Project Description: Saving St. Augustine's Architectural Treasures
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00094090/00001
 Material Information
Title: Project Description: Saving St. Augustine's Architectural Treasures
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Nemmers, John
Publisher: George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, FL
Publication Date: 2009
Copyright Date: 2009
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UF00094090:00001


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I. National Significance (ONE PAGE LIMIT; about 500 words)

The Saving St. A ,gr, in,, 's Architectural Treasures project will conserve and digitally preserve
an irreplaceable collection of the earliest architectural drawings of John Carrere (1858-1911) and
Thomas Hastings (1860-1929). Created for Henry Flagler in St. Augustine, Florida, these
drawings had been "lost" for decades. The few people who knew of their existence were unaware
of their historical significance. Stored in a basement boiler room under high Florida temperatures
and humidity, and exposed to insects and rodents, this treasure trove remained unknown and
endangered until its rediscovery in 2004.

Carrere and Hastings were two of the most significant American architects of the late-19th and
early-20th centuries. Their firm designed more than 600 buildings, including the New York
Public Library (1902-11) and the House and Senate Office Buildings in D.C. (1908-09).
According to Charles D. Warren, co-author of Carrere & H,,o-, ig Architects, they were
"innovators in both technology and aesthetics." Regrettably, as Janet Parks, Curator of Drawings
& Archives, Columbia University, states: "Most of the archive of [their] office was destroyed in
the 1920s." The newly discovered St. Augustine collection offers significant potential to yield
unique information with enduring value. Comprised of 267 original, fragile drawings on cloth,
silk and paper, as well as blueprints and copies, the collection is the largest known archives
documenting the firm's earliest work, particularly the three properties shown in bold below.

In 1885 multi-millionaire industrialist Henry Flagler initiated a grand scheme to turn the Florida
wilderness into the "American Riviera" and St. Augustine into the "Winter Newport." The Hotel
Ponce de Leon (1885-1887), now Ponce de Leon Hall at Flagler College (NR 1975), was the
first and the flagship of Flagler's resort empire. This palatial Spanish Renaissance Revival hotel,
with Italian, French and Moorish influences, was the first major commission for Carrere and
Hastings. Nationally significant for both its architecture and engineering, the building is
America's first large cast-in-place concrete building (NHL 2006). The drawings for this resort
offer ample evidence of the wealth and extravagance of the upper-class during the Gilded Age.
Members of the design team included Bernard Maybeck, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Thomas Edison,
George Willoughby Maynard, and Pottier and Stymus.

In addition to the Hotel, the other Flagler commissions in St. Augustine that launched Carrere and
Hastings' careers included: Grace Methodist Church (1886-1887) (NR 1979); Hotel Alcazar
(1888-1889), now Lightner Building (NR 1971); Flagler Memorial Presbyterian Church
(1889-1890) (NR 1983); and Flagler's residence, Kirkside (1893). Although the majority of the
records in the collection consist of drawings made in the 1880s, the collection includes drawings
documenting renovations made in the early decades of the 20th century.

Clayton C. Kirking, Chief, Art Information Resources, New York Public Library, states:
"Because of the stature of this firm, future demand is bound to exist, especially since [the
properties] are in St. Augustine, a city of significant historical importance." In 2005 the drawings
were deposited at the University of Florida to ensure that they were protected and available for
research. Many of the drawings cannot be handled because they are literally crumbling on the
shelf, and even items in stable condition are in jeopardy due to increasing demand by researchers.
These drawings have been inaccessible to scholars for years, but use of the drawings can only
occur once the drawings are properly conserved and digitized.

II. Narrative Severity of Threat to Collection (One page- can continue on extra sheet

The Quincentennial of Ponce de Leon's landing will occur in 2013. The 450th anniversary of the
founding of St. Augustine by the Spanish occurs in 2015. As these anniversaries approach, St.
Augustine's unique history and culture will be celebrated and analyzed by the public. The Carrere
and Hastings drawings document a crucial period in the development of St. Augustine and
Florida, as well as the nation. Due to the collection's current condition these significant historical
records remain endangered.

