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Colonial Williamsburg Architectural Field School

March 4, 2010

College of William and Mary and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Architectural Field School, History 490/590

June 1-July 2, 2010

Williamsburg, Virginia

Carl Lounsbury, Instructor

The Colonial Williamsburg Architectural Research Department in conjunction with the College of William and Mary’s National Institute of American History and Democracy offers a five-week course this summer that is open to undergraduate and graduate students as well as those with a special interest in early American architecture. This field school introduces students to the methods used in the investigation and recording of buildings.  On-site examination of structures in the Historic Area of Williamsburg and visits to buildings in the surrounding Tidewater region follow several introductory lectures on building technology and architectural features.  The program is intended to help students distinguish the form, fabrication, and assembly of materials and building elements and understand their chronology. They will learn how to apply field evidence to answer larger questions concerning architectural and social history.

The fourth week is devoted to investigating and recording buildings on location away from Williamsburg.  The field school will return to Beaufort, South Carolina, to assist the Historic Beaufort Foundation in recording town houses and plantation sites. This year there will be a special focus on tabby buildings. Back in Williamsburg for the last week, students will convert their fieldwork into measured drawings using a CAD program and write reports on their sites.

This class will meet four days a week from 10:00 to 4:30.  It will require travel (in a van) and some physical exercise—mainly climbing ladders, balancing on ceiling joists, and squeezing through crawl spaces.  Students must be enrolled for the course through the College of William and Mary. The cost of travel and accommodations in Beaufort will be covered by the program. For more information about the nature of the course, please email Carl Lounsbury at or call (757) 220-7654. Registration information is available at the William and Mary NIAHD website:

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 7, 2013 7:19 am

    Where exactly did u actually pick up the ideas to publish ““Colonial Williamsburg Architectural Field School Exploring the Built Environment”?
    I appreciate it -Byron


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