Architectural Fieldwork Symposium
The Maryland Historical Trust's annual Architectural Fieldwork Symposium brings together field surveyors, architectural historians, preservation planners, and related practitioners from across the state to discuss recent projects, themes, and methodology. MHT hosts the event every October at its headquarters in Crownsville. Information about the symposium date and topics is typically released in summer.
In 2020, due to COVID-19, MHT hosted the Architectural Fieldwork Symposium virtually. While we missed physically seeing all of our colleagues together in the same room, the virtual platform enabled us to share the recorded presentations (below) after the event. MHT thanks all of the 2020 Architectural Fieldwork Symposium presenters for sharing their work.
In the Midst of These Plains: Charles County's Historic Buildings and Landscapes
Co-authors Nicole A. Diehlmann and Cathy Hardy Thompson are in the final stages of publishing a culmination of research on the historic buildings and landscapes in Charles County, tracking the county's development through the built environments of agriculture, naval proving grounds, and casinos, to name a few. The upcoming book, In the Midst of These Plains: Charles County Buildings and Landscapes, will be available in early 2021.
Documenting Disappearing Dairy Farms in Maryland
In the late nineteenth century, many Maryland farmers sought to diversify their agricultural production, moving from traditional crops such as wheat and tobacco, to dairy. Evolutions in dairy farming over the twentieth century are evident in the surviving farm landscapes, now highly endangered due to the rapid decline of Maryland's dairy industry. Using Historic Preservation Non-Capital grant funds, architectural historians Michael J. Emmons and Catherine Morrissey are surveying dairy farms in Cecil, Carroll, and Frederick counties to document these important components of Maryland's agricultural heritage.
Punishment and Prison Reform: Section 106 Compliance and Documentation of the Baltimore City Jail and Maryland State Penitentiary
The historic corrections complex in Baltimore City has a long and varied history, but the site had never been systematically surveyed when much of it was slated for demolition. The EHT Traceries team who worked on this successful Section 106 mitigation project, including Eric Griffitts and John Gentry, traced the long and varied evolution of the site, from famous architects to mid twentieth-century International style additions, and from captured runaway enslaved African Americans, to prison riots.
MHT Updates from the Research & Survey and National Register Programs
In an update from MHT staff in the Architectural Research and Survey and National Register programs, Heather Barrett and Allison Luthern discussed recent projects, including investigative site visits. Peter Kurtze described properties that were listed or updated in the National Register of Historic Places in 2020, including St. Dennis Catholic Church in Kent County, St. Joseph's College in Frederick County, and the Glenn L. Martin Plant #2 in Baltimore County, where the Albert Kahn-designed facility produced B-26 Marauders during WWII.
Dendrochronology in the U.S. and Abroad
Dendrochronology utilizes the technique known as tree-ring dating to date timbers from historic structures. This process requires a broad understanding of diverse principles, from the impact of climate on trees' annual growth rings to the ability to track a building's architectural development. This work is critical to our understanding of historic buildings, as dendrochronology frequently results in a realignment of construction dates.
Uncovering Cloverfields: Discoveries at an Early Queen Anne's County House Site
Dating to 1705, Cloverfields is one of the earliest existing brick structures in the Chesapeake region. Since its initial construction, the house has undergone several transformations. Architectural historian Willie Graham serves on a team of researchers and scientists conducting the current restoration, funded by the Cloverfields Preservation Foundation, and his investigation and analysis of the house will contribute to the design and interpretation for this future museum. Fascinating discoveries reveal that Cloverfields was a true showpiece of wealth on the Eastern Shore in the eighteenth century.
Developing Historic Contexts for Asian American Communities
Historic context studies help preservationists identify historic places and determine their significance. Because sites related to Asian American heritage are underrepresented on the National Register of Historic Places and within Maryland's survey data, historic contexts offer a valuable approach. Scholars Michelle Magalong and Karen Yee have worked on these types of studies and provide an overview of common components, including community outreach and oral histories.
Highlights from the Architectural Survey Data Analysis Project
MHT staff Annie Allen and Jessica French are engaged in a comprehensive evaluation of MHT's architectural survey data, conducted on a county-by-county basis. The project will review all existing documentation in the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties as well as the MHT Library, resulting in recommendations for future survey work and more searchable fields in Medusa, the state's cultural resource information system.