• 31 Oct 2019 5:00 AM | Christine R Henry (Administrator)

    7th Biennial on Construction History

    Quarrying History

    CALL FOR ABSTRACT-DUE January 2, 2020

    Indiana University, Bloomington

    May 29-30, 2020

    We invite researchers and practitioners from all aspects of the history of construction to submit presentation and paper abstracts on subjects relating to the Americas for the 7th Biennial Meeting on Construction History, to be held in Bloomington, IN at Indiana University. The meeting will be hosted by the Construction History Society of America and Indiana University on May 29-30, 2020and follows successful meetings of the CHSA held in College Park, MD (2018), Seattle, WA (10th Anniversary Members’ Meeting 2017), Austin, TX (2016), Minneapolis MN (2014), Cambridge MA (2012), Philadelphia PA (2010), and Atlanta GA (2008).

    Some of the finest limestone in the United States can be found in the hills around Bloomington, Indiana, and stonecutters sourced the stone from massive quarries and build facades of prominent buildings such as the Washington National Cathedral, the Empire State Building, and the Pentagon.  CHSA is pleased to announce a tour to explore a working mill and a historic quarry as part of the conference schedule.

    Abstracts for Presentation 

    Abstracts for presentation imply that the author(s) intent is to present the subject within a 20-minute slideshow.  

    CHSA encourages authors to also submit full papers to Construction History according to their publication schedules. The acceptance of an abstract for the CHSA Meeting does not exempt papers from the Journal’s review process

    Each abstract must include:                        

    • authors’ names, contact information, institutional affiliations

    • an abstract of 4000 characters (maximum)

    • key words (selected, if possible, from the list of topics and subjects),

    • a one-page curriculum vitae indicating contact information, status, laboratory affiliation if relevant, and publications or other relevant work for each author.

    • All presentations must be in English and related to Construction in North and South America. 

    For more information, see the CHSA website

  • 31 Oct 2019 4:05 AM | Christine R Henry (Administrator)

    2019 Fellow, Mary Fesak of University of Delaware, receiving her fellowship certificate at the SAH conference

    Spend your summer conducting research on a nationally significant U.S. building or site and preparing a history to become part of the permanent HABS collection. The HABS/SAH Sally Kress Tompkins Fellowship, a joint program of the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH), permits a graduate student in architectural history or a related field to work on a 12-week HABS history project during summer 2020. The Fellow’s research interests and goals will inform the building or site selected for documentation by HABS staffHABS is a program of the National Park Service and the Fellow is usually stationed at our Washington, DC office. 

    The award consists of a $12,000 stipend, and SAH conference registration and travel expenses up to $1,000.

    Applications accepted Sept. 1 – Dec. 31, 2019.

    For more information visit:https://www.nps.gov/hdp/jobs/tompkins.htm

  • 31 Oct 2019 4:00 AM | Christine R Henry (Administrator)

    Architectural Historian – Parsippany, NJ

    Are you ready to take the next step in your career? Do you want to do meaningful work that improves quality of life? At Tetra Tech, you will work with high-performing teams who are passionate about using their expertise to find solutions to complex problems in water, environment, infrastructure, resource management, energy, and international development. 

    We are currently seeking applications for an immediate Architectural Historian position. The architectural historian requires candidates who ideally have at least five (5) years of experience conducting historical research and working on regional surveys to identify aboveground cultural resources that may meet the criteria to be eligible to the National Register of Historic Places. 

    The ideal candidate must be familiar with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and with local guidelines and regulations in states where projects are proposed. Projects are located across the United States and will sometimes require field investigations that will require reimbursed travel.


