• 12 Oct 2018 2:00 AM | Christine R Henry

    Calling all eagle-eyed VAFers!  The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon has launched a new website based on Lydia Brandt's research on Mount Vernon "replicas" that crowdsources content. 

    Lydia would love to see what Mount Vernon look-alikes VAN readers can find!

  • 12 Oct 2018 1:55 AM | Christine R Henry

    The Vernacular Architecture Forum seeks nominations for the 2019 VAF Advocacy Award.  The application deadline is January 4, 2019.

    VAF Advocacy 2018 Awardee, Galesville at the Community History Day Event

    The VAF Advocacy Award recognizes exemplary efforts and achievements on behalf of our vernacular built heritage. The award honors individuals and groups for exceptional contributions toward the interpretation, appreciation, and protection of vernacular buildings and cultural landscapes, and recognizes outstanding initiative, commitment, and action to promote and protect vernacular resources. The award may be made in recognition of a specific effort or the nominee's long-term record.  Awardee will be given two full registrations to the VAF conference and a certificate of excellence.


    Any public or private entity or individual in North America may be nominated.


    Nominations should include the following:

    • A summary paragraph of the nominee’s advocacy effort or highlights of the nominee’s long-term advocacy work.
    • An up to 1000-word narrative of how the nominee’s work has contributed to the appreciation and protection of vernacular buildings and/or cultural landscapes. The description should include information about the vernacular resources and their history and emphasize the public outreach—such as curricula, websites, and public speaking—that is the basis for the nomination.
    • Description of people and organization partners that contributed to the advocacy effort.
    • For advocacy over a career, a timeline or chronology noting the highlights of the nominee’s advocacy.
    • Images of the vernacular resources that were the focus of the advocacy effort and events that contributed to the effort.
    • Links to websites or other relevant digital outreach developed for advocacy.


    Please submit nomination materials electronically in a single zip file OR as a link to a single downloadable file on a cloud drive to advocacy@vafweb.org. Should the file size exceed 50MB, please communicate with us at the same address. Likewise, if you must send a paper or hard copy of your documentation, please email us so that we may make alternate arrangements.

    The application deadline for 2019 VAF Advocacy Award is January 4, 2019.

    Electronic nomination materials should be submitted to Advocacy Award.

    Hard copies should be sent to:

    Jennifer Baughn

    P.O. Box 571

    Jackson, MS 39205-0571


    Jennifer Baughn, chair

    Eugenia Woo

    Ritchie Garrison

  • 12 Oct 2018 1:51 AM | Christine R Henry

    The Vernacular Architecture Forum seeks nominations for the 2019 Paul E. Buchanan Award

    The application deadline is January 4, 2019

    Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Paul Buchanan Investigating Plasterwork

    The Paul E. Buchanan Award was instituted by VAF in 1993 to recognize contributions to the study and preservation of vernacular architecture and the cultural landscape that do not take the form of books or published work.  Hundreds of studies, reports, documentation projects, restoration plans, National Register nominations, exhibits, video/digital media productions and public programs are completed each year without the benefit of distribution or recognition beyond the limited audience for which they were commissioned.  Nonetheless, many of these efforts can serve to inform and inspire us all.  The award is named for Paul E. Buchanan who served for over thirty years as the Director of Architectural Research at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Buchanan set the standard for architectural fieldwork in America and inspired many VAF members in the rewards of fieldwork. This award honors the valuable work that most of our members and professional associates perform.


    The Vernacular Architecture Forum seeks nominations for the Paul E. Buchanan Award.

