Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

6 Tips to Document Historic Details Before They Disappear from the National Trust

Posted by
By:Meghan White, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Toolkit Documenting Details Building Demolition

photo by:Everyman Films LTD/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Once this building is demolished, it can never be rebuilt in the same way, but an accurate record of historic details can help preserve the structure’s legacy.

There are hundreds of reasons to document the details of your historic house or property. I won’t list all of them here, but I will explain why it’s important to have a record.

Any career preservationist (and many amateurs) can relate to the frustration of realizing even one photograph of an altered structure could prove invaluable to a modern-day restoration or research project.

For those of us who love historic buildings and might be working on a rehabilitation, for example, it’s important to document what you see before the structure begins to change. Once you alter physical aspects of a structure, you can never return it to what it was.

In the end, maintaining a record of your property means that no matter what happens in the future, you and others will be able to know precisely what was once there.

Below are six simple ways to create that invaluable record and ensure the legacy of the historic structure that matters to you.

1. Prepare yourself with questions.

Think to yourself, “What could be lost? What are the materials that make up this structure? Where are the visible signs of craftsmanship? What elements are important to remember?”

If you train your mind to consider what details you need to capture on paper, computer, or through photography, it will be easier for you to know the right direction to take and not feel overwhelmed. Also think of the original craftsman who built the structure in question—what would they want us to remember if their work disappeared?

2. Think worst-case scenario.

A seasoned preservationist once asked me: “If the structure and all evidence of it burned in a fire tonight, would someone be able to reconstruct it based on your documentation?”

Though the idea that a building’s reconstruction could rely entirely on my documentation skills made me uneasy, I understood what she was saying. If you feel confident a structure will stand for eternity, or that if disaster struck someone else could save the day, a lot of important historic features and architectural elements could be gone for good. This worst-case mindset will encourage you to leave no details undocumented in case disaster does strike.

3. Learn how to take architectural photos.

Photography is one of the first skills a preservationist should learn. Don’t worry if your photo skills don’t typically reach beyond the pressing of your iPhone’s touch screen. Rather than worrying about taking award-worthy photos, focus instead on what you should capture.

First, you want to start with the big picture. If you’re photographing a staircase that has become too unstable and cannot be saved, you would begin taking shots of as much of the staircase as you can get in the frame. Make sure it’s clear where the staircase is in relation to the rest of the property. Next, take detail shots of the balusters, risers, and any ornamentation. Try to capture details head on—shooting from an angle or trying to be artsy warps perspective and can lead to a false interpretation.

Toolkit Documenting Details Measuring Details with a Ruler

photo by:Gatanass/Flickr/CC BY SA 2.0

Recording exact measurements of historic details can be extremely helpful to those embarking on future projects.

4. Write it down.

If you prefer using a pen over a lens, record as much as you can from what you observe. Architectural historians, engineers, and architects rely on written descriptions more than you may think.

For example, let’s say the historic theater in your town was destroyed in a flood and is about to be stripped and rebuilt. Observing what you can now could help with the rehabilitation, especially if there are no longer original blueprints or other helpful documentation to rely on.

As with photography, start big. If you are familiar with architectural terms, that’s great—otherwise, be as descriptive as you can when documenting interior configuration, the appearance of the stage and its construction materials, the floor materials, the appearance of the walls, etc. Even describing something intangible like the atmosphere and the lighting of a place can be helpful.

5. Test your math skills.

When documenting architectural features that are at risk, don’t underestimate the usefulness of simple addition.

Grab a rigid ruler (soft ones stretch out over time, so measurements won’t be accurate), measure what might not be rehabilitated or reconstructed, and then write it down. Consider sketching what you are measuring, too. You can use the sketches to identify exactly what elements your measurements refer to for people who may use your notes in the future.

If, for example, you’re turning your carriage house or stable into a garage, measure the length and width of the carriage house interior. If divisions or stall partitions no longer exist, see if you can find holes in the ground or markings on the wall that could indicate where they used to be. Measure the length and width of those, too, as well as the height for any markings on the walls. You can be a real go-getter and record using Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) standards, but it’s okay to measure however you feel comfortable.

6. Trust your gut.

Things you may believe to be insignificant usually won’t be. If they are—no harm done! If you think that maybe, possibly, you should photograph that odd nick on the brick wall of your historic kitchen, don’t think twice.

Saving buildings sometimes doesn’t happen in the literal sense. If a building is set to be demolished, or is beyond repair already, documenting what you can preserves a unique record of that structure that could prove entirely useful to someone 50 years down the road.

