University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program

HP 302 Community Preservation Projects

Robert McCullough

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INTERDISCIPLINARY SEMINAR IN CULTURAL LANDSCAPES &
COMMUNITY PRESERVATION PROJECTS
SYLLABUS AND PR0JECT GUIDELINES
Fall, 2017


COURSE DESCRIPTION. This third-semester course is designed to encourage students to become advocates for historic preservation and to be cognizant of the need for an interdisciplinary approach to that advocacy. It follows, in logical sequence, courses offered during the first and second semesters. Introductory courses, History on the Land, History of American Architecture, Historic Preservation Law, and Researching Historic Structures and Sites, were intended to provide a broad view. Those courses, in turn, were followed by seminars that offered much closer inspection of preservation tools and areas of practice (Contemporary Preservation Policy and Planning, Historic Preservation Practice Methods, and Architectural Conservation.

Advocacy is the fundamental activity that separates our discipline from that of general history. In addition to being historians of the built and cultural environments, we are advocates for the preservation of historic resources. We speak for these resources and engage the public in conservation efforts. Thus, the course's principal project assignment will involve the development of community preservation projects for non-profit and public-sector organizations or agencies, serving as advocates for the resources in question and in some way benefiting such organizations and agencies.

At the same time, preservation advocacy cannot function in isolation of other worthy concerns, and the need for an interdisciplinary, humanistic approach to the conservation of resources, natural as well as cultural, is becoming increasingly apparent. Thus, classes will advance that interdisciplinary approach when possible.

All the while, the course will continue to emphasize the reading of history on the land begun in HP201, but do so in greater depth and turn our attention to cultural landscapes. Toward that end, we will investigate two seemingly opposing aspects of land shape: forested landscapes and heavy industry, the latter represented by steel manufacturing and the refining of fossil fuels. Having anchored those two poles in an environmental spectrum, we will explore middle ground in the hope of spanning the considerable divide between cultural and natural resource protection in this country.  At key junctures, we will again underscore to the important relationship between history and art in the interpretation of landscapes, and will also point to the Society for Industrial Archeology, the country's principal organization devoted to understanding and preserving the nation's industrial heritage.

Separately, a new segment of the course will offer a review of Mid-Century Modern residential architecture, supplementing the topic of “Surveys of Historic Sites and Structures offered in the spring seminar, Historic Preservation Practice Methods.  Familiarity with post-World War II residential architecture is fast becoming essential in the context of regulatory review under Section 106, and an understanding of architectural trends during the second half of the twentieth century is an essential part of practice skills.  We will be relying heavily on Virginia McAlester’s most recent edition of A Field Guide to American Houses.

READINGS. With such goals in mind, the following required readings have been selected. The books by Stilgoe, Wessels and Cannavo should be available from the campus bookstore or through the internet; the Garn book is out of stock but should be available on the internet and will be on Wheeler House reserve.  Copies of the Cronon article, National Register Bulletin 18, National Register Bulletin 30; Guidelines for Treatment of Cultural Landscapes, Carl Sauer’s essay, “The Morphology of Landscape,” and several other publications will be distributed.  I have also added a short book, Stations. An Imagined Journey, by artist and writer Michael Flanagan, which will reinforce the important relationships between cultural landscape history and landscape art.  That book is available through the internet but is optional.

1.  John Stilgoe, What is Landscape? Cambridge: MIT Press, 2015

2. Tom Wessels. Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New England. Woodstock, Vermont: Countryman Press, 1997.

3. Andrew Garn. Bethlehem Steel. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999.

4. William Cronon, "The Trouble with Wilderness, or Getting Back to the Wrong Nature." Environmental History 1 (January, 1996).

5.  Peter Cannavo.  The Working Landscape.  Founding, Preservation, and the Politics of Place.  Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2007.

6.  Carl Sauer, “Morphology of Landscape,” in University of California Publications in Geography, Vol. 2, No. 2.  Berkley, CA: University of California Press, 1925.  Handout

7. U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service. "How to Evaluate and Nominate Historic Designed Landscapes." National Register Bulletin 18.

8. U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service. "Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Rural Historic Landscapes." National Register Bulletin 30.

