Field Sessions

Beyond the Big House: New Approaches to Cultural Landscape Preservation at Drayton Hall and Magnolia Plantation [FS1]

Sunday, September 30, 8:00–5:00

Take a bus trip to the beautiful Ashley River Historic District to get an indepth look at two very significant plantation properties, Drayton Hall and Magnolia Plantation & Gardens. These adjacent sites are both ancestral seats of the Drayton family and share an intertwined history. However, as public historic sites, they are owned and operated in fairly distinct ways. Through a mix of presentations by preservation professionals and behind-the-scenes tours of both sites, you will learn the evolution of cultural landscape preservation philosophies at both properties which highlight an intriguing juxtaposition. The speakers will present recent analysis of the different layers of these landscapes which have informed new approaches to both sites’ management and interpretation. A particular area of focus will be how best to manage these cultural landscapes while also tending to the needs of the visiting public. Lunch is included.

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Tabby Architecture of the Sea Island [FS2]

Sunday, September 30, 8:00–5:00

Located one hour south of Charleston, scenic and rural Beaufort County has perhaps the highest concentration of buildings constructed of tabby, a mixture of oyster shells, sand, lime and water, anywhere in the United States. You will visit rural and town sites around Beaufort, founded in 1711 and a National Historic Landmark, as well as rural sites along the Combahee River and on St. Helena Island, to examine how these buildings and ruins have been maintained, and consider challenges to their future preservation.

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Walking Among the Dead: Exploring the Urban Graveyard and Rural Cemetery in Charleston [FS3]

Tuesday, October 2, 2:00–5:30

Charleston is known as the “Holy City,” famous for its many churches and synagogues resulting from early religious toleration in the Carolina colony. The graveyards of these houses of worship showcase a wonderful variety of markers and materials whose shifting iconography reflects the demographic and social changes in Charleston from the late 17th-20th centuries. A major social shift concerning death and burial occurred in the mid-19th century in Charleston and elsewhere, as urban cemeteries became overcrowded and more and more American families moved their mourning and burial traditions from the church graveyard to the newly emerging park-like rural cemetery. On December 31, 1849, Magnolia Cemetery was established along the picturesque banks of the Cooper River just outside the city limits. This field session will include an illustrated talk, followed by visits to several of Charleston’s urban graveyards as well as Magnolia Cemetery. We will explore the history and development of these two types of burial grounds in Charleston. We will also examine the physical components of each and discuss the conservation challenges associated with these sites.

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Recording Historic Fabric:  The Investigation of the Aiken-Rhett House and Outbuildings [FS4]

Tuesday, October 2, 2:00–5:30

The Aiken-Rhett House Museum (c.1820) in Charleston is one of the few urban complexes with its original outbuildings virtually unaltered since their construction. Historic Charleston Foundation became the steward of the property in 1995 and has, over the last 15 years, funded multiple investigations of the site. Most recently an Historic Structures Report on the outbuildings was prepared by architectural historians Willie Graham, Carl Lounsbury, and Orlando Ridout and paint conservator Susan Buck. This field session in the Aiken-Rhett House back lot will include presentations from architectural historians, archaeologists, and contractors on the collaboration that has served to guide the Foundation in the interpretation and preservation of this singular site.

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The Art of the Plasterer: Charleston’s Ornamental Plaster [FS5]

Tuesday, October 2, 2:00–5:30

Charleston is known for its beautiful historic homes, many of which contain elaborate ornamental plaster molding, medallions, and mantels. This field session will take you through two recent restoration projects that boast some of the most striking ornamental plaster Charleston has to offer. The master plasterers who completed these projects will describe their approaches, techniques, and materials.

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Corrosion Mitigation Challenges: Metals Recovered from a Marine Environment [FS6]

Tuesday, October 2, 2:00–5:30

Through a tour of the Clemson University Restoration Institute in North Charleston, you will explore how conservators, archaeologists and scientists at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center (WLCC) mitigate metal corrosion challenges encountered when dealing with artifacts recovered from marine environments. This field session will cover traditional and innovative metal conservation protocols and research established since the recovery of the H.L. Hunley submarine and its artifacts. The use of subcritical fluids technology in experimentation at the WLCC, which offers a unique solution to the stabilization of corrosion products, will be discussed. These metal conservation methodologies have been applied to the Hunley Project, but also to a range of other metallic artifacts from a variety of provenances. Various metals artifacts will be mentioned with an emphasis on the conservation of cast and wrought iron. Additionally, analytical and documentation techniques employed will be discussed and demonstrated.

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Savannah²: The Planning, Architectural and Historical Evolution of a City on a Grid [FS7]

Wednesday, October 3—Thursday, October 4                                                                

You'll travel by bus on this two-day field session that explores three fascinating historic preservation challenges around Savannah, GA. First you'll begin with an architectural tour of Savannah, comparing its unique style to its sister city of Charleston, and learning about the successes and challenges of preserving its historic building stock. At the Roundhouse Railroad Museum, you'll inspect the preservation of locomotives, cars, and a carpentry shop to this once-vital connection to the Port of Savannah, as well as a future children's museum. At the Tybee Island Lighthouse, you'll see an active US Coast Guard station lighthouse as well as historic structures including the 1732 Lighthouse, the Head Keepers Cottage, a Coastal Defense Battery and more. You'll delve into period specific restoration on the interior of the Head Keepers cottage, the on-going maintenance of brick, mortar, and cast iron of the light house, and the traditional architecture of African American residents of Tybee Island.

*Participants will make their own overnight accomodations in Savannah and should plan to depart from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport late afternoon on October 4 or early on October 5. 

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APT-PTN 2012 is sponsored by: