As a child, one of my favorite books was Barbara Cooney’s “Miss Rumphius”. Set in my home state of Maine, it challenged the reader to do three things with their life: travel and see the world, come home and grow old by the sea, and, the most important, do something to make the world a more beautiful place. This book left an indelible impact on me, and my desire and dedication to historic preservation, and set me on the path to fulfilling Miss Rumphius’challenges–the
University of Oregon.s Historic Preservation program, is one of the many steps on that path.Through my experiences growing up and then throughout my undergraduate career, I have developed a passion for historic buildings
and their preservation. Our society has become focused on the present, with an intense focus on .throwaway. development, no longer thinking towards the future. As this mentality spreads through our society, specifically in building and design, we are rapidly losing a vast amount of the craftsmanship and material integrity that previous eras in history have upheld. This endangered way of building has created a strong societal and cultural impact on our population as the buildings, structures, and landscapes we inhabit leave a mark upon our hearts and minds strong enough to last for generations. This mark, a profound sense of the richness of our history, is one of the things that makes our world so beautiful and enriching experience. I have long held a passion for the field of ecological sustainability; and in study, I have felt much frustration over the complete separation of the fields of sustainable design and historic preservation. One of our duties to our field and profession is to preserve, transform, and redefine existing buildings.to bring them back into the beauty and functionality that they were designed to.and have held.for decades. Taking advantage of the interdepartmental connections at the University of Oregon I would like to focus my skills on historic preservation, concentrating my work and vision through the processes of green building practices and sustainable design. My passion for these to arts have come together to form the framework of my undergraduate design thesis, namely through the proposed adaptive reuse of a 1929 cold storage warehouse designed by prominent Fargo architect William F. Kurke. This building, which continues to serve its original purpose, is an
exquisite example of the art deco era of design, with an understated geometrically driven façade and integrity of structure and materials. The original building is largely unchanged, and allows for a great challenge as well as many great opportunities in its conversion.
Throughout my undergraduate career, I have been lucky to experience
the art and process of historic preservation. In my current project, there have been many hours spent scouring historic documents and blueprints in order to define the cultural and architectural significance of the building. I
have strived to develop reasonable as-built drawings with which to work from, using the original drawings and the existing building as a historic guides. I have had an opportunity to work in an urban planning studio; a cooperative
effort between the city of Minot, North Dakota and the fourth year faculty of the architecture program at NDSU; and was able to focus my attention in that project to the creation of guidelines for the historic redevelopment and infill of historic railroad neighborhoods within the city. Working on a community service project, I have also developed guidelines through text and sketch-analysis for the rehabilitation of the downtown of Valley City, North Dakota. I have personally witnessed how beneficial preservation can be to a community, both in my hometown of Belfast, Maine and in an area such as Fargo which is currently reviving its downtown. It is this type of growth and progress that stirs a community into a new sense of togetherness and worth. These emotions and feelings strengthen my resolve to commit myself to use my education, skills, and vision, for these necessary and crucial projections of preservation.this will be the nexus of my future career.
One component that excites me about this program is the amount of hands-on
experience that this it provides. I appreciate the real world work and experience that the program strives, as well as how it is structured to cultivate creativity individually, instead of expecting each student to repeat what the one before them had produced. The practical aspects of the program, such as instruction in preservation law and the National Register nomination forms fascinate me; post-scholastically, I intend to go on to practice as an architect, specializing in historic preservation. Working as an architect, these practical skills are going to be an absolute essential part of my duties. Already, these tenets of preservation exist on the forefront of my mind when I think of my future career.
A pillar of my goals as a student has been to experience the world.not just the lands, but also the buildings and the people.meeting Miss Rumphius.s requirement of traveling. The field experience component of the University of Oregon.s program appeals to my urge to experience the world. The University of Oregon is a larger school than I have attended as an undergraduate student; I look forward to making new networks and connections there. I have a great expectation to be able to work in an environment that is new and stimulating. I know that the Historic Preservation Program will be extremely beneficial for me as a student, professional, and a person. This program couples my passion and love for the study and preservation of architecture.s historic treasures. The faculty and
staff, as well as the unique perspective that the Pacific Northwest region provides makes this opportunity at the University of Oregon, a outstanding prospect for me to expand my knowledge and experience of architecture and historic preservation.and how I can use all of those to make the world a more beautiful place.