May is Preservation Month & We Have Great Activities for YOU!

Posted by

Preservation Month Activities

May 1Proclamations: New Hanover and Pender Counties will proclaim May to be Preservation Month.
May 2Proclamation: City of Wilmington will proclaim May to be Preservation Month.

May 13
Second Saturday Workshop at Legacy Architectural Salvage, 1831-B Dawson Street.
9:30AM – Free “make & take” workshop. Create a collage from vintage botanical prints and cedar shakes. Pre-registration required: salvage@historicwilmington.org.

May 15 & 16
5:30-7:00PM – NC Preservation Tax Credit Workshops
Preservation Tax Credit Workshops to be held in two neighborhoods. May 15 workshop will be held at Temple Baptist church, 1801 Market St. May 16 workshop will be held at 231 Central Blvd. Learn about state tax credits, local historic districts and energy efficiency. Free for HWF Members. $10 for non-members. Register by May 11 to guarantee a workshop package. Walk ups are welcome, but packets may not be available. Register for May 15 Workshop. Register for May 16 Workshop.

May 17
Sip -n- Shop at Legacy Architectural Salvage, 1831-B Dawson Street.
5:00-7:00PM – Enjoy free wine and snacks while shopping antiques, handcrafts and salvaged gems. Discover the hottest salvage store in the region! RSVP to attend: events@historicwilmington.org. To apply to be a vendor (by May 10): Sip N Shop Vendor Agreement.2017.docx

May 20
9:30AM – Wood Window Repair Workshop
Free demonstration workshop at Legacy Architectural Salvage, 1831-B Dawson Street. Expert instruction on how to care for your old wood windows. Register at salvage@historicwilmington.org.

May 24
10:00-11:00AM – James D. & Rosalie W. Carr Plaque Dedication
This year’s recipient will be the Cape Fear Museum, formerly the National Guard Armory at 814 Market Street. Presentation and plaque unveiling.

May 25
6:00-8:00PM – HWF Preservation Awards Ceremony
Awards to be presented for restoration, rehabilitation, compatible infill and adaptive reuse projects. Awards of Merit & the David Brinkley preservationist of the Year will be presented as well. Reception to follow. Co-sponsored by Residents of Old Wilmington, New Hanover County and Wilmington Downtown, Inc. Will take place at Historic New Hanover County Courthouse, 24 North 3rd Street.

May 27
10:00AM – Guided Architectural Walking Tour
HWF’s Guided Architectural Walking Tours begin. Tours will alternate every other weekend between Forest Hills and Street Car Suburbs. Tours offered, weather permitting, through mid-October. $10/pp, $5/students. Approx 1.5-2 hours long. Call 910.762.2511 or email, membership@historicwilmngton.org to reserve your spot.

May 31
6:30PM – HWF Shrimparoo
Riverwalk Landing at Elijah’s Restaurant, 2 Ann Street, Wilmington. Member event and Friendraiser. Fresh shrimp, cold beer provided by Ironclad Brewery & live music from 2017’s International Blues Competition Finalist Randy McQuay. Open to current HWF members and new members joining at the door. $20 for members OR bring a guest who signs up as a member and get in FREE. A Members only event. RSVP by May 26, 910.762.2511.

May 31
2017’s Most Threatened Historic Places List Release – Site and time TBA.

June 3
Black Rock Plantation Tour and Reception, Columbus County
2:30 – 5:00PM, Black Rock Plantation Tour and Reception, Columbus County
Meet the owner, Everett Lewis, who is restoring this c. 1845 plantation house and hear about his fascinating experience of living in the house each summer as he performs the restoration. The home, located at 7875 Hwy 87N in Columbus County, outside of Reigelwood, is being restored without electricity and water. A tour of Weyman Chapel Cemetery is included. HWF Members: $15, non-members $30. Register by May 30: 910.762.2511. Limited to 50 registrants.
Parking is limited; carpooling is encouraged. Register for the Black Rock Plantation Tour.


