Track 2: Materials over Time: Points of Change

APT Student Scholar Abstract

Evaluating the Deterioration of Historic Cement Stucco Using Traditional Condition Assessment and Digital Analyses

Tuesday, September 25
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: BNCC- 101BG
Faculty Advisor: John Hinchman, BFA, MFA, MS – University of Pennsylvania

The John Moulton homestead, constructed in 1934, is one of four intact homesteads in the Mormon Row Historic District within Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. The homestead is a vernacular one and a half story wood frame structure finished with pink-painted cementitious stucco and is remarkably unaltered since construction. The National Park Service has been the steward of the structure since 1990, offering limited access and preservation through mothballing. At the present, the stucco exhibits severe cracking due to a number of causes including a lack of designed expansion joints, structural settlement, and possible thermal expansion. The NPS would like to open the site to visitation while preserving the integrity of the structure with minimal intervention. This paper focuses on the process of evaluating the condition of the historic cement stucco by using a combination of traditional recording methodologies augmented with digital analytical mapping tools to better understand the causes of deterioration. Based on the complexity of the cracking patterns evident on the stucco we have elected to experiment with geographic information systems (GIS), which can be used to statistically evaluate the spatial relationship of selected variables to assist in diagnosing the causes of crack propagation and type and help guide a minimal repair strategy. In the process of creating and analyzing the conditions, this project presents the opportunity to test the degree to which GIS and other digital tools (like photogrammetry and infrared thermography) can clarify and better illustrate conditions beyond traditional conditions documentation and inform treatments to be implemented.

Learning Objectives:

Sara Stratte

university of Pennsylvania

Sara Stratte is a second-year master’s candidate in the University of Pennsylvania Historic Preservation program. She received her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she studied archaeology, heritage, and digital humanities. More recently, she has been involved in the preservation of rural wood, stone, and adobe structures in the American West through the National Park Service and the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Stratte hopes to continue with innovative research that benefits cultural resources in the American west.


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Peter Wollenberg

Wollenberg Building Conservation, LLC

Peter Wollenberg is a Columbia-trained architectural conservator who began his career in historic preservation in Vermont before attending graduate school. Following graduate school, Peter worked for Geier Brown Renfrow Architects in Washington, DC working primarily on the Historic Structure Reports for buildings in the Federal Triangle. Peter moved to St. Louis and worked for Washington University Technology Associates (WUTA), a company that specialized in sculptural and architectural conservation around the country. He started Wollenberg Building Conservation in 1992 and has worked on projects in numerous states ranging from the repair of small stone sculptures to monuments to the Wainwright Building and the Missouri State Capitol.


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Evaluating the Deterioration of Historic Cement Stucco Using Traditional Condition Assessment and Digital Analyses

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