David Ewing to present at 2013 National Preservation Conference

Dave, removing sheathing from the Demeritt-O'Kane House

Dave, carefully removing sheathing from the Demeritt-O’Kane House

PTF’s own David Ewing will present his paper, “Moving Historic Properties: A Valid Method of Preservation” at the National Trust for Preservation’s 2013 Conference in Indianapolis, IN.  Inspired by his experience dismantling the Demeritt-O’Kane house, the paper reviews the history of moving buildings and includes the example of a Boston apartment building which was moved at the rate of one inch per minute.  The move took three months, and the apartments were inhabited continuously.  He argues that the threat of demolition makes careful dis-assembly or intact movement a viable option for preservationists, as well as environmentalists.   From the abstract:

The practice of Historic Preservation fundamentally involves the response to threatened historic places, buildings, or properties. Those involved in this professional field have the responsibility to use whatever means necessary to successfully thwart the deterioration or demolition of historic structures. For that reason preservationists must consider the merit of all potential methods. This paper investigates the evolution of building relocation as a method of protecting the resources found in the built environment. Furthermore, it explores the technological advances in the practice of relocation, the restrictive guidelines of National Registration Criteria and environmental implications in a thorough understanding of how relocation is a worthy option in the preservation of historic places.

Dave will participate in a panel discussion on “Re-Booting Preservation for New Audiences.”   He is pursuing a Masters of Design Studies (MDS) in Historic Preservation at the Boston Architectural College, and his paper was selected competitively from a pool of preservationists from around the country.  Dave joined PTF after a summer internship through Maine Preservation, which PTF supports as a way to give preservation professionals headed for the office some time in the field.  We persuaded Dave to stay out in the field with us a little longer, and this paper is evidence that he’ll keep a boot in both environments.

Dave, removing floor joists at the end of a long two days

Dave, removing floor joists at the end of a long day

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *