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NCPTT’s Architecture & Engineering program encourages research and partnerships with organizations and institutions working to advance preservation technology for buildings and other structures.


Preserving Coastal Forts: An NPS Workshop

Preservation work at Fort Sumter National Monument in 2008.

Preservation work at Fort Sumter National Monument in 2008.

Photo by: NPS

The Center partnered with the Historic Preservation Training Center, the Cultural Resources Division of the Southeast Regional Office of NPS and Fort Sumter National Monument to develop, market and create online registration for the workshop. The Preserving Coastal Forts workshop used examples, illustrated presentations, and field demonstrations to stimulate discussion and identify “best practices” treatments that have the potential for broader application to different styles and types of masonry coastal fortifications. The workshop was held at the Fort Sumter National Monument in Fort Moultrie, S.C., April 8-10. Andy Ferrell and Kirk Cordell attended.

Trades Training

Kirk Cordell and Andy Ferrell met with Dr. Murphy, Superintendent of the Natchitoches Parish School Board, and members of the parish school board to discuss possible collaboration to develop a trades training program for area high schools. Building on the Brooklyn High School of the Arts model, the partners would develop a curriculum tailored to the needs of Natchitoches students and take advantage of the cultural resources available in and around the City of Natchitoches.

Preservation Trades High School Curriculum Summit participants.

Preservation Trades High School Curriculum Summit participants.

Photo by: Steve Stier

Andy Ferrell and Christine Faith, NCPTT Heritage Education coordinator, participated in a Preservation Trades High School Curriculum Summit to discuss, develop and implement a framework for facilitating traditional trades training in high schools. This meeting was funded through a cooperative agreement with NCPTT. Participants discussed the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of programs, but primarily focused on the models in place at the Brooklyn School of the Arts (BHSA) and the Randolph Career Technical Education Center. The BHSA program was developed by the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and was originally supported by NCPTT. The Randolph program features an “under the radar” approach to integrating traditional skills training into existing courses.

As a result of the meeting, representatives from NJIT and the Randolph School are discussing working together to test the teacher preparation program developed by NJIT (supported through an existing cooperative agreement between NCPTT and NJIT).

US/ICOMOS Cooperative Agreement: Internship and Preservation Technology Research

US/ICOMOS and NCPTT are developing an annual awards program that will serve as an incentive for graduate students to adopt thesis topics related to major needs in the field of historic preservation technology. NCPTT and US/ICOMOS have had initial discussions regarding the awards program, which will be implemented under the National Center’s new Cooperative Agreement with US/ICOMOS.

US/DOCOMOMO Cooperative Agreement

NCPTT has drafted a cooperative agreement with the United States committee of the International Working Party for the Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites and Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement (DOCOMOMO International). The cooperative agreement will provide a framework for cooperation in the development of research and training related to the preservation needs of modern era resources.

APT Cooperative Agreement: Preservation Technology Research Cooperative Agreement

NCPTT is working with APT to develop and disseminate an enhanced preservation technology training program that forwards the missions of both organizations. The first planned activity is to develop a Nondestructive Evaluation Workshop that will be offered twice in 2008. Based on an NDE workshop that APT previously offered, the first workshop will be offered in Charleston, S.C., on May 16-17. The workshop will provide guidance in the evaluation and rehabilitation of historic structures. The two-day workshop is intended for graduate engineers, practicing engineers who are not familiar with the subject area, and technically oriented professionals from other disciplines. The programs are divided between classroom time and hands-on field sessions. Additional partners for the Charleston event include the APT Southeast Regional Chapter and Drayton Hall. The team has begun planning for a second training event to be held in the fall on the west coast.

LSU Cooperative Agreement: Innovative Documentation Strategies

NCPTT is working with the Louisiana State University School of Architecture to develop and test a methodology to use geospatial digital video documentation technology to efficiently survey historic buildings and landscapes pre- and post- disaster. Developing such technology will enable planners and others to better assess risks to historic resources, plan effective mitigation strategies and improve disaster response. Andy Ferrell, Barrett Kennedy of LSU and Deidre McCarthy of the NPS Heritage Documentation Program presented current progress at the National Trust annual conference in St. Paul, Minn., October 2-6.

Natchitoches Architectural Survey/Graduate Assistantship

Belinda Diehl surveys on Rue Washington, Natchitoches, LA.

Belinda Diehl surveys on Rue Washington, Natchitoches, LA.