    ·       The architectural historian must have the capability and experience to interpret data collected in the field, including an ability to recognize and describe vernacular and formal architectural styles, style-date aboveground cultural resources, and assess a resource’s potential to be eligible to the National Register of Historic Places

    ·       The architectural historian must have excellent skills in photography and the ability to use a GPS geotagging camera attachment and experience with GPS and GIS programs on a digital platform such as iPAD or iPhone

    ·       Clear writing skills and use of a computer and a field iPad are essential for capturing field notes, writing reports, and communicating with co-workers, project managers, and regulatory agencies from federal and state governments

    ·       Ability to work with and regularly communicate with colleagues and to take direction from a supervisor, and project managers


    ·       MA or MS degree in historic architecture, American Studies, Historic Preservation, or other related field

    ·       At least five years’ experience as a professional architectural historian in the US (Northeast and Middle Atlantic US preferred, but familiarity with other regions would be very helpful)

    ·       Experience in performing work compliant with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

    ·       Candidate must be hard-working, good-natured, capable of working with others, capable of giving clear explanations and direction, capable of taking direction from project managers and supervisors

    Other Desirable Knowledge and Experience:

    ·       Experience with consideration of project viewsheds using standard methods such as developed by BLM, NPS, and other agencies

    ·       Up-to-date Red Cross First-Aid and CPR training

    ·       Interested candidates must provide at least three professional references with current email addresses and telephone numbers for each reference

    About Tetra Tech:

    Tetra Tech is a leading provider of high-end consulting and engineering services for projects worldwide. We combine the resources of a global, multibillion-dollar company with local, client-focused delivery in more than 400 locations around the world. We are Leading with Science® to provide sustainable and resilient solutions for our clients. 

    At Tetra Tech, we provide a collaborative environment that supports individual performance, innovation, and creativity. We are proud to offer competitive compensation and benefits. Learn more by visiting http://www.tetratech.com/en/benefits.

    For more information on our company, please visit our website at www.tetratech.com, follow us on Twitter (@TetraTech or like us on Facebook. To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter on the Careers portion of our website at www.tetratech.com/careers.

    We thank all applicants for their interest; however only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Tetra Tech is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. We invite resumes from all interested parties including women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities.

    Tetra Tech is a VEVRAA federal contractor and we request priority referral of veterans for available positions.

    EOE AA M/F/Vet/Disability - No calls or agencies

  • 31 Oct 2019 3:20 AM | Christine R Henry (Administrator)

    Having spent 30 years with North Carolina’s State Historic Preservation Office (HPO), 23 of them as supervisor of the Architectural Survey and National Register Branch, I retired from state government last December. Before becoming a bureaucrat, I spent a decade as an independent consultant writing National Register nominations for properties across North Carolina and conducting architectural surveys of the city of Durham, extremely rural Hyde County on the coast, and the mountain resort of Linville, among other places. I earned a B.A. in Spanish from Wake Forest University, an M.A. in art history from the University of North Carolina, and completed my Ph.D. coursework at UNC before deciding that I wasn’t cut out for academia. As a consultant I became very interested in 19th and early 20th century industrial architecture, and Rosenwald schools were a special interest for 19 of my years at the HPO.

    Upon retiring, I was looking forward to devoting much of my newly found free time to volunteer service, continuing to serve on the board of the ca. 1770 Joel Lane Museum House (a gambrel-roofed building that is the oldest extant house in Raleigh) as past president and now assistant treasurer, and this summer joining the board of Haywood Hall, a Georgian-style house built ca. 1800 also in Raleigh. In mid-October, I’ll return to the HPO on a part-time basis to help review National Register nominations and survey products. I’m also in my sixteenth year as a guardian ad litem advocating for children in foster care.

    Just a few years into my career, I was introduced to the Vernacular Architecture Forum by Catherine Bishir (VAF past president and 2016 Glassie Award winner), whom I’d gotten to know as a consultant and who had become my mentor and friend. My first VAF conference was the organization’s third, held in Winston-Salem in 1982, and since then I’ve attended many of the annual meetings. For a couple of years in the 1990s I was the VAF’s preservation officer and I was co-coordinator with colleague Marvin Brown of the conference held in Durham, NC, in 2016. Despite having retired, I wanted to remain an active member of the VAF and thus was pleased to be nominated as the organization’s treasurer. Some of the position’s duties are familiar, while others, such as using QuickBooks, are new and challenging, but with immediate past treasurer Lisa Davidson’s guidance, I’m getting my sea legs under me.

