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Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey
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The digital images in this feature represent a small fraction of the graphic records in the HABS and HAER collections. They were selected as a sampling of the depth and breadth of the collections and the great variety of structures recorded therein. Many of the structures are still in everyday use; others are gone. One, St. Michael's Cathedral in Alaska, was destroyed in a fire and reconstructed using HABS drawings.
- Alabama: Woodward Iron Company (1882 Bessemer steel process foundry)
- Alaska: St. Michael's Cathedral (1840s Russian Orthodox church)
- Arizona: San Xavier del Bac Mission (1797 Spanish Catholic church complex)
- Arkansas: Fordyce Bathhouse (1915 Ozarks hot springs spa)
- California: Golden Gate Bridge (1937 San Francisco Bay suspension bridge)
- Colorado: Ritter Ranch Barn (1918 "model farm" dairy barn)
- Connecticut: First Church of Christ, Congregational (1771 New England meetinghouse)
- Delaware: The Old Arsenal (1809 federal government arms storehouse)
- District of Columbia: Frederick Douglass House (ca. 1855 African-American historic house museum)
- Florida: Century Hotel (1930s Miami Beach Art Deco hotel)
- Georgia: Rankin House (1867 town house with cast-iron porch)
- Hawaii: USS Arizona BB-39 (1916 battleship sunk at Pearl Harbor in World War II)
- Idaho: Post Office Block (1867 Gold Rush general store and post office, later a museum)
- Illinois: Robie House (1909 Prairie School suburban Chicago house by Frank Lloyd Wright)
- Indiana: Shrewsbury House (ca. 1849 riverboat captain's mansion)
- Iowa: Woodbury County Courthouse (1918 Prairie School civic building)
- Kansas: Kandt-Domann Farmstead, Barn (1860s small stone and wood cow barn)
- Kentucky: Loew's Theater (1928 Louisville motion picture "palace")
- Louisiana: Le Pretre Mansion (ca. 1836 cast-iron-ornamented New Orleans house)
- Maine: Portland Breakwater Lighthouse (1855 unmanned New England coastal light)
- Maryland: Chase-Lloyd House (ca. 1769 Annapolis town house built by a signer of Declaration of Independence)
- Massachusetts: Lobster Cove (18th- and 19th-century New England fishing village)
- Michigan: Quincy Mining Company: No. 2 Shaft-Rockhouse (1856 copper mine)
- Minnesota: James C. Burbank House (1865 St. Paul transportation baron's mansion)
- Mississippi: D'Evereux (1840 Southern plantation house)
- Missouri: Bolduc House (ca. 1792 French Colonial historic house museum)
- Montana: Anaconda Reduction Department (1889 metal foundry and smelter)
- Nebraska: Gustav Rohrich Sod House (1883 Great Plains settler's house)
- Nevada: Liberty Fire House (late 19th century Western mining town firehouse)
- New Hampshire: Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge (1866 covered wooden bridge)
- New Jersey: Samuel des Marest House (ca. 1677 French Huguenot house)
- New Mexico: Acoma Pueblo (pre-1540 Native American mesa-top settlement)
- New York: Beebe Windmill (1820 grain mill)
- North Carolina: Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (1870 Outer Banks manned lighthouse)
- North Dakota: Indian Dance Lodge (1921 Native American 13-sided ritual dance building)
- Ohio: Goodyear Airdock (1929 zeppelin construction and service hangar)
- Oklahoma: Dr. Irvin D. Leiser's Log Cabin (ca. 1848 frontier surgeon's house)
- Oregon: Coos Bay Bridge (1934 Public Works Administration cantilever truss bridge)
- Pennsylvania: Independence Hall (1756 Pennsylvania State House)
- Rhode Island: Isaac Bell House (1883 Newport Shingle style summer cottage)
- South Carolina: Drayton Hall (1742 Southern river-front plantation house)
- South Dakota: Old Blacksmith Shop (1880 frontier military building)
- Tennessee: First Presbyterian Church (1851 Nashville Egyptian Revival church)
- Texas: Minion Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion de Acuna (ca. 1775 Spanish colonial Catholic mission and convent)
- Utah: Mountain Dell Dam (1924 multiple-arch reinforced concrete dam)
- Vermont: Job Lyman House (1810 New England village house)
- Virginia: Monticello (1768-1809 President Thomas Jefferson's house)
- Washington: Schooner Wawona (1897 lumber-hauling ship)
- West Virginia: Wheeling Suspension Bridge (1849, 1854 Ohio River suspension bridge still in use)
- Wisconsin: Johnson Wax Corporation Building (1936-39, 1947 corporate headquarters and research center by Frank Lloyd Wright)
- Wyoming: Schoolhouse (1910 rural one-room school)
Woodward Iron Company Works Site, Woodward, Alabama.
