October 26, 2020

Deep Secrets

Lauren McMillan ’08 leads students on a revealing archaeological dig.

UMW Announces 2015 Historic Preservation Book Prize

The University of Mary Washington’s Center for Historic Preservation has awarded the 2015 Historic Preservation Book Prize to A City for Children; Women, Architecture, and the Charitable Landscapes of Oakland, 1850-1950 by Marta Gutman.   2015 Historic Preservation Book Prize Winner According to the book prize jury, “Gutman effectively combines nuanced social history, vernacular architecture and urban planning with issues of landscape and gender studies that resonate with modern historic preservation.” The center awards the Historic Preservation Book Prize annually to a book that a jury deems has made the most significant contribution to the intellectual vitality of historic preservation in America. Gutman is a professor of architectural and urban history at the City College of New York and The Graduate Center – CUNY. Published by The University of Chicago Press in 2014, the study addresses the use and reuse of everyday buildings in Oakland, California, by enterprising women who sought to improve urban living conditions for children of working-class families. “Gutman made a strong case for how urban landscapes can be understood as reflecting gender and race, particularly by placing women as active agents in the built environment,” said a member of the jury. “While members of Oakland’s upper and middle class, these women operated publicly as social reformers and political advocates for disadvantaged children.” This year, the jury for the $500 prize also included Steven Hoffman, professor and coordinator for the Historic Preservation Program in the Department of History at Southeast Missouri State University; Megan Rosengrant, undergraduate major in Historic Preservation at UMW; Rebecca J. Shepherd, director of the Masters in Historic Preservation Program at the University of Delaware; Andrea Livi Smith, associate professor and chair of the Department of Historic Preservation at UMW; Aubrey Von Lindern, architectural historian with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources; and Douglas Sanford, jury chair and professor and Prince B. Woodard chair of Historic Preservation at UMW. To nominate a book for the 2016 prize, a book must be first available in the United States between Jan. 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2015.  Letters of nomination from any source and six copies of the nominated book must be postmarked by Feb. 15, 2016, and sent to Michael Spencer, director of the Center for Historic Preservation at the University of Mary Washington, 1301 College Avenue, Combs 131, Fredericksburg, VA  22401-5300. For more information, contact the Center for Historic Preservation at (540) 654-1041.

Hands-On History

Alumna Audra Medve makes a career by taking care of history.

Melchers Museum Staff Receive Preservation Award

Three members of the staff at the Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont have been honored by the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation for their work in preserving the Fannie Roots House.   Fannie Roots House Director David Berreth, Preservation Manager Beate Jensen and Building and Grounds Assistant David Ludeker received the foundation’s E. Boyd Graves Award for Preservation Excellence. The announcement was made at a recent foundation award ceremony. The historic Fannie Roots House, adjacent to the Gari Melchers museum, belonged to Fannie Roots, an African American civil rights activist and Stafford County citizen. The home was purchased by her family in 1912. The family, including Fannie as a teenager, did occasional work for the Melchers family. Fannie lived in the home until her death in 2004. The restoration project was started in 2009 by UMW students and members of the community and included stabilization and weather proofing. More extensive work including roof replacement and chimney restoration was completed in 2013 with grants from the Duff McDuff Green Jr. Fund of the Community Foundation of the Rappahannock Region, The Marietta M. and Samuel T. Morgan Jr. Foundation, the Dr. H. Stewart Jones Trust and the Fredericksburg Savings Charitable Foundation. The next phase of the restoration will focus on renovating the house’s interior to allow more in-depth historical interpretation for the public. For more information on the Fannie Roots house and restoration project, contact Beate Jensen at (540) 654-1839.

Cataloging Clues

Paul Murphy spends his days discovering clues to America’s past.

Surrounded by a magnifying glass, latex gloves and a hand-held dusting brush, the University of Mary Washington historic preservation major sorts through a box of seemingly innocuous objects to identify and catalogue bits of history.

Cataloguing Clues

U.S. Marine Veteran Paul Murphy works to preserve America’s past.

UMW Announces 2014 Historic Preservation Book Prize

The University of Mary Washington Center for Historic Preservation has awarded the 2014 Historic Preservation Book Prize to “Old Buildings New Forms: New Directions in Architectural Transformations” by Françoise Astorg Bollack. The Center for Historic Preservation awarded the 2014 Historic Preservation Book Prize to "Old Buildings New Forms: New Directions in Architectural Transformations" by Françoise Astorg Bollack. “Bollack’s book is provocative for historic preservation in the United States and worldwide,” said Gary Stanton, chair of the jury and associate professor of historic preservation at UMW. “[The book] proposes ways of seeing, valuing and designing that not all readers will approve or appreciate. Yet the value of the discussion is not brought forward by a slow evolution of the language of rehabilitation and reuse, but by the articulation of contrasting active design concepts.” The center awards the Historic Preservation Book Prize annually to a book that a jury deems has made the most significant contribution to the intellectual vitality of historic preservation in America. Bollack is a registered architect with more than 30 years of experience in architectural design, historic preservation, adaptive reuse and interior design. Since 1981, she has been the principal of Françoise Bollack Architects in New York City. She is also an adjunct associate professor of architecture at Columbia University. This year, the jury for the $500 prize also included Douglas Sanford, Hofer Professor of Early American Culture and Historic Preservation at the University of Mary Washington; Andrew Dolkart of the historic preservation program at Columbia University; Malcolm Cairns, professor of landscape architecture at Ball State University; and Lucy Lawliss, National Park Service Superintendent of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Wilderness Battlefield Parks. To nominate a book for the 2015 prize, a book must be first available in the United States between Jan. 1, 2014 and Dec. 31, 2014.  Letters of nomination from any source and six copies of the nominated book must be postmarked by Feb. 15, 2015 and sent to Michael Spencer, chair of the Center for Historic Preservation at the University of Mary Washington, 1301 College Avenue, Combs 131, Fredericksburg, VA  22401-5300. For more information, contact the Center for Historic Preservation at (540) 654-1041.

Chronicles of Courage

Seven years have passed since Retired Marine Sergeant Kenny Lyon sat down with CBS’s Scott Pelley on “60 Minutes.” With a wire holding his jaw together, Lyon vowed that he would fight to regain everything back that he lost in a mortar attack on May 1, 2006, while serving in Iraq.

Chronicles of Courage

Veterans like Kenny Lyon shared their experiences with historic preservation students.

Historic Preservation Professor to Appear on Radio Program

Michael Spencer, assistant professor of historic preservation, will appear on the public radio show “With Good Reason” to discuss his class’s efforts to preserve a small church in Falmouth. The show, “Dreams of the Civil War,” will air beginning on Saturday, Nov. 2.

Michael Spencer

Michael Spencer

The program also will feature commentary from instructors from several Virginia institutions, including Christopher Newport University and Norfolk State University. Topics of the show will include life during the Civil War, the influence of slave culture and American colonial essayists. Audio files of the full program and its companion news feature will be posted online the week of the show at withgoodreasonradio.org/2013/11/dreams-of-the-civil-war/.

“With Good Reason” is a program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. The show airs weekly in Fredericksburg on Sundays from 1-2 p.m. on Radio IQ 88.3 Digital. To listen from outside of the Fredericksburg area, a complete list of air times and links to corresponding radio stations can be found at http://withgoodreasonradio.org/when-to-listen/.