INTENSIVE-LEVEL HISTORIC RESOURCE SURVEY PROJECTS Client:  Worcester Historical Commission Team: Neil Larson 2000:  Intensive-Level Survey of Selected Properties 2001:  Intensive-Level Survey of Targeted Areas 2002:  Intensive-Level Survey of Selected Areas and Properties 2005:  Intensive-Level Survey of Selected Areas & Properties in the Piedmont Neighborhood 2010:  Intensive-Level Survey of Crown Hill Neighborhood LFA has provided continued survey and planning services to the City of Worcester, successfully completing intensive-level surveys sponsored by Preservation Worcester in 2000 and 2001 and a follow-up surveys in 2002 and 2005.  Our fourth project added over 100 properties in the Piedmont neighborhood to the city’s historic resource inventory.  The Piedmont is a city target area for residential redevelopment.  In the process we discovered small group of identical small dwellings associated with African Americans in a cul-de-sac forgotten in local history.  We returned to Worcester in 2010 to update and expand documentation of properties in the historic Crown Hill neighborhood, listed on the National Register in the 1970s, to prepare for an expansion of the local historic district, which was accomplished in 2012.  Worcester has extraordinary documentary sources on its buildings, which has allowed us to explore social and ethnic contexts for buildings and neighborhoods and develop rich histories for them.  These stories will have other image-building and educational uses.  For example, Preservation Worcester has been using narratives from our survey forms in their newsletters to acquaint their members and the general public to some of the architectural and cultural nuances of the city. HISTORIC FARMSTEAD INVENTORY Town of Rochester, Ulster County, NY  Client:  Town of Rochester Historic Preservation Commission Team:   Neil Larson Date:    October 2010 Having completed a town-wide reconnaissance survey, the Town of Rochester Historic Preservation Commission has embarked on projects to further document and preserve historic features of this rural town.  Based on models LFA developed in the towns of Montgomery and New Paltz, an intensive survey was undertaken to document and record the buildings and landscape features of the town’s agricultural heritage, of which a remarkable number historic farmsteads survive.  With funds obtained from a Preserve New York State grant and the support of the Open Space Institute and private donors, ten farmsteads were selected that retained their farmhouses, barns, farm outbuildings, and substantial portions of their farmland.  These were thoroughly documented and mapped to establish a standard and methodology for future efforts undertaken within the town. BEACON HILL NEIGHBORHOOD HISTORIC PROPERTIES SURVEY UPDATE, PHASE III: THE FLAT Boston, Suffolk County, MA Client:   Boston Landmarks Commission Team:    Kathryn Grover & Neil Larson Date:     June 2008 Beacon Hill was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1972 with a nomination form that provided very little documentation of its buildings and the diversity of significant historical themes and periods.  The Boston Landmarks Commission has undertaken to update the record with the intensification of building data and a revision of the nomination form.  The Flat of Beacon Hill-the area west of Charles Street developed in stages at the turn of the 20th century on land created by the filling of the Back Bay of the Charles River-was the last section of the landmark district scheduled to be re-surveyed.  Although appearing at the end of Beacon Hill's long development, it occurred during a time when the area was undergoing a noteworthy preservation and revitalization movement.  The Flat originated as the location of stables for the affluent residents of The Hill and Beacon Street, but as land values began to increase, it gradually evolved into a stylish residential district populated by artists, architects and literary figures.  With the advent of the automobile in the early 20th century, stables were converted to garages, but most of these were soon replaced by new town houses that reflect the architectural innovations of Boston's Colonial Revival Movement.  Many young architects and developers are represented in the new construction making the story of the Flat particularly interesting. Architectural historian Neil Larson teamed with historian Kathryn Grover to undertake this project.  They took advantage of the recent on-line availability of historic assessors and building permit records to document the construction/alteration dates, architects and clients for nearly 200 buildings in The Flat, including those on the west side of Charles Street, which had their front facades moved back and reconstructed when Charles Street was widened in 1920.  