Rich in the primary ingredients for making iron—iron ore, coal and limestone—central Alabama has been a center of iron production since before the Civil War. Many railroad companies and iron manufacturers set up shop in Jefferson County, and the region's iron ore made the city of Birmingham famous for high-quality foundry iron. The Woodward Iron Company established the first iron furnaces in the Bessemer area just south of Birmingham in the 1880s. By 1966, the company had become one of the largest independent manufacturers of pig iron in the United States. The furnaces shown here were demolished in 1974-75. (See HABS/HAER, National Park Service for more history.)
St. Michael's Cathedral, Sitka, Alaska.
St. Michael's Cathedral, the center of the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska, was completed in 1848. In 1942 it became the first building in Alaska measured by HABS. Unfortunately, the Cathedral was destroyed by a fire that devastated downtown Sitka on January 2, 1966. The HABS drawings served as the basis for the reconstruction of the church. In this instance, the HABS documentation was the most complete and reliable source of information on the destroyed building, thus serving as a form of protection from catastrophic loss.
San Xavier del Bac Mission, Tucson Vicinity, Arizona.
The Mission of San Xavier del Bac is generally considered one of the most beautiful of the Spanish missions in the United States. In 1797 the church was constructed of adobe on a site that had been a mission since the beginning of the 1700s. It is shown here following restoration work completed in the early 1900's. The history of the mission mirrors the ebb and flow of the Spanish presence in the southwest.
Bathhouse Row, Fordyce Bathhouse, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas.
Praised by its original owner as "the most practical, complete, and luxurious bathhouse in the world," the Fordyce Bathhouse in Hot Springs stands today as a reminder of the international health-spa craze of the first half of the twentieth century. People from all over the world flocked to the Fordyce and the other bathhouses on "Bathhouse Row" in Hot Springs in the hope that the many natural springs in the area would help cure their illnesses. Visitors at the Fordyce bought their bath tickets in this foyer before proceeding to the dressing rooms and then to the baths. Today, the Fordyce Bathhouse is the Visitor Center at Hot Springs National Park.
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California.
An international icon of American engineering genius, the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937 and remains one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. The main span of 4,200 feet crosses the turbulent waters at the entrance to San Francisco Bay. Chief engineer Joseph B. Strauss started the construction project in 1933.
Ritter Ranch barn, Dolores vicinity, Colorado.
This wooden dairy barn, built in 1918, is the largest outbuilding on the Ritter Ranch, once the most technologically advanced ranch in the Lower Dolores Valley of Colorado. Divided crosswise by a central breezeway on the first floor and lengthwise by two rows of wooden poles supporting the roof, the barn has an airy and peaceful hayloft shown here that contrasts sharply with the complicated machinery of the work area below. The barn featured a metal manure car that ran along a track--just one of the many mechanical devices used at this state-of-the-art farm.
First Church of Christ, Congregational (Meetinghouse), Farmington, Connecticut.
The First Church of Christ is Connecticut's best surviving example of a colonial-era meeting house. Built in 1771 by Captain Judah Woodruff, who also built many of the houses in Farmington, the church has undergone only minor alterations and still retains its side entrance; graceful, tall steeple; and plain, boxy styling. The church has played an important role in the town since it was built. In 1841, for instance, the African captives from the Spanish slave ship Amistad lived in Farmington and attended the First Church of Christ for several months while awaiting passage back to Africa.
The Arsenal, New Castle, Delaware.
The U.S. government built this arsenal in 1809 under threat of war with Britain. Originally a one-story building with a wagon entrance at each end to help with the storage and distribution of arms, the Old Arsenal played an important role in both the War of 1812 and the Mexican War of 1846-48. It also housed the garrison from nearby Fort Delaware when that fort burned in 1831. The second story and cupola date from the 1850s, when the building was converted into a public school.
Frederick Douglass House, Washington, District of Columbia.
