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Subject: Survey on preventive architectural conservation

Survey on preventive architectural conservation

From: Alice Louise Finke <finkeal<-a>
Date: Wednesday, February 20, 2008
    **** Moderator's comments: Please respond directly to the
    author.

I am pursuing a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the
University of Pennsylvania.  For my master's thesis, I am
investigating the role of preventive architectural conservation in
historic house museum management in the United States, and would
very much appreciate it if you would take about 1/2 hour to 1 hour
of your time to respond to my survey questions (please see below). I
kindly request that you complete the survey by Friday March 7, 2008,
as I need time to analyze results and draw conclusions/form
recommendations before my thesis deadline of April 25, 2008.  I will
of course be happy to share the final report with the DistList.

For the privacy of all respondents, I will not include the
respondents' names or the names of their organizations in the final
report.  The purpose of this report is to determine what, if any,
preventive architectural conservation measures are being employed,
how, and why or why not.  If preventive architectural conservation
is not being employed, the purpose is to determine how it could be
employed.

Thank you for your time and consideration.  I look forward to your
feedback via email to finkeal<-a t->design< . >upenn< . >edu

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me
or phone me at 216-543-0144.

Alice

Preventive Architectural Conservation Survey Questions

I.  General Information About You and Your Organization

1.  How many years have you been employed by your organization?
    (less than 1 year; 1-5 years; 6-10 years; 11-20 years; over 20
    years)

2.  What is your job title?  Please briefly explain your job duties.

3.  What type of entity/entities own your organization? Please
    choose all that apply. (Non-profit; Private Foundation; Local
    Government; State Government, Federal Government; Other, please
    specify)

4.  How many historic buildings are owned and operated by your
    organization?
    (1; 2-5; 6-10; 11-20; more than 20)

5.  How many people does your organization have on staff?
    (1; 2-5; 6-10; 11-20; more than 20)

6.  How many people does your organization have on staff to
    implement preventive maintenance?
    (none; 1; 2-4; 5-10; more than 10)

7.  Does your organization have a strategic plan?
    (Yes; Yes, but undergoing editing; In the works; No)

8.  Does your organization have a preventive maintenance plan for
    your collections and/or historic buildings?  Please choose all
    that apply.
    (Yes, for all collections and all historic buildings; Yes, but
    for collections only; Yes, but for buildings only; In the works
    for collections and historic buildings; In the works for
    collections only; In the works for historic buildings only; No)

9.  What is your preventive maintenance budget for your collections
    and/or historic buildings, and roughly what percentage of your
    total budget goes toward preventive maintenance of your
    collections and/or historic buildings?

10. Does your organization have a backlog of deferred maintenance?
(Yes; No)

II.  Preventive Conservation--Familiarity with the Term

1.  Are you familiar with the term "preventive conservation" as it
    relates to collections and/or historic buildings?
    (Yes, both collections and historic buildings; Yes, collections
    only; Yes, historic buildings only; No)

III.  Preventive Conservation--Familiarity with the Term (continued)

1.  If you are familiar with the term "preventive conservation,"
    when and under what circumstances did you first become aware of
    the term?

IV.  Preventive Conservation--Your Definition

1.  How do/would you define "preventive conservation" in application
    to historic buildings?  In other words, how do you think the
    term "preventive conservation" relates/should relate to historic
    building maintenance, repair, stabilization, preservation,
    conservation, restoration, and risk management?

V.  Preventive Conservation Definition

1.  My definitions of "preventive conservation" and "interventive
    conservation," in terms of historic buildings, are as follows,
    and apply to all remaining questions:

       "Preventive conservation," in terms of historic buildings, is
        a proactive philosophy aiming to ensure the longevity of the
        culturally-significant built environment.  Measures that
        mitigate decay, including the realization of cleaning and
        coating programs and design nuances compatible with the
        Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Historic
        Properties, may be considered as preventive measures.
        Central to the philosophy of preventive conservation is the
        establishment of an accessible and comprehensible system for
        the historic property stewards' regular monitoring of
        building conditions and subsequent treatments.

       "Interventive conservation" is a reactive philosophy
        implemented through periodic, episodic repair and
        restoration.  Strategic conditions monitoring may or may not
        be addressed in any follow-up work.

Considering the above definition of "preventive conservation,"
do/would you consider preventive conservation a useful approach to
historic property management?  Why or why not?

2.  Considering the above definition of "preventive conservation,"
    do you consider it a useful term?  In other words, do you
    consider it a more compelling term than say, "preventive
    maintenance," one that might resonate with a board of directors
    and potential funders?  Why or why not?

VI.  Preventive Conservation Implementation

1.  How does your organization (1) plan, (2) budget, and (3)
    implement aspects of preventive conservation?  Please comment on
    how you identify your needs, and on what interval or schedule
    you identify your needs.

2.  Who is responsible for overseeing preventive conservation
    measures?  Who else is involved in planning and implementation,
    and who do you think should be involved?

3.  Does your organization enter contracts with outside
    professionals to implement preventive conservation strategies?
    What types of professionals do you engage?  What types of
    professionals would you like to engage?

4.  What building elements do you survey/monitor/treat and when?

5.  Are regular surveys conducted?
    (Yes; No; In the works)

6.  How do you compare/determine changes in conditions, and how
    often?

7.  If restoration work was completed tomorrow, what would you do
    next to ensure the longevity of the work or to implement
    preventive conservation?

8.  How do you think preventive architectural conservation could be
    better achieved by your organization in other words, what
    changes and/or tools (administrative, economic, legislative
    etc.) do you think would help your organization better implement
    preventive architectural conservation?

Alice L. Finke
Candidate, Master of Science in Historic Preservation, 2008
University of Pennsylvania


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:44
                Distributed: Saturday, February 23, 2008
                       Message Id: cdl-21-44-025
                                  ***
Received on Wednesday, 20 February, 2008

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