Field Notes

My field notes are horrendously illegible to anyone besides me.  I know this.  To remedy this problem and ease the stress of creating worthy field notes, I accept the fact that I redraw my field notes.  Yes, this takes more time, but it is also a good way to double check which measurements I’m missing and to become more familiar with the house.  This was my method in HISP205 & 305 in college and as I found out today, it remains my method.  If you are not quite sure to what I’m referring, the answer is measured drawings for measuring buildings.  Before arriving at the beautifully drawn HABS drawings, we must take measurements of every part of the building – window sills, overall wall lengths, chimneys, door frames, you name it – we measure it and draw it.  Despite my long-winded documentation methods, I truly enjoy it.  Drafting seems to take me longer as well, but it’s something that I willing to keep working on and adjusting. 

Here are a few pictures of the house that we measured today in field school:

Above is the front of the house, but unfortunately it is right on Rt. 29 and therefore, a good photograph would have caused some injury.  The front porch is not original (too Greek for this Federal house) but you can get the idea of its beauty.   The walkways and formals gardens were beautiful (at some point) as well.  Sadly, this house has been vacant for almost one decade (my guess) and will probably be demolished, which is our reason for doing the documentation.  Currently we do not know much of its history.

east elevation

This photograph, above, cannot really do justice to the complexities of the east elevation.  We weren’t exactly doing elevations, more like a building footprint but some of us (including me) felt the need to sketch the elevation and add basic measurements.  It took quite a while.  The addition here, ca. 1960 or so, is not the pretty part of the house but we obviously had to include it as well.

I love it. I love buildings and measuring (though I’ll take interior over exterior in this house.) I love tape measures and clipboards and pencils.  I love sitting on the porch and eating lunch.  However, I had forgotten how exhausting measuring and sketching can be.  (And that house certainly brought out some sneezing and coughing.)  Today we did the exterior measuring and descriptions and the interior measurements.  Tomorrow we are responsible for drafting the floor plans that way we can begin interior descriptions and details on Monday.  This is quite the intense field school, but extremely valuable and fun.  Another good point is that many things I have learned are seeping back into my brain.

I’ll fill you in on drafting tomorrow.


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