Frederick Douglass, a powerful and influential runaway slave, abolitionist, editor, and statesman, purchased this house in 1877. It was preserved as a memorial to Douglass after his death in 1895. The National Park Service restored the house in 1971-72, utilizing HABS documentation that had been produced in 1963-64. Today, the Frederick Douglass House is a popular and heavily visited site for those studying American history.
Century Hotel, Miami Beach Art Deco Historic District, Miami, Florida.
The southern end of Miami Beach contains a rich collection of Art Deco architecture, the most famous of which are a series of small hotels facing towards the beach. Larger and more flamboyant hotels were built after World War II as Miami Beach expanded to the north. By the late 1970s, development pressures threatened the Art Deco district. A group of local citizens recognized the uniqueness of the area and sought to preserve the architectural heritage the buildings represented. One of their approaches was to have HABS document the district in large format photographs. Those photographs were widely published and helped to generate national interest in the Art Deco district. Today, many of the buildings were restored to their original splendor as the area has been revitalized and once again become popular.
Rankin House (Doorway & Interior), Columbus, Georgia.
Begun in 1859 for the wealthy Scottish immigrant James A. Rankin but not completed until after the Civil War, this town house combines different building materials and details from a number of historical architectural styles. The ironwork shown here on the veranda is based on the Gothic architecture of medieval England and France. The Corinthian columns of the doorway behind it, on the other hand, call to mind the classical architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. The Rankin House is an excellent example of eclecticism, the term used to describe the mixing of different styles and materials in buildings.
USS Arizona (BB-39), submerged off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
This 1916 battleship is the final resting place for many of the 1,177 USS Arizona crewmen who died on December 7, 1941--the day of the Japanese air attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. Hit by a 1,760-pound bomb shortly after 8:00 a.m., the ship sank in less than nine minutes, leaving very little time for the crew to escape. By the end of the attack, the Pacific Fleet had lost many ships and more than two thousand personnel. The attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II. The USS Arizona received National Historic Landmark designation in 1989.
Post Office Block (Boise Basin Museum), Idaho City, Idaho.
When Idaho City's post office burnt to the ground in 1867, work on this new building began almost immediately. Completed in less than one month, the new post office and general store incorporated many fire-prevention measures, including metal shutters and doors. The new building also featured an attic floor of brick covered with earth for extra fire protection. Today, the building is the Boise Basin Museum, which is dedicated to Idaho’s Gold Rush.
Frederick C. Robie House, Chicago, Illinois.
The Robie House has the distinction of being the most frequently requested structure in the HABS and HAER collections. When Frederick C. Robie, a 33-year old engineer and bicycle manufacturing company president, wanted to build a new house, he sought out Frank Lloyd Wright. One of the best known of Wright's early Prairie houses, it was completed in 1909 and remains an icon of the modern movement in architecture.
Captain Charles L. Shrewsbury House, Madison, Indiana.
This beautiful freestanding spiral staircase climbs from the first floor to the attic of the Captain Charles L. Shrewsbury House. Both the staircase and the house were designed by the architect Francis J. Costigan, a native of Baltimore who had moved to Indiana in 1837. Captain Shrewsbury, a wealthy shipping merchant who owned a fleet of Ohio River steamboats, raised his family of six children in this house and often welcomed state officials and other prominent citizens as his guests.
Woodbury County Courthouse, Sioux City, Iowa.
Completed in 1918 to designs by Purcell & Elmslie, the Woodbury County Courthouse is a rare example of a Prairie style design for a large public building. The Prairie style is known for its bold and simple geometric forms and distinctive ornamentation inspired by nature, and was made famous by Louis Sullivan and his student Frank Lloyd Wright, key figures in the Prairie school who developed systems of abstracting architectural decoration from sources in nature. The term Prairie style refers to the style’s origins in the American Midwest, and its evocation of that region’s fertile prairies and flat terrain. The interior rotunda shown here is the focal point of the courthouse. It incorporates simple rectangles and squares with a stained glass dome and uses terra cotta ornament reminiscent of the prairie.
Kandt-Domann Farmstead, Barn, Hope Vicinity, Kansas.
As with the one-room schoolhouse, the single-family farm complexes that dot the American landscape are symbols of our rural heritage. The simple and straightforward structure of this barn is typical of the utilitarian character of agrarian buildings.
