Wow, semester three has come and gone for me. It happened so fast, yet the process felt so long, like usual. My classes in review:
HP204: Historic Preservation: Development Economics
Development Economics was a class about preservation rehab project planning and implementation with funding, tax credits, design ideas — touching on all aspects. The semester long group project allowed us to create a reuse plan for the building and conduct a feasibility study (including marketing analysis, code review, conditions assessment), draw floor plans, develop construction estimates and figures, find funding sources, and put everything together in a professional project proposal and presentation. My group chose the St. Albans House, a former railroad hotel and an important, but neglected landmark in the City of St. Albans. It has most recently been used as a bar and apartments. This is also a “real” project for the Preservation Trust of Vermont, who has purchased a year option on the property. It was a hard project (particularly those estimates), but since we liked the St. Albans House so much, it was doable.
HP302: Community Preservation Project
The community preservation class continues History on the Land in the sense of the landscape history. We discussed the process of steel making, industrial landscapes, trails, historic bridges, and other topics. The project purpose was to give us the opportunity to work with a community organization and to become advocates for historic preservation while completing our project. My group worked on a National Register nomination for Mad River Glen Ski Area. Ski areas have not been nominated in the past, so we were working with a large “new” for the NR and figuring out how to adapt it to the NPS forms. Trails, buildings, ski machinery, landscape features, maps, boundaries, photographs … it was a giant project, but a great learning experience.
HP307: Architectural Conservation II
I’ve talked about my architectural conservation class more than once on here, so you know that the semester long project was a series of conservation assessments: windows & doors, exterior, and interior. I loved this building, so it made the long reports (and the formatting) enjoyable. I was really glad to have the opportunity to study one building and spend time in it and to love it.
My internship was really over the summer, but the credit counts during fall semester because it requires a professional report and presentation. I spent my summer with the Vermont Agency of Transportation as the Historic Preservation Monitor for the Lake Champlain Bridge Replacement Project, as stipulated by the Programmatic Agreement. In addition I conducted regulatory review for VTrans (think Section 106 and Section 4f). I loved it and have continued the job since.
And of course, we had our comprehensive exam, a 4 hour, 4 essay question test that you need to pass to graduate. It included topics from all three semesters. It was a bit intimidating, but we all survived.
So that’s a wrap. For me, this semester was the most hectic as I balanced work and a full course load. I’m relieved to have survived successfully. And now it’s back to the working world!