9. U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service. "Guidelines for Identifying, and Registering Historic Mining Properties.” National Register Bulletin 42.

10. U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service. The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for the Treatment of Cultural Landscapes. Charles Birnbaum and Christine Peters, eds. Washington, G.P.O., 1996.

11.  U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service.  Preservation Brief 36: Protecting Cultural Landscapes: Planning, Treatment and Management of Historic Landscapes.

12.  National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation: Historic Resources of the Mad River Valley.

13.  David L. Ames and Linda Flint McClelland, “House and Yard,” in Historic Residential Suburbs: Guidelines for Evaluation and Documentation for the National Register of Historic Places.  Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 2002.  National Register Bulletin

14.  Michael Flanagan.  Stations. An Imagined Journey.  New York: Pantheon Book, 1994.

In addition, students will be asked to identify at least two books relevant to the project assignments selected, to review those selections with the course instructor, and to include those two books as part of required readings. Final project presentations must incorporate a discussion of those readings for the benefit of other students in the class.

SCHEDULE OF CLASS MEETINGS. Class meetings are assigned to a three-hour segment on Thursdays between 1:15 and 4:15 in Wheeler 101. In addition to class presentations, the course is designed to give students sufficient freedom to develop individual or team projects, coordinate activities with sponsoring agencies or organizations, conduct research, and engage in field study.  In addition, two field trips have been scheduled during the semester, and students should make arrangements for any conflicts involving other classes or teaching assistant responsibilities.  One of those trips will be a full-day excursion to the Green Mountain National Forest.  Lunch will be provided.
 

1.    August 30th

1:15 to 2:30 P.M.  Class Introduction. Course summary and description of project portfolio.  Introduction to cultural landscape studies.

2:45 to 4:15 P.M.  Mid-Century Modern Architecture: Banker’s Modern: Minimal Traditional (1935 – 1950s); Banker’s Modern: Ranch (1935 – 1975); Banker’s Modern: Split-Level (1935 – 1975).


2.    September 7th

1:15 to 4:15.  Field Study: Jericho Research Forest, Jericho VT.  Class discussion will focus on the documentation and interpretation of cultural and natural resources in UVM's research forest, formerly an early 19th century farmstead.  We'll have a chance to read the forested landscape first hand and will be joined by Walter Poleman from the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources.

Readings: Stilgoe, What Is Landscape?, Chapter 1; Wessels, Reading the Forested Landscape, Chapters 1-2; and National Park Service: National Register Bulletin 30.


3.    September 14th

1:15 to 1:30.  Project Review.  Students should have selected topics by this date, and should provide brief sketches of these selections, discussing methodology, readings and research, development of project statements, and resolution of any concerns.

1:30 to 2:30.  Mid-Century Modern Architecture:  Mainstream Modern: International (1925 – Present); Mainstream Modern: Contemporary (1945 – 1990); Mainstream
Modern: Shed (1965 – 1990); Mainstream Modern: Other 20th- Century Modern: Organic (1950s – Present); A-Frame (1950s – 1970s); New Formalism (1950s –
1970s); Brutalism (1950s – 1970s); Post-Modern (1960 – Present); Deconstructivism (1980s – Present); 21st-Century Modern

2:45 to 4:15.  Class Discussion: A Trail Head to Interdisciplinary Landscape Study.  Presentation will focus on the fifty-year friendship of conservationist Benton MacKaye and architect Clarence Stein, America's 21st century kindred spirits in environmental humanism. Their model sets the stage for using landscapes as meeting grounds where a broad range of human concerns such as housing, urban blight, population, transportation, community, and ecology can be confronted through local and regional planning.

Readings: Ames and McClelland, “House and Yard;” Stilgoe, What Is Landscape?, Preface, Introduction, Chapter 5, and Chapter 7; Cronon, "The Trouble with Wilderness."