Loew's Theater, Louisville, Kentucky.
Going to the movies became quite an event in the 1920s. Large, urban motion picture "palaces" originally incorporated all the amenities found in live theaters, even out-doing them in scale and opulence and adding concert hall features such as great electric pipe organs and elaborately decorated lobbies. The Loew's Theatre chain hired nationally-known theater architect John Eberson, who designed this 1928 theater in a Spanish-influenced style called Churrigueresque.
Le Pretre Mansion, New Orleans, Louisiana.
The cast-iron column and capital shown here in this HABS measured drawing are distinguishing features of the Le Pretre Mansion in the famous French Quarter of New Orleans. Built around 1836, the mansion is named after its second owner, Jean Baptiste Le Pretre, a local merchant who added the second- and third-story cast-iron balconies to the exterior after 1850. The mansion is also known for its high basement, the first of its kind to be built in the French Quarter.
Portland Breakwater Lighthouse, South Portland, Maine.
This unusual-looking lighthouse is built of curved cast-iron plates whose seams are cleverly disguised by six decorative Corinthian columns. Built in 1855 and rebuilt twenty years later, the lighthouse may have been the work of Thomas Ustick Walter, designer of the dome of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. The lighthouse's flashing red beacon helped guide ships from Casco Bay through the entrance to Portland Harbor. Wooden sheds and a six-room house for the lighthouse-keeper were added at a later date but have since been removed. The lighthouse itself was abandoned in 1943.
Chase-Lloyd House, (Samuel Chase House), Annapolis, Maryland.
This three-story brick mansion was one of many great Georgian mansions built in Annapolis, the capital of Maryland, during the eighteenth century. Begun in 1769 for Samuel Chase, a young lawyer and future signer of the Declaration of Independence, the mansion passed unfinished two years later into the hands of the wealthy plantation owner Edward Lloyd IV. Lloyd hired the renowned English architect and master builder William Buckland to complete the mansion. The elaborate carved details, including the windows, cornices, and doorways, are by Buckland.
Lobster Cove, Annisquam, Massachusetts.
While most of the documentation in the HABS and HAER collections records individual sites, there are fascinating examples of buildings recorded within their environmental context. These cultural landscapes show the visual and functional relationship among buildings. In this instance, the location and arrangement of the eighteenth and nineteenth century buildings was closely tied to the transportation and commercial opportunities the New England fishing village waterfront presented.
Quincy Mining Company: No. 2 Shaft-Rockhouse (1908), Hancock, Michigan.
Like many copper-mining operations on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the Quincy Mining Company depended on complex processes such as the one illustrated in this HAER drawing to handle the copper and rock blasted from mines. At the company's No. 2 mine, the Shaft-Rockhouse separated the copper and rock mechanically into three distinct groups: "mass" copper (pure ore), poor rock containing little or no copper ore, and ore-rich rock and chunks larger than twenty inches. Once separated, the mass copper was shipped directly to smelters via the Great Lakes, the poor rock was crushed for use in road construction, and the material in the third group was crushed before shipment to smelters.
James C. Burbank House, (Livingston Griggs House), St. Paul, Minnesota.
This carved oak staircase connects the first and second floors of the three-story mansion built for James C. Burbank, a Vermont-born pioneer and major figure in early Minnesota transportation. Burbank, who made his fortune in stage-coach and riverboat traffic, hired the Chicago architect Otis C. Wheelock in 1862 to build him a mansion in the latest style. That style, commonly known as Italianate, features round arches, brackets, belvederes or cupolas, and other architectural elements found in villas and country houses around Italy. Today, the Burbank House is one of the finest early Italianate-style houses in St. Paul.
D'Evereux, Natchez vicinity, Mississippi.
Completed in 1840, D'Evereux is an excellent example of the Greek Revival style, an architectural style popular throughout the United States, and especially in the South, before the Civil War. The style is loosely based on the architecture of ancient Greece. The builders of D'Evereux applied Greek and Roman architectural motifs to everything from the ironwork of the servants' quarters to the woodwork and the ceilings of the main house. Many of the architectural ornaments, such as the ones shown here, were inspired by ancient urns, buildings, and other artifacts found at the ancient Roman cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii.
Louis Bolduc House, Sainte Genevieve, Missouri.
