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Engineering for Historic Timber Framing Workshop

Building techniques and issues arising in preservation

September 3 - September 5, 2014


Natchitoches, LA

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African House is part of Melrose Plantation and is located south Natchitoches, Louisiana. This photo was taken in December 2013.

African House is part of Melrose Plantation and is located south of Natchitoches, Louisiana. This photo was taken in December 2013.

NCPTT will partner with the Preservation Trades Network, the Association for the Preservation Historic Natchitoches, and the Friends of NCPTT to hold several timber framing workshops over the next year. The first workshop will explore engineering issues of historic timber structures and is geared towards architects, engineers, preservationists, conservators, students, and historic building owners and managers.  Future workshops will be hands-on and participants will have the opportunity to expand their timber framing skills on a new pavilion and the historic African House.

East wall of African House in December 2013.

East wall of African House in December 2013.

Engineering for Historic Timber Framing Workshop will be held September 3-5, 2014 in Natchitoches, LA. Classroom sessions will be held at Lee H. Nelson hall with site visits to Melrose Plantation and Magnolia Plantation. Africa House, so named because local lore attributes it’s unusual umbrella-like roof to African building traditions, is a 200 year old structure built using both heavy timber and low-fired brick. Among the issues facing African House is a lack of understanding of the structural capabilities of traditional heavy timber joinery. During the engineering workshop, instructors experienced with historic timber framed structures will discuss this building technique and issues that arise during preservation, focusing on the example of African House. Participants will learn what is acceptable for these structures and what they need to look for when evaluating these buildings on their own.

Register Now

 

Regular: $399

Early: $299

Space is limited for the workshop so register soon! An early bird rate of $299 is available until July 15, 2014 and there are a limited number of spots for students at a discounted rate of $99. Please contact Sarah Marie Jackson (sarah_m_jackson at nps.gov) to learn more about student registration. More information coming soon on schedule and hotel information.

NCPTT REFUND POLICY

Since workshops and conferences fill quickly, please sign up as early as possible. If you need to withdraw from an event, you must inform us in writing via email or fax. Cancellations more than 30 days prior to an event will be fully refunded less a $30 administrative fee.

No refunds will be available for cancellations within 30 days of the event, so please take this into account when you sign up for a workshop. In the unlikely event that NCPTT must cancel an event, you may choose to receive a full refund of the registration fee or a credit for a future NCPTT event.

Lisa Sasser

Lisa Sasser

Lisa Sasser has worked in preservation since 1972, beginning as a Museum Technician at the Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock, Texas. In 1977, she received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Texas Tech University, completing as a thesis project, a Historic Structures Report and restoration plan for a post-1680 houserow at Tesuque Pueblo, New Mexico. From 1979-1984 she was employed as a Historical Architect on the Northeast Team of the Denver Service Center, the centralized planning and design office of the National Park Service. In 1984, she entered the National Park Service preservation trades training program at the Williamsport Preservation Training Center (now HPTC) in Williamsport, Maryland. After completing the trades training program, she remained on the Training Center staff as a Supervisory Preservation Specialist and Senior Historical Architect. In 1993, she became the Assistant Chief Historical Architect for the National Park Service in Washington, D.C. She worked in the Northeast Region of the National Park Service as a Project Manager and Facility Management Coordinator from 1996 until her retirement from the National Park Service in August 2009. She currently provides consulting, teaching and technical services for documentation, conservation, repair and maintenance of historic structures. Lisa is a founding member and past President of the Preservation Trades Network, and past President of the Timber Framers Guild.