4.    Friday, September 22nd

7:45 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Field Trip.  Departs from Wheeler House. Starting point will be the U.S. Forest Service Station, Rochester, Vermont. We will be joined by Dave Lacy, former archeologist for the U. S. Forest Service Green Mountain and Finger Lakes Region, who will explain the service's plans for cultural resource protection in the Granville Gulf area of Vermont's Green Mountain National Forest.  Mary Russ, Executive Director of the White River Partnership will contribute to discussions about collaborative efforts among property owners to reclaim river corridors and create buffer zones, and we will use the White River in Hancock as a study model.  We will also visit the Robert Frost’s summer cabin in Ripton.  From Ripton, we will travel a short distance south to the Forest Dale blast furnace in Brandon, adding the component of heavy industry to the discussion.  Transportation and lunch will be provided, but you should bring snacks because it will be a long day.  Dress for outdoor activities.

Readings: Sauer, “The Morphology of Landscape; Stilgoe, What is Landscape?, Chapter 2; Wessels, Reading the Forested Landscape, Chapters 3-4; National Park Service, Preservation Brief 36; National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation: Historic Resources of Mad River Valley.


5.  September 28th

1:15 to 4:15.  Class Discussion: Cultural Landscapes. Presentation will focus on the structure and criteria developed by the National Park Service to evaluate historic cultural landscapes, representing four distinct types: historic sites, historic designed landscapes, historic rural or vernacular landscapes, and ethnographic landscapes. This structure will provide a benchmark for consideration of many of the landscapes to be considered throughout the course.

Readings: Stilgoe, What Is Landscape?, Chapter 3; Wessels, Reading the Forested Landscape, 5-6; and National Park Service: Guidelines for the Treatment of Cultural Landscapes


6.  October 5th

1:15 to 4:15.  Discussion: Management of Historic Designed Landscapes. Presentation will focus on the 1982 Restoration and Management Plan for New York City’s Central Park, a model plan for the survey, assessment, and interpretation of one of the country’s most important designed landscapes.  The discussion will also provide a detailed analysis of the park’s historic and existing landscape features.

Readings: Stilgoe, What Is Landscape?, Chapter 4; Wessels, Reading the Forested Landscape, Chapters 7-8; National Park Service, National Register Bulletin 18


7.  October 12th

1:15 to 4:15.  Mid-Semester Class Presentations. Students will offer summaries of course projects, and the status of those projects to date. Presentations should include a discussion of research completed, description of the format for the final product (whether written report, web page, promotional literature, historic structures report, etc.), summary of the research materials and methods being used, brief outline of relevant literature, and identification of issues, questions, or problems that must be addressed. The class session will be provide a critique of these projects as an aid to their successful completion. Presentations should be confined to fifteen-minute segments.

Readings: Project selections.


8.  October 19th

1:15 to 4:15.  Class Discussion: Vermont's Historic Bridge Program. Topics will include a history of the program, the preservation plans that have been developed for bridge types, including metal truss bridges and covered bridges, and case studies of successful (or not so successful) projects.

Readings: Stilgoe, What is Landscape?, Chapter 6; Cannavo, Working Landscape, Introduction and Chapter 1.


9.  October 26th

1:15 to 4:15.  Class Discussion: Steel Manufacturing in America. Part 1. Presentation will focus on two aspects of steel manufacturing: (1) converting pig iron into steel through the Bessemer, open hearth, crucible, electric furnace, and basic oxygen methods; and (2) the evolving technology of blast furnaces.

Readings: Garn, Bethlehem Steel, pages 3-47; Stilgoe, What is Landscape?, Chapter 8;
Cannavo, Working Landscape, Chapters 2-3.


10.  November 2nd

1:15 to 4:15.  Class Discussion: Steel Manufacturing in America. Part 2.  Presentation will focus on the numerous other features of the built environment requisite to the vertically integrated manufacture of steel, including transport and movement of ores and coal; ore beneficiation; by-product coking plants; blooming and various rolling mills, and the evolving technology associated with these mills and their rolling machines; treatment of finished products such as porcelain enameled steel and galvanized steel; seamless tubing; forging; power systems; blowing engines; dry air blast; steel monopoly; and company towns.

Readings: Garn, Bethlehem Steel, pages 51-107. Please study the images and be prepared to read the history that you see; Cannavo, Working Landscape, Chapters 4-5.