The Bolduc House, now a museum, is one of a few remaining French Colonial buildings in the upper Mississippi Valley. As described in the HABS written historical data pages, it is constructed of poteaux sur sole, vertical posts set on a sill, with the interstices filled with bouzillage, sticks covered with a mud and straw mixture. In addition to its construction, the large overhanging eaves and steep roof are distinct characteristics of the style.
Anaconda Reduction Department, Anaconda vicinity, Montana.
The copper mining town of Anaconda is known for the manufacture and sale of hardware, machinery, and supplies for mining companies. It is also known for its precast building parts and ornaments, such as storefronts and lampposts, made from recycled scrap iron. The Anaconda Reduction Department's breaker house shown here was built around 1900 to break down scrap iron before it was shipped to the furnace for melting and eventual reuse.
Gustav Rohrich Sod House, Bellwood, Nebraska.
Many early white settlers in the Western plains built sod-block houses such as this one because they could not afford lumber. Some sod houses had dirt floors, sod walls that sprouted grass in the summer, and roofs of tree branches covered with more sod. Others had wooden roofs and floors and plaster walls. All needed frequent repairs, and few lasted longer than fifty years. Gustav Rohrich, an Austrian-born farmer, built this two-room house with an attached cellar in 1883 for his young family. He was still living in the house when these drawings were made in 1934. At that time, he was eighty-five years old and his well-maintained house was the last "soddy" standing in the township.
Liberty Fire House, Gold Hill, Nevada.
This weathered firehouse once served the now-abandoned town of Gold Hill, the frontier mining community associated with the discovery of the Comstock Lode of silver ore in 1859. Gold Hill and neighboring Virginia City profited greatly from the rich lode through the 1860s and 1870s until the mines gave out around 1880. The Liberty Fire House is typical of the early wooden fire houses that protected many Western mining towns. It featured a false parapet front, a simple belfry, and rustic siding. It collapsed not long after this 1937 photo was taken. The belfry alone was retained as a monument.
Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge across Connecticut River between Cornish, New Hampshire, and Windsor, Vermont, New Hampshire.
This former toll bridge linking the towns of Cornish, New Hampshire, and Windsor, Vermont, is one of the largest covered wooden bridges in the U.S. Built in 1866, the bridge stretches more than four hundred feet, making it much longer than a modern-day football field. The bridge spans the Connecticut River at a point where the French military general and American Revolutionary War hero the Marquis de Lafayette is said to have crossed on his way to Vermont in 1825.
Samuel des Marest House, New Milford, New Jersey.
The wrought-iron hardware depicted in this HABS drawing comes from a Dutch Colonial house built sometime between 1677 and 1720 by David des Marest, a French Huguenot and immigrant to the American Colonies from the Netherlands. The hinges may have been part of the original building or may have been added later as part of an improvement project during the colonial period. The stone pestle for grinding and the wrought-iron fire tongs and horse's bit were also found around the house.
View of Acoma Pueblo (Sky City), Block Number 3 from the southeast, Casa Blanca vic., New Mexico.
Visited for the first time by Europeans in 1540, Acoma Pueblo is one of the oldest inhabited villages in the U.S. Located on top of a 357-foot rock mesa, the pueblo was the setting for many confrontations between European colonizers and the Acoma people, including a horrible massacre in 1599 by the Spanish soldiers who controlled the area. These flat-roofed houses made of adobe brick—a Spanish technique—show the Spanish influence on local building traditions.
Beebe Windmill, Bridgehampton, New York.
A now uncommon and romantic building type, the Beebe Windmill provided mechanization to the grinding of grain. This rare survivor teaches us about the evolution of industrial technologies and the ingenuity of early American craftsman who fashioned the moving parts out of the most readily available material at hand, wood.
HABS and HAER documentation provides information for the care and maintenance of structures for which the original drawings typically do not survive. The formats of HAER documentation for this windmill include a written history, photographs, and measured drawings. The selected drawings and photographs shown here demonstrate how the information in each format can supplement the other. The photographs record information as the camera sees it in a one-point perspective. The drawings illustrate the grain mill and clarify how its parts fit together, what dimensions they are, and how they interact to grind the grain.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Buxton, North Carolina.