They also used the growing repository of on-line sources to provide personal histories of the historical figures associated with the neighborhood. The scope and detail of their documentation  was considered to set a new standard for intensive surveys by both Boston Landmarks Commission and Massachusetts Historical Commission. TOWN-WIDE RECONAISSANCE SURVEY Town of Greenburgh, Westchester County, New York Client:  Town of Greenburgh Team:  Jill Fisher & Neil Larson Date:   January 2007   Greenburgh is a southern Westchester County town with a significant suburban history.  Only a few 18th century buildings remain, though many more 19th century resources exist, which illustrate the spread of residential development outside of New York City.  Country estates, numerous country clubs, and cemeteries were established in the late 1800s, including the renowned Hartsdale Canine Cemetery.  The early 20th century suburban developments that located along commuter rail lines and the Bronx River Parkway were posh addresses.  Later post-World War II housing tracts were developed in the remaining open areas.  At least one, Parkway Gardens, has a significant African American history.  This neighborhood, along with several others, was recommended for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places and local designation. INTENSIVE HISTORIC RESOURCE SURVEY OF  THE EAST END NEIGHBORHOOD Duluth, St. Louis County, Minnesota Client:  City of Duluth Team:   Jill Fisher & Maryanne Norton Date:    August 2007 Duluth Heritage Preservation Commission (DHPC) member Maryanne Norton had been collecting information about properties within the "Mansion District" in Duluth for many years but had not formalized it into a standardized form.  The DHPC obtained a Certified Local Government grant and raised the matching funds to contract for an Intensive Survey of the historic resources in the area.  LFA was hired because of Fisher's familiarity with the city and its architectural heritage.  Working together Fisher and Norton expanded the background research into the first owners and residents of the over 200 properties within the delineated survey area-looking at obituaries, census data and other biographical information.  New information was discovered that enriched the community's understanding of the historical significance of the neighborhood, complementing what was already known about its architectural importance.  This project will enable the DHPC to nominate the neighborhood to the National Register of Historic Places. TOWN-WIDE RECONAISSANCE SURVEY Town of Yorktown, Westchester County, New York Client:   Town of Yorktown Team:    Jill Fisher & Neil Larson Date:     September 2006 The 2005 Comprehensive Plan for the Town of Yorktown identified a town-wide survey and assessment of historic resources as an action item.   The town obtained a Certified Local Government grant to conduct this work and hired LFA to assist.  Among the over 500 properties recorded were Revolutionary War-related resources notable rural landscapes, high style modern corporate architecture, and as well as mid-20th century housing developments, the significance of which had yet to be assessed.  The survey identified several notable neighborhoods, including the Hunterbrook-Baptist Church Road area, as being likely candidates for both the National Register of Historic Places and local historic designation.   In addition, numerous intact post-World War II housing developments were recommended for designation as Neighborhood Conservation Districts to protect their emerging historic status.  TOWN-WIDE RECONNAISSANCE SURVEY Town of Montgomery, Orange Co., NY Client:   Town of Montgomery Historic Preservation Commission Team:   Jill Fisher & Neil Larson, assisted by Melissa Thompson Date:    May 2006   Montgomery is one of the oldest and most important English settlement areas in New York State.  Its distinctive three-bay, multi-story, wood frame farm house architecture is still a familiar feature of the town.  The survey and its architectural overview comprehensively addressed the traditional rural buildings of 18th and 19th centuries, as well as less conspicuous historic resources of the 20th century.  The three villages in the town- Montgomery, Walden, and Maybrook-were also surveyed.  A data base with historic data on every property identified to have been built before 1900 and on selected properties built between 1901 and 1960 was compiled so that the town's historic preservation commission can manage information about its historic resources, assemble intensive-level records on them, and track actions they have taken to protect them.   