Track 4: This New World: Preservation technology and emerging issues within our historic buildings and built landscapes

General Abstract

Metals Inventory and Assessment for the Capitol Grounds, Washington D.C.

Monday, September 24
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: BNCC-106BC

Conservation Solutions, a division of EverGreene Architectural Arts, was contracted by the Architect of the Capitol to perform an assessment and inventory of metal objects within the Capitol Grounds cultural landscape. The number of items in the Capitol Grounds survey reached over a thousand and ranged from sculptural to functional objects. No comprehensive inventory of the metals items existed. When designing a new data system for assessing, inventorying, and managing large collections of objects many factors are considered. Considerations include the type of information to be obtained, the type of objects surveyed, the technical needs for collecting and organizing the data, efficiency and ease of use, and budget. It is also necessary to think about how the database be used in future and if it needs to be adaptable and able to grow. For the Capitol Grounds Inventory and Assessment, Conservation Solutions chose an affordable and customizable digital platform that could create the survey and yield the desired project deliverables. Furthermore, the platform was transferable to other projects and types of data collection.

The final products for the Capitol Grounds Metals Inventory included: a database for the inventoried items, surveys of each item, a map of the geo-located items, and photographic documentation of each item surveyed. Conservation Solutions worked with the client to design a customized survey form. The form included information such as deterioration conditions, priority levels, metals identification, GPS location, and photographs. Each object was tagged or labeled with a unique ID code based on its location, object type and object category. The form was designed to be user-friendly and quick in the field. After standardizing the software, hardware (tablets), and realizing a training program for Conservation Solutions conservators and technicians conducting the survey, a team of surveyors was set loose on the Capitol grounds. Once surveying had begun, data was uploaded in real time to Conservation Solutions’ cloud network. The survey data could be reviewed remotely for accuracy through the software application’s website and, once accepted, the data automatically populated into individual forms, tables, and folders and were stored on the desired servers. The same data simultaneously generated to an excel spreadsheet, which connected to a map generated by the platform Microsoft Power BI. An integration feature specially designed for the survey also made it possible to automatically rename images taken during the survey in order to eliminate painstakingly re-labeling thousands of photo files.

Learning Objectives:

Silvia Callegari

Assistant Conservator
EverGreene Architectural Arts, Inc.

Silvia Callegari joined Conservation Solutions, a division of EverGreene Architectural Arts, as an Assistant Conservator in 2017. She holds a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania (2017) and a BA from New York University (2012). At EverGreene, she works closely with Senior Conservators in all aspects of conservation work, including research, condition assessments, conservation treatments, construction management, and materials testing and analysis. Prior to joining EverGreene she worked at The Woodlands Cemetery in Philadelphia as a conservation technician. As a graduate student, Silvia interned with the National Park Service at Mesa Verde National Park and Tumacácori National Historic Park. She did an advocacy internship with the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia and a Field School with the T.E.I. School of Athens in Crete, Greece where she collaborated on a risk assessment and conservation of two prehistoric Minoan settlements. In 2017, she was a student scholar and conference presenter at APT Ottawa.


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Mark Rabinowitz

Vice President- Principal Conservator
EverGreene Architectual Arts, Inc.


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Elisabeth Bakker Johnson

Elisabeth Bakker Johnson is an Associate Project Coordinator for the New York State University Construction Fund. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Math and Computer Science from Roberts Wesleyan College, a Masters of Architecture from SUNY Buffalo and a Masters of Science in Building Conservation from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. With over 26 years of New York state service, Elisabeth has extensive experience in facilities management and within all phases of the design and construction industry, where she has worked alongside the Capitol Architect and in many other capacities on dozens of projects, most notably the 49-million-dollar Phase 4 New York State Capitol roof and skylight replacement project. She also has several years’ experience working at the New York State Historic Preservation Office and as an Historic Preservation Restoration Coordinator helping to facilitate restoration projects among the state-owned historic sites’ inventory in New York’s Capital District.

Elisabeth has published several articles, some of which can be found in the Encyclopedia of 20th-Century Architecture, where she has five entries related to historic Dutch architecture. As one of the founding Board members of APTNE, a former APTNE Vice President, and as a licensed architect, she continues to champion her longtime passions of architecture and historic preservation through her commitment to several preservation organizations and through any other capacity where she can make a difference.


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Metals Inventory and Assessment for the Capitol Grounds, Washington D.C.

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