Since December 1870 this black-and-white-striped lighthouse has been helping mariners make their way through the Diamond Shoals off the North Carolina coast. At 208 feet, it is the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States. In 1999, the National Park Service moved the lighthouse 2,900 feet inland to a new site in an effort to keep it from toppling into the Atlantic Ocean. The controversial relocation project took twenty-three days to execute. The light was reactivated on November 13, 1999.
Indian Dance Lodge, Elbowoods vicinity, North Dakota.
When this HABS photograph was taken, this thirteen-sided log structure was one of the last remaining Indian dance lodges in the country. Built in 1921 by members of the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara, the lodge is reminiscent of the ceremonial earthen lodges the tribes once erected along the upper Missouri River. The Hidatsa and the Mandan were long recognized as the farmers, merchants, and bankers of the Northern Plains. Archaeological evidence suggests that with the help of the Arikara, they traded with other Indian tribes from as far away as the present-day American Southwest.
Goodyear Airdock, Akron, Ohio.
Built by Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in 1929, this cavernous structure was used for the construction and repair of zeppelins. Eleven steel parabolic arches, 221 feet high, support the airdock without additional interior columns, creating one of the largest open interior spaces in the world. This view shows the complicated system of overhead cranes and catwalks used to construct zeppelins, along with the huge curved door for moving zeppelins in and out of the airdock. The Goodyear Airdock calls to mind the great age of lighter-than-air aviation in the 1920s.
Dr. Irvin D. Leoser's Log Cabin, Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
This log cabin once belonged to Dr. Irvin D. Leoser, a physician from Pennsylvania who lived among the Cherokee Indians of eastern Oklahoma during the second half of the nineteenth century. In addition to serving the Cherokee community of Tahlequah, Dr. Leoser took in families who had been displaced by the Civil War. Built of twelve-inch square oak logs, the cabin is one of the earliest examples of frontier log construction remaining in the state of Oklahoma.
Coos Bay Bridge (Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge), North Bend, Oregon.
At 5,305 feet in length, the Coos Bay Bridge is the longest of the five Public Works Administration bridges built along the Oregon Coastal Highway during the Great Depression. Made of steel, the bridge incorporates many complex structural systems and technological innovations including cantilevers, trusses, and early examples of concrete arches. Motorists feel as though they are driving under a series of arches when they travel over the bridge.
Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Central to the founding of the United States of America, Independence Hall is known as the site of events such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the ratification of the Articles of Confederation in 1781, and the creation of the United States Constitution in 1787. Independence Hall was built from 1733 to 1756 and first used as the State House of the colony of Pennsylvania. This drawing shows the prominent central tower that identifies Independence Hall as an important public building.
Isaac Bell House, Newport, Rhode Island.
In the late nineteenth century, Newport, Rhode Island, became famous as a summer resort for wealthy Americans, many of whom built Newport "cottages" in the latest architectural styles. The Isaac Bell House is an important early example of the Shingle Style, a style of Victorian architecture popular in the late nineteenth century and named after the decorative shingles used on the exterior. The designers of the Bell House, the architects McKim, Mead, & White, designed several important buildings in Newport and elsewhere, including Madison Square Garden and the original Pennsylvania Station in New York City.
Drayton Hall, Charleston vicinity, South Carolina.
Begun in 1738 for John Drayton, a prominent official and businessman in colonial South Carolina, Drayton Hall is one of the finest and best-preserved Georgian Palladian houses in the nation. Known for its symmetrical design, two-story portico (porch), and exquisite interior decorative wood and plasterwork, the house was the only plantation house on the west bank of the Ashley River not to be burned during the Civil War. Still without running water, central heat, or electricity, Drayton Hall is now a National Trust historic site.
Old Blacksmith Shop, Fort Bennett, Pierre vicinity, South Dakota.
The old wagon wheel rims and wire resting against the wall of this run-down blacksmith shop were but a few of the items made or repaired for the United States Army garrison at Fort Bennett. The U.S. government established the fort on the outskirts of the Great Sioux Nation [Indian] Reservation in 1870 in order to provide protection to the personnel overseeing and implementing governmental policies following the Red Cloud War. Built in 1880, the sod-covered shop is Fort Bennett’s only surviving structure.
First Presbyterian Church (Downtown Presbyterian Church), Nashville, Tennessee.