  • 31 Oct 2019 3:15 AM | Christine R Henry (Administrator)

    I became excited about vernacular architecture as a field of study when I was an environmental design and graduate architecture student at U.C. Berkeley.  J.B. Jackson and Joseph Esherick were important influences for me. In architectural practice the often complex vernacular context has been an ever-present awareness and influence in my design projects.  As an architectural intern I had the good fortune to work for Dolf Schnebli in Switzerland, and later William Turnbull in San Francisco, both of whose work was closely tied to a direct responsiveness to locality and regional vernacular influences.

    I was introduced to VAF considerably later in my career, attending the New York conference in 2006. Somehow I found myself co-chairing the 2009 conference in Butte, Montana. It was satisfying to share all the architectural richness of our region in so much detail.  What I love about VAF is the complexity of the membership, with people from many inter-connected disciplines. There is always more to learn.

    My own work focuses on the rural built landscape, which has had little attention from the architectural profession itself. Through VAF I have discovered colleagues with whom I can share an appreciation of the significance of these often under-valued places.

  • 31 Oct 2019 3:10 AM | Christine R Henry (Administrator)

    I am a licensed preservation architect with over seventeen years of professional experience. I have graduate degrees in historic preservation (MS) and art history (MA), an Architecture Technical Teaching Certificate, a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and I am a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP).

    Since 2011, my research and professional work has focused exclusively on domestic slave buildings. I am engaged in interdisciplinary research examining the architecture of slavery, the influence these dwellings had on the lives of their inhabitants, and the preservation of the history of enslaved people. In 2012 I started an independent project titled “Saving Slave Houses (SSH),” with the primary goal to ensure that slave houses, irreplaceable pieces of history, are not lost forever; but also, to change the way we think, talk, research, document, interpret, preserve, restore, teach about, and learn from slave houses. In my efforts to preserve extant slave houses and to education the public about them I have had the opportunity to partner with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, TED Talk, Trimble, Google, Historic American Buildings Survey, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, National Trust for Historic Preservation, C-SPAN, Virginia Humanities, Montpelier, and Monticello.

    A primary component of my research comes from fieldwork. I have completed architectural and anthropological surveys of over 700 enslaved buildings at 140 sites across 6 states. My fieldwork is the first attempt to identify the rate of disappearance of the slave house in US. Before fieldwork commences, slave house sites are identified. This is done through archival research and a ‘Suggest a Site’ link on my website (SavingSlaveHouses.org) through which the public can suggest potential sites. The three largest collections I have analyzed to identify sites with a slave house were from the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), the Federal Writers’ Project and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (CWF). Four consecutive Fellowships in African and African American History and Culture from CWF gave me the opportunity to work with the Architectural Research Department to digitize and catalogue the Agricultural Buildings Project collection, which involved scanning over 5,000 measured drawings, fieldnotes, photographs, and written reports. This work was completed in 2017. Of the 700 US sites CWF surveyed, over 240 had a domestic slave building.

    As I was scanning these thousands of drawings the same names kept appearing on drawings. Some I were already very familiar with because I was working with them daily for my fellowship such as: Edward Chappell, Carl Lounsbury, Willie Graham, and Jeffery Klee; and I knew Mark Wenger from working with him at Monticello and Mark Schara from working at HABS. But, I knew very little about the other names I was seeing. One person that especially caught my eye was Camille Wells. This incredible woman surveyed over sixty sites in Isle of Wight County in Virginia by herself in 1981. And when I say survey, I mean draw a detailed site plan with notes! It was people like this I was eager to meet someday in person. VAF has given me the opportunity to do so and to meet many other great people that have also done amazing and interesting work. One of the things I am interested in is how to modern technology has changed how we conduct fieldwork and how we teach students to do fieldwork. I believe documentation should include hand sketches, field sketches, measured drawings, photographs, 3D laser scans, geospatial data, fieldnotes, research notes, reports, drone footage, movies, oral histories and interviews.