    Exceptional projects that set new standards or model innovative practices, completed in the last two years are eligible for consideration and may include, but are not limited to:

    • Architectural Recording Projects (including HABS/HAER/HALS)
    • Historic Structures Reports
    • Cultural Resource Surveys
    • Historic Designation Studies (including National Register and National Historic Landmark, or the equivalent)
    • Preservation or Conservation Plans
    • Restoration or Rehabilitation Projects that express the significance of the resource or illustrate novel ways the resource has been preserved
    • Furnishing Plans and Installations
    • Exhibits and Other Temporary Installations
    • Permanent Museum Exhibits
    • Visual Arts Presentations (e.g. drawing, painting, photography, 3-D media)
    • Film and Video Presentations
    • Computer Applications and Modeling
    • Educational and Interpretive Programs
    • Symposia, Conferences, and Public Events

    Nomination materials should include:

    • Cover letter that explains the merits of the project and outlining the ways the project sets new standards or models innovative practices or otherwise contributes to the study and preservation of vernacular architecture or cultural landscapes.
    • Project documentation, e.g. copy of the report, audio-visual presentation, exhibition boards, etc. in a format that can be downloaded to the VAF Buchanan committee.

    Please submit nomination materials electronically in a single zip file to buchananaward@vafweb.org. Should the file size exceed 50MB, please communicate with us at the same address. Likewise, if you must send a paper or hard copy of your documentation, please email us so that we may make alternate arrangements.

    The application deadline for 2019 Buchanan Award is January 4, 2019.

    Electronic nomination materials should be submitted to Buchanan Award. Hard copies should be sent to:

    Catherine Lavoie

    18615 Brooke Road

    Sandy Spring, MD  20860


    Catherine Lavoie, chair

    Marianne Hurley

    Willie Graham

  • 12 Oct 2018 1:50 AM | Christine R Henry

    Does your work contribute to the study of vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes?  Have you published a scholarly article on the subject in the last two years?  You may be eligible for the Bishir Prize from the Vernacular Architecture Forum.

    The 2019 Bishir Prize, named for longtime VAF member and influential scholar Catherine W. Bishir, will be awarded to the scholarly article published in a juried North American publication between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018 that has made the most significant contribution to the study of vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes. Articles considered for the prize should be based on primary research, break new ground in interpretation or methodology, and contribute to the intellectual vitality of these fields. Entries may come from any discipline concerned with vernacular architecture studies.

    Please note that essays published as chapters in a book are also eligible if the volume is peer-reviewed, published within the time parameters specified, and the research presented in the essay is new. Anthologized collections are not eligible.

    The deadline for nominations for the 2019 Bishir Prize is February 1, 2019.

    To nominate an article please submit the following:

    • MS Word document providing contact information, publication data (name of book publishing company or title of journal, and date of publication), and a brief statement contextualizing the author(s) and article.
    • PDF copy of the article.

    Nomination materials should be submitted to Dr. Margaret Grubiak at mailto:bishirprize@vafweb.org. 

    For more information, visit: http://www.vernaculararchitectureforum.org/Bishir-prize 

  • 12 Oct 2018 1:40 AM | Christine R Henry

    The nominating committee of the Vernacular Architecture Forum (VAF) is seeking nominations for individuals to serve as members of the organization’s Board of Directors. Board members serve three-year terms. Individuals nominated this year, and subsequently elected, will begin service in June 2019.

    The VAF is administered by a volunteer board composed of dedicated professionals and scholars from diverse disciplines who live and work in all parts of the United States and Canada. The Board meets twice a year, once during our Annual Conference in the Spring and again in the Fall. Board members are expected to attend these day-long meetings and participate in committee work throughout the year.

    The committee also seeks nominations for the position of Treasurer to start in June 2019. Candidates for the position of Treasurer should be conscientious, detail-oriented, and have a basic familiarity with Excel. They need not have professional finance or banking experience. The Treasurer has a strong voice in influencing the administration and direction of the VAF.

