Notes from the Field: Preservation Internships 2011

Tony Baragona, Alison LaFever and Sarah Morrison made up a student team who conducted a World Monuments Fund sponsored conservation study of a historic church within the Moni Perivolis monastery. For three weeks in June, the team, along with their intrepid cultural attaché, Yiannis Avramides '10, to the sounds of the Gipsy Kings, acquainted themselves with the Moni Perivolis church and similar structures on the island of Lesvos, Greece. The diminutive scale and rustic fenestrations of the church at Moni Perivolis belie the jeweled interior. Inside, throughout the narthex, nave, aisle and sanctuary Greek Orthodox iconography covers every surface. The wall paintings at Moni Perivolis are unusually intact, yet in need of an intervention to ensure their lasting survival. 

At the onset of their field campaign, the team assisted Adrian Heritage, professor at the Cologne Institute for Conservation Sciences, in a visual examination of the wall paintings. Michael Devonshire, present the first week of the project, led an assessment of the building's structural conditions and the team gathered data to prepare measured drawings. Each day was enhanced by coffee breaks with the caretaker, whose filtering techniques yielded the best Greek coffee on the island. The students deepened their understanding of Moni Perivolis and the traditional techniques employed in its construction touring the other Byzantine churches on the island with Pamela Jerome. Current conditions were assessed and included in the final report.

Kelly Autumn Carroll interned for the Historic Districts Council and created 6 walking tours for HDC's 2011 "Six to Celebrate" neighborhood advocacy program. Kelly spent her time assisting advocacy leaders for each of the neighborhoods--Mt. Morris Park, Inwood, Bowery, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Jackson Heights and Gowanus--with research, writing, and photography. 

Additionally, Kelly served as a research assistant for Andrew Dolkart in which she researched records at the Brooklyn Dept. of Buildings pertaining to the former Mergenthaler Linotype Company complex.

Alison Chiu interned with the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts (DDFIA) at the late Ms. Duke’s Hawaiian residence, Shangri La. Three main structures (Main Building, Playhouse, and Cottage) designed by architect Marion Syms Wyeth are integrated with formal landscaping on the terraced, five-acre property in Kaalawai, nestled into the sloped terrain at the base of Diamond Head. Shangri La houses an exquisite collection of Islamic art pieces from Ms. Duke’s world travels, and operates as a museum with daily tours in partnership with the Honolulu Academy of Arts. 

Alison's goal for the internship was to craft a preservation plan and to create a formal record of cyclical repair and maintenance tasks performed by in-house Maintenance and Grounds Staff. In addition, the plan addressed development of a system for current and future staff to adequately record capital repair projects and site stewardship efforts. The preservation plan reflects the immense scope of work performed by the facilities and grounds staff within the context of DDFIA’s mission to promote Islamic art and culture, as well as their site stewardship goals, by also exploring the idea of future listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

Jørgen Cleemann spent his summer in Newcastle, Maine, working as the first ever summer research fellow at the Frances Perkins Center, a relatively young nonprofit dedicated to preserving a historic site and honoring the legacy of Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor under FDR and the first female presidential cabinet member. The Center is headquartered in a ca. 1837 farmhouse situated on a tract of land that has been in the Perkins family since the mid 18th century. This site is remarkable for architectural and archaeological resources that allow it to communicate the entire history of the regionundefinedfrom first contact and the French and Indian War all the way up to its present status as a summer vacation destination.  

Over the course of his all-too-brief fellowship, Jørgen assisted with daily operations, developed an interpretive program, participated in fundraising activities, and conducted intensive research on the history of brick making in the region. This research project, which Jørgen is hoping to expand into a thesis, culminated with a public presentation to a standing-room-only crowd.   

Emma Marconi interned for AKRF, a leading environmental, planning and engineering consulting firm in New York, where she worked on multiple ongoing projects. She conducted a historic resources survey of Southampton, NY, researching its numerous hamlets and photographing buildings. She helped AKRF’s archaeology group in their work relating to the World Trade Center site by carefully cleaning artifacts such as leather shoe soles, bricks, bones, pottery fragments and tobacco pipe stems that date as early as the 17th century. She also assisted in their efforts to clean, inspect, document, package and ship the second portion of an 18th century sailing vessel found on site. This work, along with a photograph of the archeologists and Emma holding the largest single piece of the bow, was highlighted in a New York Times article in August. Throughout the summer she volunteered at the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation researching and rewriting signs for their historical signs project.  

Talene Montgomery worked as an intern architect at Belmont Freeman Architects (BFA) in New York. There she was involved with a wide range of architecture and preservation projects, including the research and re-design of a lobby in a mid-century white brick apartment building on the Upper East Side and the design of a new custom carpet for the Four Seasons Restaurant in the Seagram Building. In addition to working on architectural drawings, she tackled a number of administrative tasks, including a complete overhaul of the firm´s materials library. Her experience at BFA was an invaluable learning experience, and a wonderful introduction to the professional relationship between architecture and preservation.

Lauren Perez spent her summer in Seattle and Tacoma. Her first internship, with Historic Seattle, consisted of researching and documenting the structures of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair and their 100+ architects and designers. The research will complement a lectures series to be given during the 50th anniversary celebration next summer. As part of the internship, Lauren got to meet with many of Washington State's preservation leaders, including members of the WA Trust. For her second internship, with Historic Tacoma, she worked with the Board President, Dr. Caroline Swope, to develop, produce, and promote a community workshop on historic preservation and facade restoration as well as a walking tour, with a printed guide, of South Tacoma. Lauren is currently creating an online community resource guide, a preservation plan, and researching approximately 50 buildings in order to eventually have them listed on Tacoma's Register of Historic Places.