11.  November 9th

1:15 to 4:15.  Class Discussion: Refining Fossil Fuels.  Presentation will continue the focus on heavy industry but will shift to the mining and refining of fossil fuels, and the subsidiary industries that have developed in relation to this aspect of American manufacturing.

Readings: Cannavo, Working Landscape, Chapters 6-7; National Park Service, National Register Bulletin 42.


12.  November 16th

1:15 to 4:15.  Class Discussion: Gas Stations. Presentation will focus on the very visible part of the roadside built environment related to motorized transportation dependent on fossil fuels, e.g. the automobile. The history and evolution of American gas stations as a unique architectural type will be considered, as will the numerous contributions of this building form to other aspects of roadside commerce.

Readings: Stilgoe, What is Landscape?, Chapter 9.


13.  November 23rd

Thanksgiving Recess – No Class


14.  November 30th

1:15 to 4:15.  Class Presentations


15.  December 7th

1:15 to 4:15.  Open Study – Project Completion.


CLASS PRESENTATIONS.  Final class presentations will be scheduled in lieu of a final examination, and students are encouraged to consider these as rehearsals for presentations to be given to project sponsors, if possible. The materials you discuss should be organized into thirty-minute segments, including ten minutes allotted for questions and discussion.

COMMUNITY PRESERVATION PROJECT ASSIGNMENT. Students will be asked to select an area of special interest and apply appropriate preservation tools and policies toward completion of a project that advances the cause of historic preservation for a non-profit organization or public agency, or in some way advance the cause of community preservation. Five principles are fundamental to the structure of this course.

1.    Students should be given an opportunity to explore areas of individual interest in great depth. Select projects that interest you or involve subjects that you hope to pursue in your preservation career.

2.    Students should try, in some respect, to incorporate public advocacy for preservation into each project.

3.    Students will work directly with non-profit or public agency sponsors to define and execute these projects. Your role is as a private consultant engaged by that organization, and the project is to be defined by mutual agreement. The form of the final product must satisfy your professional standards as well as those of your sponsor

4.    Completed projects should be substantial enough to add to student portfolios.

5.    Finally, students may develop these projects individually or in small teams.  Projects will be evaluated by sponsors and by course instructors and will be measured against criteria that expand these fundamental principles.

PROJECT GUIDELINES. Students will be responsible for all aspects of project development, and the following guidelines should be observed.

Project Selection. Projects should be selected from the attached list, and students should consider projects that can be linked to their desired areas of practice. Students should also consider the nature or mission of the sponsoring organization, again as a way to explore in greater depth the type of work conducted by that organization. One of the course's goals is to assist students faced with making career choices. Using a template provided, students should prepare written proposals for desired projects and meet with the course instructors to confirm any selection. Students may also develop their own project or projects, subject to approval from the course instructor.

Bibliography. Each student, working with course instructors, will develop a bibliography of readings for their respective projects. Readings should be selected to expand students' knowledge in areas of practice relevant to the project. Comprehensive summaries of at least two readings must be included in the final class presentations, a means to share that knowledge with the entire class.

Individual or Team Projects. Students should weigh the respective merits and hardships of individual and team projects. Generally, the scope of team projects will be larger, more complex, and the final product may have more far-reaching influence. In addition, the experience gained from working as part of a team can be valuable. However, students who select team projects will be collectively (jointly and severally) responsible for all aspects of the work. Evaluations by the course instructors and project sponsors will focus on the product itself, not the separate contributions of individual students. A single grade will be given for the project, and that same grade will be given to each participating student, regardless of the quality or extent of work performed by individual students. Be forewarned. This rule can create inequitable results. Thus, it is important for students to form partnerships with colleagues whose skills, work habits, and interests are compatible. Once a partner has been selected and a project started, it may not be possible to change to another project and meet the required deadlines. Team projects also require additional time for planning and coordinating work assignments. Individual projects, although usually narrower in scope, nevertheless provide students with an opportunity to select topics that are of particular interest and to explore those topics in greater depth. Students may also have the opportunity to work more closely with project sponsors. Finally, students may be better able to organize their time to fit complicated work schedules.

