Profs. Ward and Butler are excited to get their classes involved at Mr. Zion A.M.E. Church this Spring. The church is in the midst of the historic college campus but remains a prominent African American Church. Prof. Ward reached out to create a partnership with the church, giving students the opportunity to get in (and under the building) to study its materials, evolution, history, and preservation/ maintenance needs. Preservation Planning Studio students are creating measured drawings for the building, while Preservation Project Planning class will be making repair recommendations and creating a preliminary budget, scope, and schedule to guide future work that the congregation may undertake.
Prof. Ward got the students involved in high tech analysis this week, inviting Chris Morabito with Faro Technologies to demonstrate with 3D scanning of the church interiors.
The circa 1847 church has weathered a major fire and several hurricanes. It has had several repair campaigns, but retains original character defining features (as well as many materials added during alterations.) Here are some photographs of preliminary investigation on site, and be sure to check back for updates throughout the semester!:
Several members of our graduating class now have published work to boast! Prof. Stiefel selected some of the best works from his senior paper seminar addressing family heritage and associated sites and compiled them into an edited volume, available now through Heritage Books!
Here’s a description of the book:
What is Your Heritage and the State of its Preservation?: Essays on Family History Exploration from the Field – Edited By Barry L. Stiefel. During the Spring 2014 semester several students at the College of Charleston’s Historic Preservation and Community Planning program participated in their Senior Seminar titled “What is Your Heritage and the State of its Preservation?”. For this class, each student had to conduct a lengthily in-depth research paper on the state of preservation of heritage sites, material objects, or traditions associated with their family’s history. The assignment used genealogical research methods in an unconventional way by elevating the assessment of ancestors beyond typical names, dates, and generational succession; so commonly found on most family trees. The students had to ask profound questions to guide their inquiry, such as “Where (as in a specific spot) did my ancestors come from?”; “What was life like for them?”; and “What cultural traditions were important for them?”. In this way people, whether through a specific individual or a group, became connected and contextualized within time, place, and society. Moreover, the students had to utilize and synthesize the knowledge, skills, and experiences they acquired in other classes from past semesters. Essays contributed within this volume are by Blanding Lee Clarkson, Emily Floyd, Kaitlin Glanton, Dannielle Nadine Hobbs, and Michael C. Patnaude, as well as a prototype from when the editor was a student.
Students have returned to campus for the start of what will be a great semester.
There are several interesting electives being offered, including
National Register for Dummies with Dr. Stiefel,
Preservation Project Management with Prof. Butler,
Preserving Gullah Graveyard Traditions with Prof. Ward, and
Global Preservation Issues with Dr. Gilmore.
Prof. Stiefel hit the ground running with an off site lecture for the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, titled “Jews as Middlemen in the Neutral Eighteenth Century Atlantic World”. The presentation was at the Old Exchange Building and Provost Dungeon.