Emily Piper was fortunate to intern with Kaese & Lynch Architecture and Engineering, based in the historic South Street Seaport of Manhattan. This small-sized firm specializes in forensic investigation of historic buildings, dealing with the many ways buildings age, deteriorate, and fail. Amongst other projects, Emily was involved in the investigation, analysis, and documentation of a historic synagogue in Flushing, Queens. The site includes multiple buildings of varying ages, materials, and styles, each creating their own interesting set of challenges and repair proposals. Mixing field documentation and computer aided design, the internship provided Emily with experience in following a project through its different stages of preservation. 

Emily's last month of “summer” was spent in New Zealand’s winter where she had the opportunity to travel to Christchurch to talk to the architects, heritage professionals and volunteers assigned the incredible task of assessing the damage, clean-up and re-build of the city after the disastrous earthquakes that destroyed two thirds of the city’s buildings and homes this past year.  

Sarah Ripple had the privilege of spending 10 weeks at the American Academy in Rome (AAR) in New York. The AAR supports the independent study and advanced research in the arts and humanities for up to thirty scholars and artists every year by providing an overseas research and study center. Sarah worked primarily with AAR Fellow Dr. Laurie W. Rush, the Booth Family Rome Prize winner for Historic Preservation, on the research and theory of cultural preservation during conflict. The work involved researching the Monuments, Men of World War II for historical reference, analyzing current international standards of preservation, and preparing information for publication. 

Additionally, Sarah worked with a number of other fellows, including Historic Preservation Fellow Mark Rabinowitz in his research on a cracking pattern in marble dating around 1908; Design Fellow Joshua G. Stein on his plaster-cast interpretation of the Trajan Column; Musical Composition Fellow Paul Rudy on the design of his score for the project La Chienna Campagna; Design Fellow Fritz Haeg on the Wild Rome event; and Andrew W. Mellon Professor-in-Charge of the School of Classical Studies Corey Brennan on the digital documentation of the Ludovisi Family archives since 1417. 

Julie Rosen spent the first six weeks of her summer in Lisbon, Portugal at the Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil (LNEC), where she conducted laboratory work concerning aspects of azulejo (Portuguese glazed ceramic tile) reproduction that had not yet been studied in Portugal. These tiles contribute to over 400 years of national architecture and culture, are assembled into both geometric and storytelling panels, and are particularly susceptible to water-related deterioration. Because of the unknown nature of the raw materials used in historic glazes, it was necessary to conduct research in order to determine what this historic composition may have been. Julie created numerous formulations of glazes with raw materials, with an emphasis on amounts of lead and tin. Ultimately, the goal of her work was to determine which glaze formulations and firing temperatures produced tiles that most closely matched the historic azulejos in terms of color, coverage, and gloss.

For her last seven weeks, Julie interned at Jan Hird Pokorny Associates (JHPA) in New York City. Her time at the firm provided her with valuable experience regarding how an architecture/preservation firm functions on a daily basis. She aided with drafting of historic structure facades, project proposals, material research, and went on several site visits where she learned about the various phases involved in a project.

Sarah Rosenblatt began her summer at the Met, restoring stained glass in the Museum's Objects Conservation Department. The she learned a variety of restoration methods and used them to restore a small Swiss panel dating to 1606, cleaning the surface, improving upon previous resin fills, and removing excess lead. 

After a month at the Met, Sarah split her time among two firms. At Essex Works, Sarah drew shop drawings for cast stone, where pieces were constructed to replace previously failed building elements (sills, lintels, pillars, quoins, balustrades, etc.). She experienced the preservation construction world from the perspective of a manufacturer, where 1/8" is critical to the design and construction of a piece. She learned how modern attachment systems for cast stone are integrated with original stone or terra cotta systems, and saw how everything got put together.

Sarah also worked for Walter B. Melvin Architects, where she aided in the documentation of the cornice for a McKim, Mead & White building on Fifth Avenue across from the Met. The 200' long, 10' tall and 7' projecting terra cotta cornice needs replacing, so she drafted base drawings for the architectural set and will continue to help with proposing new terra cotta forms for the replacements.

The variety of her summer endeavors gave Sarah many new perspectives on the field!

Kaity Ryan was fortunate to enjoy a variety of experiences this summer with Prudon & Partners, the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY), Mills+Schnoering Architects, ArtHamptons, and the Hudson River Foundation, all of this following her scholar-in-residency with the Cape Cod Modern House Trust.
Kaity contributed research and curatorial assistance for MCNY’s installation of the exhibition "Kevin Roche: Architecture as Environment" (originally curated and exhibited at Yale School of Architecture in the spring of 2011). She found it fascinating to work in a museum environment, to conduct research at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Ford Foundation, and to meet Kevin Roche and hear his perspective regarding KRJDA’s projects. 

Simultaneously, Kaity assisted adjunct associate professor, Theo Prudon, in writing an historic context study of Michigan’s Modern architectural resources as well as a townhouse study on the Upper East Side for a private client. In August, she enjoyed working with Mills+Schnoering Architects to craft an historic structure report for an eighteenth century church in New Jersey. This summer Kaity also contributed production and research for film projects with ArtHamptons and the Hudson River Foundation, respectively.

The range of these projects demonstrated just how pervasive, diverse and relevant preservation truly is.

Becca Salgado interned with two New York City-based architecture offices. The first was with Francoise Bollack Architects, where Becca helped with various active architectural projects and made several site visits to projects in progress around the city. Becca's second internship was with Li/Saltzman Architects, where she assisted with a survey of all the buildings in the Village of Scarsdale in Westchester County. Working with Andrew Dolkart and Meisha Hunter, they conducted a windshield survey of thousands of mostly residential buildings in the Village, and also delved into the history of architectural development in Scarsdale.

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