight MSHP students traveled to Genoa, Italy to resume research begun in 2011 of interior finishes in Clemson's 19th-century villa: The Charles E Daniel Center for Building Research and Urban Studies. Used during the academic year as a node in the architecture program's dispersed campus, MSHP students used the villa in May as a base from which to explore the northwest coast of Italy and extend documentation efforts that, when complete, will form the backbone of a historic structures report.
Check out the Genoa blog here.
“Turning the Corner: The Modernization of Tomb Building in New Orleans, 1880-1915” drew on the data Ford assembled on the craftsmen and firms that was an important element in her thesis “The Stonecutters and Tomb Builders of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans, Louisiana.”
Check out where our rising second-years are participating as summer interns:
Kavan Argue: Genoa Fieldwork + Historic Charleston Foundation
Kendy Altizer: Genoa Fieldwork + Seldon Hill at The Village Museum, McClellanville,SC
Megan Funk: Genoa Fieldwork + State Historic Preservation Program Intern, Main Street Program, Kentucky Heritage Council, Frankfurt, KY
Kelly Herrick: Genoa Fieldwork + Preservation Intern, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet, SC
Lindsay Lanois: Historic Charleston Foundation
Lindsay Lee: Genoa Fieldwork + Archaeologist, Lord Ashley Plantation Field School
Valerie McCluskey: Intern Glassworker, Charleston Architectural Glass + Intern Bookbinder, Charleston Library Society
Brittany McKee: Genoa Fieldwork + Kanuga Property Committee, Hendersonville, NC + Oatlands Historic House and Garden, Leesburg, VA
Erin Morton: Easement Intern, Preservation North Carolina, Raleigh, NC
Melissa Roach: Genoa Fieldwork + Kanuga Property Committee, Hendersonville, NC + Director of Housing and Community Development for the City of Charleston, Charleston, SC
Leigh Schoberth: Preservation Specialist, Oatlands Historic House and Garden, Leesburg, VA
Katherine Schultheis: NRHP Survey and Research Coordinator and Looking Up Downtown Tours Marketing Coordinator, Baltimore Heritage, Baltimore, MD + The Victorian Society in America's London Summer School, England
Will Smith: Genoa Fieldwork + MSHP
Congratulations to our graduates who completed and defended their theses and obtained a Master of Science in Historic Preservation! Students participated in the College of Charleston Graduate Commencement on Friday night, May 10. The ceremony was followed by an awards reception at 12 Bull Street, where the Ann Pamela Cunningham and Best Thesis Awards were announced. Faculty and staff enjoyed meeting and mingling with the families of the MSHP students that they had grown to know and advise for two memorable years. On Saturday the 11th, faculty, staff, students and family gathered at Fenwick Hall to celebrate once more plantation-style. Students enjoyed showing their families the site that they frequently visited and thoroughly documented while studying in Charleston. Guests enjoyed the Lowcountry weather, barbecue, good music, and exploring the grounds of Fenwick Hall.
Graduating Class of 2013
The MSHP Graduating Class of 2013
Best Thesis Award Recipient Julianne Johnson with Ann Pamela Cunningham Award Recipient Amy Elizabeth Uebel
Class of 2013 at Fenwick Hall
The Class of 2013 at Fenwick Hall (not pictured: Charlotte Causey)
Two members of the MSHP class of 2013 will make presentations based on their thesis research at the annual conference of two historic preservation organizations in the spring. Liz Shaw presented a summary of her thesis entitled "Adaptive Use Potential of Kitchen and Carriage Houses Toward Smart Growth Goals in Charleston, South Carolina" in a poster session of the annual conference of US/ICOMOS, the American affiliate of the International Committee on Monuments and Sites which convened this year in Savannah, Georgia. Emily Ford will present a paper based on her analysis of the stonecutters and tomb builders of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 in New Orleans at the annual meeting of the Society for Gravestone Preservation when it meets in June in Portland, Oregon.
Amy Elizabeth Uebel, an MSHP student who will complete her degree in May 2013, will present a paper that draws on her thesis research at the 2013 Symposium for Students of Conservation and Preservation sponsored by UCLA and the Getty Conservation Institute. Ubel’s paper, “Understanding Architectural Metal Conservation,” will summarize the results of her study of antebellum iron objects at Fort Sumter. The abstract of her paper follows:
Iron is one of the most overlooked materials in architectural conservation. Its status as a functional construction material, rather than a decorative element, often makes iron the least understood material by architectural conservators. As historic metal becomes increasingly significant in the built environment, new approaches must develop in order to better predict and understand the corrosion process.
The behavior of corrosion has been extensively studied in the engineering and conservation communities, but the two fields have developed different approaches to iron conservation. Typically, engineers classify corrosion on a macroscopic scale, while conservators approach iron on a microscopic level. Both approaches are undeniably useful; conservators, engineers, and contractors must reach a middle ground in order to make better-informed decisions regarding the sustainability, longevity, and integrity of historic iron.
Famous for its role in the Civil War, Fort Sumter is now largely a ruin with few original iron artifacts intact. History has not been kind to the fort and the metal has experienced decades of exposure to the harsh marine climate—burial in sand, and multiple rebuilding campaigns. Three well understood causes of iron corrosion, the atmosphere, context, and the metal’s composition, were applied to the architectural iron at Fort Sumter to determine which aspect has the greatest impact.
The temperature, wind, and airborne chloride levels were tracked at Fort Sumter to determine the atmospheric corrosivity level. As surrounding materials affect the exposure of embedded metal, each material was compared to see how its composition affected the historic iron. Lastly, a selection of iron objects was chosen for further analysis using X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF), Raman spectroscopy, and archival research. By studying these aspects of iron corrosion, the National Park Service will be able to form a better understanding of the corrosion of historic ironwork and implement appropriate, sensitive conservation treatments.
Rebecca Quandt’s poster entitled “Documenting Ireland’s Elizabethan Landscape” won one of three prizes awarded by an interdisciplinary team of faculty judges in the College of Charleston’s annual Graduate Student Research Symposium. Quandt’s poster summarized field work that she and 6 of her classmates conducted in the summer of 2012 documenting the ruins of Molana Abbey in County Waterford, a 14th-century complex occupied in the last decades of the sixteenth century by Thomas Hariot, surveyor, scientist and protégé of Sir Walter Raleigh.
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