    Nominations should be sent to Jennifer Cousineau at jennifer.cousineau@pc.gc.ca or cousineauja@gmail.com by November 1, 2018. Nominees must be members of the Vernacular Architecture Forum. Please include a short letter (not exceeding one page) indicating the position for which the person is being nominated and describing their qualifications as well as a short vita/resume (not exceeding two pages). Self-nominations are actively encouraged

  • 12 Oct 2018 1:30 AM | Christine R Henry

    Art DeMuro Assistant/Associate Professor in Historic Preservation

    Historic Preservation Program

    University of Oregon Portland

    The University of Oregon (UO) School of Architecture and Environment invites applications for the Art DeMuro Professor in Historic Preservation, a full-time, endowed tenure-related position at the rank of assistant or associate professor at the UO’s Portland, Oregon location to begin September 2019. Candidates should have the potential to make a strong contribution in research, teaching, and service to the program’s nationally-recognized professional master’s degree program in the Historic Preservation Program and the affiliated architecture program. We especially welcome applicants who will engage a rigorous and innovative research/practice at the forefront of cultural resource management, heritage conservation, or building science.

    For more information or to apply, go to: http://careers.uoregon.edu/cw/en-us/job/522270/assistant-or-associate-professor-of-historic-preservation

  • 12 Oct 2018 1:25 AM | Christine R Henry

    Call for Abstracts

    The journal Change Over Time: An International Journal of Conservation and the Built Environment, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, invites abstract submissions for the Spring 2020 issue.

    9.2    SOUNDING HERITAGE | Guest Editor: Pamela Jordan

    Material heritage is not constrained merely to what we see – what we hear conveys a broad range of information essential to shaping and recalling a sense of place. Sounds can enhance or dominate emplaced experience and be used to test, analyze, and sensorially reconstruct heritage. Yet the many roles played by sound remain largely unexamined in conservation practice. This issue seeks to draw together the various dimensions and neglected possibilities of sound in heritage towards their greater consideration in theory and practice.

    In the context of specific sites, one might initially recall restorations of acoustically-designed spaces, such as concert halls or places of worship.1  But the significance of sound is no less manifest in spaces without specific acoustic designs, be they individual buildings, cultural landscapes, or historic districts. It is the total sonic environment, including the daily sounds of people, machines, weather, and wildlife, that helps define a genius loci and serves as a primary vehicle for continuity and meaning through sensory experiences of the past.

    Upon closer inspection, site interpretation often hinges on a sonic component, whether through direct communicative strategies such as recorded play-back and guided tours, or atmospheric interventions via particular sound introductions or noise control. While sonic re-enactments of extraordinary past events (such as a speech, protest, battle, or performance) can be a powerful place-based interpretive device, the use of sound can also significantly enhance our understanding of a site’s past material and spatial attributes. Archaeoacoustics can offer alternative readings of ancient locations by scrutinizing the relationships between acoustic properties and structures, landscapes, and activities.2  Similarly, Deafspace concepts and other design-based considerations of sound can promote universal accessibility through new imaginings for collective navigation and communication thereby providing rich phenomenological historic experiences for all visitors.3

    Sonic conditions can manifest particular conservation considerations as well, from physical deterioration caused by lower frequency vibrations, to detrimental effects on natural soundscapes, and aggressive development in otherwise historically isolated environs.4  A surge in measuring and modeling technology advancements has made complex conditions analyses increasingly possible, including acoustic simulations in virtual reality spaces, 3D ground-penetrating radar surveys, and digital psychoacoustic analyses of audio recordings. It is even possible now for audio recording archives to preserve all that remains of a building’s physical and sonic architecture.5

    This issue of Change Over Time examines the impact and role of sound in the conservation of the built environment. Contributors are invited to consider ‘sound in heritage’ from a variety of disciplinary perspectives including, (but not limited to): acoustics, affective heritage, archaeology, architecture, conservation, design, disability studies, performance studies, psychology, tourism, and urban planning. Theoretical discussions, case studies concerning particular sites and/or technologies, evaluations of current practices, and policy discussions are welcome. Sound files, sonic visualizations, or web-based media will be considered in support of final submissions.

