CHP program receives $96K grant from educational foundation

A $96,000 grant from the Southeastern New England Educational and Charitable Foundation to Salve Regina’s Noreen Stonor Drexel Program Cultural and Historic Preservation will fund student projects at two historic mill sites in Rhode Island, expand the program’s 3D digital documentation capabilities, launch an annual public lecture series and help establish six new paid internships for students over the next two years.

Foundation president Sharon Grills Jackson is the daughter of the late Richard A. Grills, former owner and operator of the textile mill Bradford Dyeing Association, who had a lifelong interest in historic preservation and environmental conservation. Through his foresight, and an inherited love of both avocations, Sharon Grills Jackson is continuing his work for the next generation of students and educators to preserve both historic and natural resources.

“My father had a keen interest and excitement in finding ways to restore the past glory of our rich, Rhode Island history,” Jackson said. “I have found that same energy and excitement in our new partners at Salve Regina University.”

Her husband, Stephen Leal Jackson, who received his Ph.D. in humanities from Salve Regina in 2015, is a lifelong student of history. It was he who introduced the foundation to the idea of partnering with Salve’s cultural and historic preservation program. “The perfect fit of the mission of the foundation and the goals of Salve’s cultural and historic preservation program was uncanny. This was a concord of two like-minded groups who were both excited about reaching the same goal,” said Jackson, a director of the foundation who also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Johnson & Wales University.

The grant will fund the following initiatives:

Annaquatucket and Daniel Drive Mill Sites Project

Over a two-year period beginning in the spring 2018 semester, students will complete National Register of Historic Places nominations for two 19th century textile mill sites – the Annaquatucket and Daniel Drive mills – in North Kingstown. The mills, built during the first half of the 1800s and in now ruins, have never been documented by historians, preservationists or archaeologists.

“In addition to their historical significance, these sites can serve as real world laboratories for teaching Salve Regina students critical skillsets associated with preservation careers,” said Dr. Jon Marcoux, assistant professor and coordinator of the CHP program.

Working under the supervision of architectural historian Dr. Jeroen van den Hurk, assistant professor at Salve, students will conduct historical research to provide a context to understand the sites, as well as to identify specific information about the mills, their owners and the people who worked there; they will fully document the sites through measured architectural drawings, photographs and total station maps; and they will synthesize this information into a formal nomination.

Ultimately, the completed National Register of Historic Places nomination – which will be curated by the Library of Congress – plus two to three undergraduate theses and a scholarly article will all be made available on the foundation’s website and serve as the focal point for the foundation’s emphasis on historic preservation in its target area.

3D Documentation

Funding will help the University expand its capabilities in 3D digital documentation of artifacts, architectural elements and entire structures through the purchase of two computer workstations designed for 3D capture and editing, two 3D printers and a small aerial drone equipped with a high-resolution digital camera.

In order to document entire buildings, students will be trained in the use of “photogrammetry” technique, where software is used to create accurate digital 3D models from photographs.

Annual CHP Lecture Series

The CHP program will establish the Grills Lecture Series in Historic Preservation, a public lecture series that will complement the University’s annual conference in cultural and historic preservation. Prominent academics and professionals in the preservation field will be invited to campus to speak on relevant topics in the field.

Six New Paid Internships for Students

Six new paid internship programs for CHP students, both during the school year and during the summer, will be established in partnership with preservation organizations in Rhode Island and New London County, Connecticut.

“We are very excited about this grant,” Marcoux said. “Our partnership with the Southeastern New England Educational and Charitable Foundation will significantly expand our ability to provide students with hands-on preservation experience, cutting-edge skill sets, and access to our field’s most influential scholars and practitioners.”

1 comment

  1. Marian Mathison Desrosiers, PhD says:

    Congratulations to you, Professor Marcoux, your students, Salve Regina, and the future of historic preservation and archaeology as important fields of study.

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