Offering a unique combination of professional diversity and expertise, CRA’s architectural history team has documented and evaluated resources across the full spectrum of property types, from all periods of settlement and development, and including both vernacular and high-style properties. CRA also is well-versed in addressing various scales of evaluation, from the individual property to cohesive historic districts to geographically-broad rural and cultural landscapes. We are intimately familiar with the NRHP Criteria for Evaluation and regularly engage in continuing education offered by entities such as the National Park Service, the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation, and State Historic Preservation Offices to further our understanding of the evaluation of particular property types.
Thorough and accurate documentation provide the solid foundation for all of our projects. By examining available archival records to reveal how and why a property developed as it did and uncover the important stories associated with a place, we can situate a property in its historic context and illuminate the potential significance of a property. When this archival research is matched with rigorous physical documentation of a historic building, structure, site, or landscape, that history becomes grounded in a particular place and we can make informed decisions about the treatment of that property in consideration of its historical development, current conditions and integrity, and planned future uses.
We have extensive experience researching historic properties at repositories ranging from the local county clerk’s office to the National Archives, and our research experience is matched with on-the-ground expertise in completing photographic documentation, preparing measured drawings, and performing condition assessments to the exacting standards of state and federal agencies. No matter the project, we take pride in producing documentation that is accurate and appropriately detailed but also highly accessible and crafted to meet the needs of the target audience.
Architectural History Services
CRA’s architectural history team provides the full range of services necessary for the identification, evaluation, management, and interpretation of historic buildings, structures, districts, and landscapes.
Our Specialty Experience
Through our long history of on-call contracts with DOTs, CRA has routinely addressed elements of historic transportation systems. Such studies have ranged from the documentation and evaluation of individual roadway elements, such as bridges and culverts, to large linear landscape features and associated infrastructure including railroad corridors, canals, and road/trail systems.
MODERN + RECENT PAST RESOURCES
CRA is a recognized leader in the documentation and evaluation of Modern and recent past properties, ranging from individual commercial buildings and government complexes to residential neighborhoods. From SHPOs to federal agencies, CRA has been trusted to further understanding of these resources and provide guidance on best practices.
BATTLEFIELDS AND RELATED LANDSCAPES
Over the years, CRA has developed an intimate understanding of battlefields and related sites, particularly Civil War landscapes. We have engaged in everything from detailed context studies and resource studies to the development of interpretive materials for a variety of Civil War property types. Our experience includes protected and unprotected battlefields, forts, encampment sites, prisons, and Civil War-era national cemeteries.
CRA is well-versed in all manner of industrial and extractive resources, from early mill sites, iron plantations, and rafting-era logging operations to sprawling modern industrial complexes. We are comfortable with the challenges of fieldwork in industrial and mining districts and readily engage the interpretation of individual elements such a lime kilns or coke ovens and large industrial assemblages.
Cultural landscapes are increasingly important to the practice of cultural resource management. CRA understands these evolving resources, including battlefields, rural historic districts, traditional cultural properties, and heritage areas, and knows how to best identify, define, and manage these complex properties, from cultural landscape assessment to context-sensitive design solutions.
CRA has worked with a wide variety of government complexes as distinct types of designed landscapes that often utilize a well-articulated architectural vocabulary and spatial arrangement to convey meaning and hierarchy. CRA is attuned to working with these special property types and remaining sensitive to the security and privacy considerations that must be respected when documenting such properties.