Rudy Christian

Rudy Christian

Rudy R. Christian is a founding member and past president of the Timber Framers Guild, founding member and past president of Friends of Ohio Barns, founding member and past Executive Director of the Preservation Trades Network and is a founding member of the Traditional Timberframe Research and Advisory Group and the International Trades Education Initiative. His experience includes participation in the Quingue Forum, numerous speaking engagements and instructing educational workshops as well as publication of various articles about historic conservation. An article entitled “Conservation of Historic Building Trades; A Timber Framer’s View” was published in the APT Bulletin, vol. XXXIII, No1 and his recent collaborative work with author Allen Noble entitle The Barn; A Symbol of Ohio has been published on the internet. In November 2000 the Preservation Trades Network awarded Rudy the Askins Achievement Award, for excellence in the field of historic preservation. Rudy’s educational background includes the study of structural engineering at both General Motor’s Institute in Flint Michigan and Akron University in Ohio. He and his son Carson have also studied historic compound roof layout and computer modeling at the Gewerbe Akademie in Rotweil, Germany. He and his wife Laura Saeger Christian are active adjunct professors at Palomar College in San Marcos, California and approved workshop instructors for the Timber Framers Guild. Rudy’s professional experience as President of Christian & Son, Inc. includes reconstruction of the historic “Big Barn” at Malabar Farm State Park near Mansfield, Ohio and relocation of the 19th century Crawford Horse Barn in Newark, Ohio. These projects featured “hand raisings” which were open to the public and attracted a total of 130,000 interested spectators. He also lead a crew of timber framers at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, Masters of the Building Arts program in the recreation and raising of an 18thMall in Washington,“ DC. Roy Underhill’s “Woodright’s Shop” filmed the event for PBS and Roy participated in the raising. Christian & Son’s recent work includes working with a team of specialists to relocate Thomas Edison’s #11 laboratory building from the Henry Ford Museum to West Orange New Jersey where it original was built, and the restoration of the Mansfield Blockhouse a hewn log structure built by the military in 1812. During the summer of 2006 Rudy, his son Carson and his wife Laura were the lead instructors and conservation specialists for the Field School at Mt. Lebanon Shaker Village during which the 1838 timber frame granary was restored. In July and August 2008 Rudy and Laura directed and instructed a Field School in the Holy Cross Historic District in New Orleans in collaboration with the University of Florida and the World Monuments Fund. In 2012 Rudy served as “Visiting Artisan” during a timber frame workshop at Savannah Technical College. Traditional Building Magazine publishes Rudy’s blog “A Place for Trades.”

HABS image from 1940 of African House. LOC|HABS

HABS image from 1940 of African House during documentation of Melrose Plantation. LOC|HABS

The site of both workshops will be African House at Melrose Plantation which is owned by APHN. Melrose Plantation began in 1796 as the Louis Metoyer Plantation and is located south of Natchitoches, Louisiana. Melrose Plantation has a long history with several key time periods. It was originally cultivated by a member of the Metoyer family. Marie Therese Coin-Coin, who is the matriarch of the creole Metoyers, and her descendants established the Cane River Creole community which is still a vibrant community today. [1]  For more information on the Cane River Creole community please visit St. Augustine Historical Society, Cane River National Heritage Area , and the Louisiana Creole Heritage Center.

HABS image of west wall of African House taken in 1940 during documentation of Melrose Plantation. LOC|HABS

HABS image of west wall of African House taken in 1940 during documentation of Melrose Plantation. LOC|HABS

African House is located at Melrose Plantation behind the main house and was constructed in the early 1800s.[2] It is a 2 story brick and timber framed building that has had many uses during the almost 200 years since its construction. Presently it is open for tours and houses paintings of Clementine Hunter on the second floor. The first floor is constructed of low-fired bricks and the second floor is timber framed with a large hipped roof. The design and construction of the African House is very unique and is likely one of the best examples of African/French building traditions in the United States. [1] Cane River National Heritage Area ( http://www.canerivernha.org/). [2] E. Eean McNaughton (2006). Historic Structure Report for African House – Melrose Plantation.  

Rudy explains to the group during the site visit how the cut marks and construction can tell a story.

Rudy explains to the group during the site visit how the cut marks and construction can tell a story.

Rudy investigates cut marks on timber on the inside wall.

Rudy investigates cut marks on timber on the inside wall.

Ed Fitzgerald works with a partner to measure the length of the timber on the north wall.

Ed Fitzgerald works with a partner to measure the length of the timber on the north wall.

 

Rudy explains to Andy Ferrell what the cut marks show in a rubbing of a timber.

Rudy explains to Andy Ferrell what the cut marks show in a rubbing of a timber.

Laura Saeger Christian photo documents the structure during the site visit.

Laura Saeger Christian photo documents the structure during the site visit.

Score marks on the timbers number the pieces of the wall. This numbering led to come interesting theories on the wall construction.

Score marks on the timbers number the pieces of the wall. This numbering led to come interesting theories on the wall construction.

Interior shot of the roof structure taken after removing a section of the ceiling.

Interior shot of the roof structure taken after removing a section of the ceiling.

infrared image taken from south of African House facing north.

infrared image taken from south of African House facing north.

More photos coming soon!

The second Timber Framing Workshop at Melrose Plantation will give the participants hands-on experience in framing new heavy timber buildings and working with historic buildings. APHN is interested in building a new timber framed pavilion for visitors. The preservation/restoration of African House is also scheduled to begin in May. Participants will get the opportunity to explore this building more in depth and possibly assist in the work. Details for this workshop are still being finalized and more information will be available in the future.

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Organizer

Sarah Jackson
Phone:
318-356-7444
Email:
Website:
ncptt.nps.gov

Venue

NCPTT
645 University Parkway, Natchitoches, LA 71457 United States
+ Google Map
Phone:
318-356-7444
Website:
ncptt.nps.gov