    Abstracts of 200-300 words are due 4 January 2019. Authors will be notified of provisional paper acceptance by late January. Final manuscript submissions will be due mid-May 2019. For formatting and submission details see “Step One – Abstract” of the COT Author Guidelines at cotjournal.com.


    Articles are generally restricted to 7,500 or fewer words (the approximate equivalent to thirty pages of double-spaced, twelve-point type) and may include up to ten images. See Author Guidelines at cotjournal.com or email Senior Associate Editor, Kecia Fong at cot@design.upenn.edu for further information.

    1 Bissera V. Pentcheva and Jonathan S. Abel, “Icons of Sound: Auralizing the Lost Voice of Hagia Sophia,” Speculum, no. 92, S1 (October 2017): S336-S360.

    2 Miriam A. Kolar, “Sensing sonically at Andean Formative Chavín de Huántar, Perú,” Time and Mind, vol. 10, no.1 (2017): 39-59.

    3 Deafspace concept summary, available from: https://www.gallaudet.edu/campus-design-and-planning/deafspace [accessed Oct. 7, 2018]. Claire Edwards and Gill Harold, "Deafspace and the Principles of Universal Design," Disability And Rehabilitation, vol. 36, no. 16 (2014): 1350-1359.

    4 J.H. Rainer, “Effect of Vibrations on Historic Buildings: An Overview,” Bulletin of the Association for Preservation Technology, vol. 14, no. 1 (1982): 2-10. Robert Stanton, “NPS Director’s Order #47: Soundscape Preservation And Noise Management,” (Effective Date: December 1, 2000, Sunset Date: December 1, 2004). Available from https://www.nps.gov/policy/DOrders/DOrder47.html [Accessed Oct. 7 2018]. Kenneth King, S.T. Algermissen, P.J. McDermott, “Seismic and Vibration Hazard Investigations of Chaco Culture National Historical Park,” Dept. of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey, Open-File Report 85-529 (1985). Available at: https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/1985/0529/report.pdf [Accessed Oct. 7 2018].

    5 Lamberto Tronchin and Angelo Farina, "The acoustics of the former Teatro "La Fenice", Venice," Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, vol. 45, no. 12 (December 1997): 1051-1062.

  • 12 Oct 2018 1:20 AM | Christine R Henry
    Image by Robert Haber [CC BY-SA 3.0 (httpscreativecommons.orglicensesby-sa3.0)], from Wikimedia CommonsSciorra recently donated 35+ years of research to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress pertaining mostly to Italian Americans in New York City, but also other communities, on various subjects including vernacular architecture and more specifically the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Grotto in Staten Island, NY, the Lisanti Family Chapel in the Bronx, NY (both listed on the National Register of Historical Places), and the impermanent festive giglio tower in the USA and Italy. The donation includes approximately 27,758 items consisting of 26 linear feet manuscripts (field notes, ephemera, clippings, writings, research notes); 302 sound recordings, 400 photographs, and 16 moving images.
  • 12 Oct 2018 1:00 AM | Christine R Henry

    Image courtesy of httpsarthistory.rutgers.edupeoplefull-time-facultypeople597-amber-wileyThe Rutgers-New Brunswick Art History Department is proud to welcome assistant professor Amber N. Wiley, who specializes in architectural history, urban history, African American cultural studies, and preservation. She joins Carla Yanni, professor, a scholar who writes about the social history of building types. The Art History Department in Rutgers-New Brunswick is accepting applications to its MA and PhD programs in Art History and in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies.  Please consider studying vernacular architectural history at Rutgers. For more information go to:


    or contact 



  • 12 Oct 2018 12:50 AM | Christine R Henry

    Stella Nair co-authored an article “The Lost Half of Andean Architecture: 18th Century Building Traditions and Environmental Use at Chinchero, Peru,” (with Sonia Archila and Christine Hastorf) in Latin American Antiquity 29, no. 2 (June 2018): 222-238.    

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