Project Statement. Once a project has been selected, students must develop a simple project statement that describes the final product, explains the expected work performance of each participating party (including project sponsors), assigns responsibility for specific tasks, and includes a schedule for project completion. That schedule must incorporate the deadlines identified by these guidelines. The project statement should be signed by each student and by the project sponsor. Copies of that signed project statement should be submitted to project sponsors and to the course instructors. The project statement should also identify the expected costs, if any, and explain the method of reimbursement.

Public Advocacy and Presentations. One of the course's fundamental principles is that the project must in some manner advance the cause of historic preservation. Put another way, students must add to public awareness about the contributions of historic preservation. Different projects can accomplish this in different ways, and students should work with sponsors and the course instructors to create an appropriate strategy. If possible, students are encouraged to devise a public presentation and will be given extra credit for that effort.

Class Presentations. Each student will be asked, individually or as part of a team, to present his or her project to the entire class. Presentations will outline project participants, content, direction, and objectives and will identify the key readings selected and will be an opportunity to rehearse for public presentations. In addition, a more detailed summary of readings will be required.

Travel. Some of the projects offered will require travel, and students should consider the complexities of transportation when making a selection. Travel will increase the overall time required to complete a project, and coordination with project-sponsors may be more difficult as well. Anticipating and planning for work to be accomplished at a distant site may also be troublesome. Nevertheless, a course with a broad geographical reach will expose students to a greater variety of topics, which in turn will offer more opportunities for individual exploration. Moreover, students will be given a better understanding of the many regional organizations that are working in the field of historic preservation. The projects, too, may serve as very personal introductions to specific areas of practice and become part of student portfolios. In addition, many of the projects have been designed to allow students to complete work it convenient locations.

Project Sponsors. Project sponsors will serve as students' clients and will be responsible for defining and evaluating projects. An evaluation form will be distributed to all sponsors, and that form will provide guidelines for review. Criteria include (but are not limited to) accuracy of content, writing, organization or format, quality of visual materials, communication skills, and presentation style. Course instructors will rely heavily on these evaluations in assigning project grades. It is crucial for students to establish clear communication with project sponsors at the outset and to define very precisely the sponsor's expectations. These should be incorporated into the written project statement. If miscommunication occurs or if questions develop, stop work immediately and resolve those questions. Delay can be costly.

Course Instructors. In most cases, the content of projects will be determined by project sponsors, and the course instructor may have only limited discretion to revise that content.  In addition, the breadth (or narrowness) of certain topics may make review difficult for the course instructor. In such instances, students must again rely on project sponsors for essential critique. However, the course instructors will be available for general guidance and will evaluate projects using the same criteria given to project sponsors

Written Materials. Students are solely responsible for producing clearly written, well organized, and carefully edited documents. Poorly written or poorly edited materials will be returned to students without comment and without extension of any deadlines. Careful editing requires time, and students should complete documents well in advance of deadlines in order to devote several days to the editing process. If you lack confidence in your writing skills, it is your responsibility to seek assistance from course instructors or a professional editor early in the semester.  Final review of documents by course instructors and project sponsors should focus on substantive content, and this is very difficult to do if documents are poorly written. If documents are to be placed in public circulation, students should schedule additional time for copy-editing, a normal part of the publication process.

PROJECT DEADLINES. Students will be responsible for meeting the course deadlines. If deadlines are missed, it may not be possible for project sponsors and course instructors to complete their reviews in time for students to graduate.

Thursday, September 14th: Projects should be selected and briefly presented for review to the class.  Drafts of project statements should be ready for signature by project sponsors. A copy of the executed project statement should then be submitted to the course instructor.

Thursday, October 5th:  Fifty per-cent of project research should be completed.

Thursday, October 26th:  All project research should be completed.

Thursday, November 16th: Projects are due for submission to course instructor. Any written materials to be included as part of any project must be fully edited for content, grammar, and syntax.  Poorly edited documents will be returned for resubmission, but project schedules will not be extended. Projects will be reviewed and returned for necessary corrections.

Monday, December 4th: Revised documents should be resubmitted to project sponsors and the course instructor.