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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.

The 2021 Architectural Fieldwork Symposium was held on October 28th and 29th. Below are recorded presentations from this year's event, featuring current research and survey activities in Maryland.


Revisiting "the Reservation" of East Baltimore

Ashley Minner, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

In the mid-twentieth century, thousands of Lumbee Indians and members of other tribal nations migrated to Baltimore City, creating a vibrant, intertribal American Indian community, which they affectionately referred to as "the reservation." Through ethnography and archival research, and in collaboration with her elders, Ashley Minner mapped East Baltimore's historic "reservation" to reclaim history, space, and belonging.


Inscribing Significance: Documenting & Interpreting Historic Graffiti in Maryland

Michael J. Emmons, Jr., Center for Historic Architecture & Design, University of Delaware

A wide array of historic graffiti and vernacular inscriptions can be found on the old surfaces of Maryland's historic buildings, but they are sometimes overlooked and often left undocumented. This presentation highlights several examples of historic graffiti in Maryland, exploring their historical significance and interpretive potential.


The Landscape and Gardens of Cloverfields, Queen Anne's County

Devin S. Kimmel, Kimmel Studio Architects

Intensive-level archaeology, including ground-penetrating radar, magnetometry, and exploratory excavation, uncovered the shape and dimensions of the early parterre gardens at Cloverfields. This presentation explores how the restoration team utilized those discoveries, plus extensive research on colonial garden design, to reconstruct the late eighteenth-century gardens.


Maryland's Planned Communities in Their Iconic International Context

Isabelle Gournay, Emerita, University of Maryland

Inspired by the book Iconic Planned Communities and the Challenge of Change, co-edited by Isabelle Gournay, Mary Corbin Sies, and Robert Freestone, this presentation examines how the physical and social fabric of Greenbelt, Bata-Belcamp (demolished), Columbia, and Rockville’s New Mark Commons can be evaluated in a rich transnational context.


Leveraging Digital Technology for More Impactful Historic Buildings Research

Brent R. Fortenberry, Tulane University

Digital technology such as laser scanning, photogrammetry, and aerial survey, are becoming increasingly common in the fields of architecture and allied fields of the built environment. Case studies show how these tools provide (1) digital visualization with deeper insights into the idiosyncrasies of historic buildings, (2) new avenues for capturing previously inaccessible historic building information, and (3) rich and dynamic historic building information modeling.


A Comparative Study of Cremona Farm's Antebellum Tobacco Barns and Outbuildings as Resources in Regional Context

Chris Bryan, Principal Investigator

Detailed architectural investigations of three, dated barns at Cremona Farm in St. Mary's County serve as a starting point for comparisons with other period Southern Maryland barns (1797-1833). This presentation broadly discusses the investigations and findings, which included uncovering several examples of a distinctive, geographically isolated construction feature in northern Calvert County.


Civil Rights in America: Update on National Historic Landmarks Theme Studies

Lisa P. Davidson, National Historic Landmarks (NHL) Program

The National Park Service NHL program recently released a theme study, Civil Rights in America: Racial Discrimination in Housing, which is the fourth in a five-part Civil Rights series. This presentation provides an overview of this study, the series, and other efforts to ensure diversity and inclusion in National Historic Landmark designations.


A New Look at Harford County's Historic Resources

Jacob Bensen and Stephanie Soder, Harford County Department of Planning and Zoning

Harford County Department of Planning and Zoning has developed a digital database of existing MIHP records for the County, with a goal to update records of known historic sites and to make this information searchable by multiple parameters to aid in preservation. This will also help identify gaps in the existing survey records and sites that may be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places or as a Harford County Historic Landmark.


Remote Sensing Survey of James Barwick's Eighteenth-Century Ordinary at Melville's Landing and the Birth of Caroline County, Maryland

Zachary L. Singer and Matthew D. McKnight, Archaeological Research Program, MHT

A recent geophysical remote sensing survey near Melville’s Landing made use of a magnetic susceptibility meter, a fluxgate gradiometer, and a ground penetrating radar system to examine and document a small field containing colonial artifacts. Results suggest that the site is the location of James Barwick's eighteenth-century ordinary: a tavern that was part of a small complex of buildings that served as the first county seat of Caroline County.