  • 31 Oct 2019 3:05 AM | Christine R Henry (Administrator)

    I first became aware of the Vernacular Architecture Forum when I was a graduate student in the Department of Architectural History at the University of Virginia. Camille Wells, a VAF stalwart, told me about the organization and she really encouraged the graduate students to become members. I joined and attended my first conference in 2001 in Newport, Rhode Island, where I presented my first paper. I remember meeting Pam Simpson, who was really welcoming to new attendees. The commitment and passion of everyone for buildings and landscapes was so evident at the conference and I really felt I had found a great home for my interests. I also felt lucky to receive a student fellowship to attend and I've always appreciated VAF's efforts to make the conferences affordable for students and young professionals. The next conference I attended was in Tuscon in 2005. I've been to every conference since then and I'm looking forward to San Antonio in 2020. My research and professional work primarily focuses on North American buildings and landscapes of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, so participating in conferences is very valuable for my own work.

    I first became involved with the VAF board through committee work. I was asked to join a few committees around 2006 when I was teaching undergraduates and then I was nominated to the board and first served from 2007-2010. I've helped out with the fellowship, development, papers, finance, and Buchanan Award committees, and through each experience I've learned something new. I'm happy to be back on the VAF board serving as the 1st Vice-President with an energetic group.

    In my opinion, the conference format of two days of site visits and tours with one day for paper sessions is ideal. The conferences have been tremendously helpful for me in a number of ways. I really like to learn about and see various types of buildings and landscapes in different areas of North America (or beyond - I went to the conference in Falmouth, Jamaica) and study them with other participants, who often have great insights or specialized knowledge to share. I also enjoy meeting people working in the field and hearing how they address particular conservation problems or deal with site interpretation. The paper sessions are also very informative and it's great to hear about people's research and methodologies. I also benefit from reading the articles in Buildings and Landscapes and the old Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture series. This organization has so much to offer and I really hope I can alert more people to all that VAF does and persuade them to join us.

  • 31 Oct 2019 2:00 AM | Christine R Henry (Administrator)

    VAF Board Member Jobie Hill, was interviewed for the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Preservation Magazine about her work "Saving Slave Houses".  You can read more about her fascinating work in this issue of VAN in the member profiles.  This issue of Preservation Magazine also highlights the work of paint conservator and analyst Susan Buck in an article titled The Journeys and Experiences of Eight Women in Hands-On Preservation Careers.

  • 31 Oct 2019 2:00 AM | Christine R Henry (Administrator)

    Karla Britton, Prof. of Art History, Diné College, the Navajo Nation, and VAF member served as the Keynote Speaker at the 40th Anniversary of Richard Meier's Atheneum in New Harmony, Indiana on Friday, October 11, 2019 with her presentation titled "New Harmony as Resource of Hope."

  • 31 Oct 2019 1:30 AM | Christine R Henry (Administrator)

    Matt Lasner and Marta Gutman, along with Swati Chattopadhyay and Zeynep Kezer, have launched PLATFORM, a digital forum for conversations about buildings, spaces, and landscapes.

    PLATFORM is a new open digital venue  for exchanging ideas about working with, researching, teaching, and writing about buildings, spaces, and landscapes. PLATFORM publishes timely short-form essays and digital content that engage with contemporary culture and politics. It is not a journal, it is a not a book, there is no print version. It is a moderated platform for speaking to diverse audiences, for thinking critically, and for taking a stand. PLATFORM is broad in perspective and interdisciplinary in orientation. We invite contributors from the Global North and South and from across professions and disciplines. We are not a closed or finite group. Unsolicited work is welcome. We value the diversity of opinions about how we view, read, experience, and engage with the built landscape.

    Several VAF members have published in PLATFORM, including an article by Michael Allen on "Mass Housing Legacies: Former Yugoslavia Teaches the Enduring United States" an essay by Noah Allison on "Little Arabia: A Southern California Ethnoanchor" and an piece by Carla Yanni on the "From Bunk Beds to Lazy Rivers: The Rise of the Luxury College Residence Hall."

© Vernacular Architecture Forum

For more information or questions contact
the secretary or the webmaster.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software