HISTORIC FARMSTEAD INVENTORY Town of Montgomery, Orange Co., NY Client:   Town of Montgomery Historic Preservation Commission Team:    Neil Larson Date:     December 2006   An important recommendation that emerged from the Town of Montgomery Reconnaissance Survey was to document and record the buildings and landscape features of the town's agricultural heritage, of which a remarkable number historic farmsteads survive.  With funds obtained from a Preserve New York State grant, seven farmsteads were selected from a list of sixteen properties identified in the town survey as retaining their farmhouses, barns and farm outbuildings, and substantial portions of their farmland.  These were thoroughly documented and mapped to establish a standard and methodology for future efforts undertaken within the town.  INTENSIVE-LEVEL HISTORIC RESOURCE SURVEY  Eastham, Barnstable County, Mass. Client:   Eastham Historical Commission Team:    Neil Larson & Jill Fisher with Kathryn Grover Date:     June 2005 & June 2013 The Town of Eastham realized that it had significant gaps in its historic resource base data for the 20th century and in particular needed to understand better the community's resort architecture due to growing development pressures.  In 2005 LFA, together with historian Kathryn Grover, created area forms and documenting in-depth historical information for selected properties to address this need.  To facilitate a better appreciation for these modest vernacular buildings, a historic context for the period to interpret cultural, social, and economic factors associated with the architecture.  In 2012 LFA & Grover returned to Eastham to document historic properties along U.S. Route 6. TOWN- AND VILLAGE-WIDE RECONNAISSANCE SURVEYS New Paltz, Ulster County, NY Client:   Historic Preservation Comms., Town & Village of New Paltz Team:    Jill Fisher & Neil Larson Date:     August 2004   New Paltz is well-known for its historic stone houses, old farms and dramatic views of the rock cliffs of the Shawangunk Ridge defining the western edge of the town. The village was created soon after the New Paltz Patent was granted to twelve Huguenot proprietors in 1667.  This ancient area has been preserved as an open-air museum by the Huguenot Historical Society, but the village grew and evolved as a center of regional commerce, summer tourism and a college town.  Thus New Paltz's historic resources reflect a wide range of property types and historic periods, and both town and village were surveyed in a joint project, in which LFA honed its unique data base model for comprehensive reconnaissance surveys. Over 1100 properties built in the town prior to 1965 were recorded and over 650 in the village, creating lists which the local governments use in making referrals to the historic preservation commissions.  LFA also provided recommendation for designating historic districts, assessing significance of historic farmsteads in open space planning, and documenting college-related and Post- World War Era development, particularly in the village. NELSON AVENUE/FORT HILL NEIGHBORHOOD INTENSIVE SURVEY & NATIONAL REGISTER NOMINATION Peekskill, Westchester County, New York Client:   City of Peekskill Team:    Jill Fisher & Neil Larson Date:     June 2004/May 2005 The City of Peekskill followed a careful plan to study and designate one of its oldest neighborhoods located adjacent to its downtown.  In 2004 it obtained a Certified Local Government grant to undertake an intensive-level survey of the Fort Hill neighborhood, hiring Larson Fisher Associates to conduct the survey.  Development phases for the area were determined referencing historic maps and census data.  Field inspection by Fisher and Larson together with the State Historic Preservation Office Field Representative established the likely boundaries for a National Register District, which included 256 properties.  It was these properties that were intensively researched using City Directories, local newspapers, atlases and other available historic resources and which provided the basis for a report on the historic significance of the neighborhood.  The intensive-level survey revealed that not only was the area rich in architectural resources (including a previously unrecognized 1850 village house), but was important for its social history as well. The second stage of the project was to take the information gathered during the survey phase and develop a nomination for the district to the National Register of Historic Places.  This was done and resulted in the State Historic Review Board voting affirmatively and the district being listed on the National Register.  Public presentations at both the intensive-level stage and during the National Register public hearing process were well-attended and well-received by neighborhood residents, enhancing their understanding of the importance of this neighborhood.
Project Examples HISTORIC RESOURCE SURVEYS