The interior columns, moldings, and illusionistic fresco ornament shown here along the south wall of Nashville’s First Presbyterian Church are in the Egyptian Revival style, an exotic style of architecture that became popular in the first half of the nineteenth century following Napoleon’s conquests. The Egyptian Revival style is noted for its lotus-leaf-inspired capitals, bulging columns, and Egyptian gorges, the dramatically curved cornice topping many Egyptian buildings. Begun in 1849 by William Strickland, the architect of the Tennessee State Capitol, this is the largest and best-preserved Egyptian Revival church in the United States.
Minion Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion de Acuna, San Antonio, Texas.
The church depicted in these axonometric views is one of the oldest surviving mission churches in the American Southwest. Built in the mid-eighteenth century by Franciscan monks from Spain, the church once served as the centerpiece of a large missionary compound. In its heyday, the mission included a convent, farmland, workshops, a granary, and a pueblo, or quarters, for christianized American Indians. In common with many Catholic churches built at the same time in Spain and Europe, this church features a vaulted stone roof, twin towers, and a dome over the crossing.
Mountain Dell Dam, Salt Lake City, Utah.
The development of the multiple-arch reinforced concrete dam by engineer John S. Eastwood took advantage of the inherent characteristics of an ancient building form to greatly reduce the needed mass of dams. Inclined, reinforced concrete barrel vaults transfer the weight of the impounded water to the ground through a series of buttresses. The downward pressure actually increases the stability of the dam by pressing it against its foundation, making it an ideal design for poor foundation conditions. Eastwood built similar dams throughout the world.
Job Lyman House, Woodstock, Vermont.
Job Lyman, a young lawyer from Northampton, Massachusetts, finished this house in the village of Woodstock in 1810. He and his bride, Mary Hall, lived in it for many years while Job practiced law in town. The finely carved Neoclassical detailing on the entrance porch suggests Lyman's refined taste and the prosperity of Woodstock at the time of construction. Decorated with fluted Ionic columns and scrolled ornament, the porch also features steps made of granite from a nearby quarry.
Monticello, Charlottesville Vicinity, Virginia.
President Thomas Jefferson designed his home, Monticello, as a sophisticated and innovative structure that could serve as a model of architecture for his fellow countrymen. Constructed between 1768 and 1809, Monticello has become known as one of the greatest works of western architecture, being designated as a World Heritage Site in 1987. Much has been written about Jefferson's passion for architecture and the antecedents for his designs. Floor plans and photographs of the house have been widely published, but it was not until the HABS section drawings were produced that one could illustrate how the geometrically complex spaces integrated vertically.
Schooner Wawona, Seattle, Washington.
Historic ships are among the most difficult objects to preserve and few vessels survive long enough to be considered historic. Those that do require expensive maintenance to be operational. The 1897 schooner Wawona was put into a floating dry dock in 1985 to allow necessary periodic repairs to the wooden hull. While the hull was accessible, HAER measured and mapped the shape of the hull in a series of topographic drawings, a process called "lines-lifting." This lumber schooner was the first project of HAER's ongoing maritime program.
Wheeling Suspension Bridge, Wheeling, West Virginia.
The Wheeling Suspension Bridge has been called "the father of American suspension bridges." Designed in 1849 by Charles Ellett as part of the National Road (later U.S. 40), the bridge spans a distance of 1,010 feet across the Ohio River so as to allow boats to pass underneath it. The bridge has been altered several times by noted engineers including Ellett's partner, William McComas, and William Hildenbrand. It remains the oldest vehicular suspension bridge in the world that is still in use.
Johnson Wax Corporation Building, Racine, Wisconsin.
The great American architect Frank Lloyd Wright made national headlines in 1936 with his designs for the Pennsylvania house known as Fallingwater and this building, the Johnson Wax Corporation Building in Racine, Wisconsin. Using reinforced concrete, brick, and innovative glass tubing, Wright created one of his most distinctive commercial designs for Johnson Wax. The eight-story research tower shown here was completed in 1947 to complement the original building. Each floor of the tower is cantilevered out from a central cylindrical core. The exterior walls are made of layers of curved glass tubing and brick.
School House, South Pass City, Wyoming.
The settlement of the West embodied in the image of a one-room frontier schoolhouse reminds us of how sparsely populated many areas of the country were in the 1800s. This 1910 building was actually the third school in South Pass City, the previous two having burned, and remained in use until 1946. The Wyoming Recreation Commission furnished this building as a typical frontier schoolhouse.