Photo by: Sarah M. Jackson

Belinda Diehl is part of NCPTT’s effort to give something back to our host community. She is continuing the Natchitoches Architectural Survey and has been working in the Natchitoches National Historic District with hopes to complete interior streets of the district by the end of April. The survey is a GIS-GPS based survey using ArcGIS software and Trimble GPS units to collect data. She completed the revision of the Natchitoches Architectural Survey Guide, which is ready for review. She also assisted in formatting limewash data for the NCPTT website. This data has been approved and is waiting to be uploaded.


Environmental Adaptations in Louisiana Buildings Workshop

Andy Ferrell and Sarah Jackson are working with Eddie Cazayoux of EnvironMental Design Gene Cizek and Mark Thomas of Tulane University and Barrett Kennedy of Louisiana State University to develop a workshop on environmental adaptations of traditional buildings. The workshop will include an introduction to southern Louisiana and Gulf coast climate; survey of vernacular architecture from Native American to French colonial to present; basic principals of sustainable design (materials, orientation, heat transfer, etc.); techniques and examples of sustainable restoration/renovation work. The workshop will be held in Lafayette in early fall to accommodate student schedules and will be two day in length with trips into the field.

Limewash Workshop and Video

Andy Ferrell and Eric Ford discussing the slave/tenant cabins at Magnolia Plantation.

Andy Ferrell and Eric Ford discussing the slave/tenant cabins at Magnolia Plantation.

Photo by: Sarah M. Jackson

Based on NCPTT’s research on the durability of limewashes, Andy Ferrell and Sarah Jackson are developing a training workshop and instructional video that will showcase the Center’s limewash expertise. The workshop will present the Center’s research on traditional and modified limewashes and provide hands on training in preparing and applying this finish. A final location has not been determined for the workshop and video.



Sarah Jackson responded to numerous inquires from homeowners in New Orleans with questions about applying limewash to their historic structures. Her contact information has been passed on by grant administrators for the Road Home Program she met while manning the booth in the exhibition hall at Traditional Building and Exhibition in New Orleans.

Front Street Bricks

Contractors removing bricks from Front Street.

Contractors removing bricks from Front Street.

Photo by: Belinda Diehl

NCPTT was contacted by the contractors for Progressive Construction for suggestions on cleaning the bricks removed from Front Street in Natchitoches. The bricks were removed to enable work beneath the street and will be laid down as the final step of the project. NCPTT passed on information for several companies that manufacture cleaners for use on historic bricks, contact information for conservators that specialize in cleaning historic bricks, and TPS Preservation Briefs that address this subject.

Melrose Plantation

Andy Ferrell and Sarah Jackson met with Eddie Cazayoux of EnvironMental Design and Patrick Sparks of Sparks Engineering, Inc. The discussion centered on the continuing deterioration of the Yucca and Africa Houses towards developing an intervention to stabilize and preserve these structures. NCPTT has been involved in this discussion since NCPTT’s Engineering for Older and Historic Buildings training that was held during 2004-2006. We also passed on electronic copies of historical photos of Africa House.


National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Sustainable Preservation Research Retreat

Andy Ferrell participated in this retreat that sought to develop a joint research and advocacy strategy for integrating preservation into the green building movement. The organizations currently involved are American Institute of Architects, Association for Preservation Technology International, National Park Service, General Services Administration, and National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers.

Louisiana Flood Protection and Ecosystem Restoration Professional Development Program

Andy Ferrell participated in the final day of the three-day program exploring flood protection policy, flood protection administration and various aspects of the design, construction and maintenance of flood protection systems. More than 60 levee board officials, emergency management administrators, floodplain managers, engineers, biologists, geologists and representatives of state and federal agencies participated in the pilot program. Ferrell met with collaborators Dr. Barrett Kennedy of the LSU School of Architecture and the event’s organizer Dr. John C. Pine, director of the LSU Disaster Science & Management Program. Discuss surrounded how to enhance the training by developing a cultural resource component or tailoring the current workshop for cultural resource managers.

Colorado Preservation Inc.’s 2008 Saving Places Conference

Andy Ferrell chaired a session titled “Sustainable Preservation” that focused on historic preservation and environmental conservation. Topics included historic building performance and energy conservation, efforts to integrate preservation values into the LEED rating system, and a case study of a rehabilitation project using the Sustainable Preservation Assessment developed by SLATERPAULL ARCHITECTS. Ferrell was joined by Barbara Campagna, of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Gerhard Petri and Melanie Short of SLATERPAULL ARCHITECTS, Denver, Colo.

Other Conferences Attended:

  • Association for Preservation Technology, Intl., Annual Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • From Gray Areas to Green Areas, Austin, Texas
  • Texas A&M Historic Preservation Symposium, College Station, Texas

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National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119