November 9, 2009
There are still plenty of surprises out there.
I didn’t know about this building: an Egyptian Revival Presbyterian church by William Strickland, 1851, in Nashville, TN. What was going on among the Presbyterians of Nashville to make this thing happen? Thanks to ArmyArch for posting this mind-bending building.
November 9, 2009
Next Friday, November 20th, 2009, will be the official opening of Richard Charlton’s Coffeehouse in Williamsburg, Virginia. The reconstruction of this building and the interpretive planning have been an intense two-year project involving people across the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. The results are indeed spectacular, so be sure to visit if you’ll be in the area. I understand that the coffee is pretty tasty, too.
There are piles of information on the project at the official CWF website. Start with the announcement here.
July 14, 2009
This past weekend, my wife came home to find three suspicious squirrels having a confab under my 1995 Volvo 850 T5-R, a lovely, lovely car that was parked in the driveway. They bolted when she pulled in, as squirels will do when they’re up to no good.
Later that day, when she started the Volvo, gas came pouring out from underneath, so she shut it down–this was not just a little leak but a rivulet of gasoline, flowing out onto the driveway, her shoes, etc. So we had the car towed to our mechanic, who told me, with amazement, that the gas line looked like an animal had chewed a huge hole in it and that there was no sign of any other damage, as there would be if I’d driven over something that cut the line.
So maybe it’s finally time to get a cat, or a dog we can train to go after critters with gas on their breath. Those stupid things think they can get away with anything because they have fluffy tails but they’re really just mooching, punk-ass rodents. Or maybe we can work something out with the local hawks.
March 17, 2009
Prospective scholars of early American architectural history, take note:
College of William and Mary and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Architectural Field School, History 490/590
July 6-August 7, 2009
Carl Lounsbury, Instructor
The Colonial Williamsburg Architectural Research Department in conjunction with the College of William and Mary’s National Institute of American History and Democracy offers a five-week course this summer that is open to undergraduate and graduate students as well as those with a special interest in early American architecture. This field school introduces students to the methods used in the investigation and recording of buildings. On-site examination of structures in the Historic Area of Williamsburg and visits to buildings in the surrounding Tidewater region follow several introductory lectures on building technology and architectural features. The program is intended to help students distinguish the form, fabrication, and assembly of materials and building elements and understand their chronology. They will learn how to apply field evidence to answer larger questions concerning architectural and social history.
The fourth week is devoted to investigating and recording buildings on location away from Williamsburg. The field school will return to Beaufort, South Carolina, to assist the Historic Beaufort Foundation in recording town houses and plantation sites. Back in Williamsburg for the last week, students will convert their fieldwork into measured drawings using a CAD program and write reports on their sites.
This class will meet four days a week from 10:00 to 4:30. It will require travel (in a van) and some physical exercise—mainly climbing and squeezing. Students must be enrolled for the course through the College of William and Mary. The cost of travel and accommodations in Beaufort will be covered by the program. For more information, please email Carl Lounsbury at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (757) 220-7654.
For more information about past field schools, including finished reports, see here.
For images from previous field schools, see here.
February 12, 2009
The Chronicle reported Tuesday about the Catalog of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts. This is a simple, lovely new resource developed by a UCLA professor of English, Matthew Fisher, to identify and index the digital manuscripts that are currently scattered across the web and difficult to find.
It’s a very simple idea, and not one designed for its commercial appeal but surely one that could usefully be applied to, say, North American buildings built before 1800, referencing HABS, statewide surveys, etc., and including fields for name, location (ideally in lat-long format), date, and a link to the resource. It would be simple but labor-intensive to build, and a major boon to scholars and students of early American architecture.
There’s so much material available, I guess we’re back to needing Yahoo!, at least for scholars.
December 18, 2008
Those within an hour’s drive of Williamsburg should come this Saturday, December 20th, to watch the heavy timber frame of Charlton’s Coffeehouse be raised into place. The front wall and the upper level floor system will be erected starting at 9am, at the east end of Duke of Gloucester Street.
The frame has been cut entirely by hand and will be raised using only muscle power. It will be quite a sight.
From the official press release:
“Williamsburg, VA: Historic Trades carpenters with the assistance of 15 civil engineering students from the Virginia Military Institute’s corps of cadets and members of the Timber Framers Guild will raise the heavy timber-framed south wall and second floor framing of the coffeehouse without the aid of modern machinery. Applying ancient principles of physics and lifting technology common to the 18th century, the carpenters and cadets will erect the building’s timbers using A-frame cranes and old-fashioned muscle power.
The south wall will be raised and pegged into position between 9 – 10 a.m. At 10 a.m., the first of the five heavy timber tie beams that form the second floor framing will be lifted, placed in position and secured. The process of installing the tie beams should require about one hour per beam.
The Charlton’s coffeehouse project is one of the most important reconstructions on the Historic Area’s Duke of Gloucester Street in half a century thanks to a generous $5 million gift from Mr. and Mrs. Forrest E. Mars Jr.”
Don’t miss it.
December 12, 2008
There is a fantastic exhibit of photographs in the New York City Housing Authority Collection up here. It includes images from the 1930s and 40s of new public housing, as well as some invaluable views of the tenements and neighborhoods that were demolished to make room for them. Look for images of back-lot tenements and old-law tenement interiors, in particular.
It seems this has been up for a while, so belated congratulations to the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives at Laguardia Community College for posting these fabulous images.