Friends of Preservation Month

FASTSIGNS,  Wilmington Downtown, Inc,  Ironclad Brewery,  H. Kenneth Stephens, Attorney at Law,  Angie & George Edwards,  Residents of Old Wilmington,  Johnston Architecture AIA,  City of Wilmington,  Building Performance Specialists,  Cunningham & Co. Mortgage Bankers,  Equity Restoration,  Sunset Park Baptist Church,  Temple Baptist Church,  North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office, Wells Insurance, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage


Own a Piece of ILM-Filmed “Bolden” – Legacy Architectural Salvage

Posted by


Posted Jan 26, 2017 at 4:00 PM

By Hunter Ingram StarNews Staff

WILMINGTON — Signaling the end of a production that periodically filmed in Wilmington over the last decade, “Bolden” is giving back by donating architectural and building materials to several local nonprofits.
Over four days at the beginning of the month, crews from the film delivered truckloads of doors, shutters, windows and fixtures to the Historic Wilmington Foundation’s Legacy Architectural Salvage warehouse — all aged by hand for historical and picture accuracy. Similar deliveries were made to Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity and Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry, each of whom received large palates of ply wood sheeting.
The materials were all part of the sets built for the sweeping and intricately detailed story of Buddy Bolden, the pioneering cornet player whose story unfolds as the birth of jazz takes hold of New Orleans at the turn of the century.
The film is legend in the local film industry, having first began shooting in early 2007. It returned in 2010 for more filming and again 2014, the latter time with a drastically new cast and new scenes shot in a former Rocky Point yacht warehouse. Last week, the film wrapped what several local crew were told was its last round of filming at EUE/Screen Gems Studios.
Dolores Williams, volunteer salvage manager, said she wanted to jump up and down when she first saw the sheer number and quality of pieces the film wanted to donate to the Historic Wilmington Foundation, but was worried the production liaison would find her unprofessional.
“He told me to go ahead and jump,” she said. “It was that thrilling.”
The foundation received 113 doors, 226 windows, 100 shutters, stacks of barn wood and more than 1,800 pieces of hardware.
“They even delivered it, set it up and built the racks to hold it,” she said. “I’ve never had so much service in my life.
The props donated aren’t real antique items, only fashioned to play the part of 1900-1930s pieces. Available for purchase are doors big and small, some with aged glass panels and others with chipped faded paint jobs; windows hand-crafted to give the century-old look; and door knobs, hinges and grates that provided the final set decoration touches.
For crafty homeowners and movie fans, Williams said they can benefit from the cheaper prices and unique items for art and home improvement projects. Interest in the movie items has shown in the salvage project’s sales, which all benefit the Historic Wilmington Foundation.
“The last two weekends, we have had astronomical sales because of interests from the movie items,” she said, noting the warehouse is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays or by appointment.
Over at WARM, Tom Burns, construction manager, said their plywood donation was a godsend and has already been put to use.
“What a blessing,” he said. “We repair a lot of floor damage caused by plumbing leaks and disasters like Hurricane Matthew. We are going to use the wood to reinforce floors for homeowners, many of whom are elderly or disabled, and make them safer.”
After filming in 2014, “Bolden” held a massive three-day auction of props in Wilmington including more historically manufactured and authentically antique items. The film does not have a release date.
Reporter Hunter Ingram can be reached at 910-343-2327 or Hunter.ingram@StarNewsOnline.com.

Fall Fest Antique Market & Workshop Sept 10 2016

Posted by

2nd Sat Workshops are back.jpg

LAS for workshop announcement

Workshop Instructors Mike & Shelly

Compost bin building workshop

Compost Bin Workshop


Our Second Saturday Workshop series is back!  Free adult, demonstration workshops have returned to Legacy.  September 10th will kick things off withUpcycled Shutters, 9:30am and October 8th will bring Easy Fall Decor.  Second Saturday adult workshops will run September through May and are free to the public.  To register for any of these workshops email salvage@historicwilmington.org.

Watch for additional Pop-Up workshops throughout the year.

Fall Fest Antique Market & Yard Sale

Join us for the Fall Fest Antique Market and Yard Sale on Saturday September 10th from 9:00am – 1:00pm!  The Fall Fest will feature up to 20 local vendors and select items will be discounted inside the Legacy warehouse, including Buy One Get One Free offers.  Will be held rain or shine.  Please park along the east side of Stevens hardware building and in designated area.

Vendor Registration:  Vendor participation in the Fall Fest is just $10 for a 10′ x 10′ space, paid to Historic Wilmington Foundation.  To register, contact the salvage manager, Dolores Williams, at salvage@historicwilmington.org, by August 28th.  Vendor sale items are limited to antiques, household goods and arts & crafts.  Space is limited, so register early!

LAS is looking for volunteers!
Email salvage@historicwilmington.org to find out more today! We have a good time at Legacy, and just 4-5 hours per month is all it takes to support the operation.

LAS is also accepting donations of construction tools during regular store hours:  Saturdays 9:00AM-1:00PM.  Donations of gently used (or new) construction and garden tools are needed. Duplicate tools will be donated to Kids Making It, and garden tools will be donated to school or community gardens.