The collection consists of 267 architecture drawings, blueprints and related material dating 1896-
1957. About 55% are blueprints, 30% are pencil drawings on various types of paper, and 15% are
other types of prints such as Vandyke prints, diazotype, ink on linen and a few printed materials.
Many of the blueprints are working copies that contain notes, corrections and changes in pencil,
pen, and red and blue grease pencil. A number of the drawings have hand applied color. Sizes
range from 8x8 inches to over 4x8 feet. The majority of the collection was stored rolled, wrapped
in craft paper. The condition of the collection ranges from good to very poor.

Approximately 75% of the collection is unavailable for use because of condition. Some of the
rolled prints cannot be unrolled without damaging them further, and many of them have been
repaired on the edges with craft paper, masking tape and pressure sensitive tape. These tapes have
stiffened over time causing breaks along the tape edges. Because a large portion of the collection
was stored in a boiler room under high temperature and humidity with insects and rodents, the
paper, especially the blueprints, is extremely brittle and cannot be unrolled without conservation
treatment. In addition, the largest of the blueprints, which are 4 x 8 feet, mounted on cloth, are
very soiled with dirt, dust and insect and rodent droppings. They are very fragmented and have
numerous holes and missing areas. Because they are falling apart, they cannot be used, and have
not even been unrolled completely for examination. It is possible that some of these drawings
have not been unrolled since they were created at the end of the 19th century.

The majority of the hand drawings were drawn in pencil on tracing tissue. These are in fairly
good condition with the main problems caused by wrinkling and folding. The blueprints, on the
other hand, are in poor to very poor condition. They are, for the most part, rolled with fragmented
edges and large tears. The paper is very brittle and has been damaged by high humidity, water,
mold, insects and rodents, and poor handling and repairs. These items are now stored in a climate
controlled area, but cannot be made available for research use until they receive appropriate
conservation treatment.

Increasing demand by researchers offers the greatest threat to the drawings in their fragile and
deteriorating condition. In 2007, approximately 30 of the drawings were made available to
researchers. The number of drawings viewed by researchers increased to 57 in 2008, and
approximately 28 drawings already have been made available in 2009. Only those drawings in the
best condition are made available for research, but each occasion that they are handled further
threatens their preservation. Unless the records are conserved properly, the important historic
information they contain may be rendered inaccessible or lost completely.

III. Narrative: How effectively the project mitigates the threat; justify all budget
expenditures (One page- can continue on extra sheet below)

Treatment objectives include stabilizing the collection while making materials available for use
without further damage. The materials must be flattened and protected so that they can be studied
and used by researchers. John Freund, head of the Conservation unit in the UF Libraries,
conducted assessments of the drawings in 2005 and again in 2009 when a second group of
drawings was transferred to UF. After a series of planning meetings with Flagler College,
Memorial Presbyterian Church and UF personnel, Freund created a conservation and digital
preservation plan for the collection.

For pencil and ink drawings on paper, Freund and a conservation student technician will clean,
flatten, deacidify and encapsulate the items. Ink drawings on linen will be cleaned, flattened,
relined if needed, and encapsulated. Blueprints are most stable under a slightly acidic
environment and cannot be deacidified to halt support deterioration. It is essential that the items
be stored flat, protected, and unexposed to high temperatures or UV light. For rolled blueprints,
Freund will flatten and unroll by humidification, surface clean, treat mold where needed, remove
old mends and tape, mend tears, reline if needed, and encapsulate in polyester with an open side.
For oversized rolled blueprints, he will unroll, surface clean or wash, remove old cloth backing,
repair tears and breaks with Japanese paper or Filmoplast heat set tissue, reline, and encapsulate
in polyester with an open side.

A conservation student technician will be hired using grant funds; Freund will devote 15% of his
time (5% grant funds, 10% cost share). All conservation supplies will be purchased using grant
funds, but conservation equipment is maintained by the Conservation unit. Freund has over 25
years of library preservation experience, 20 of those years at UF. The Conservation unit is
responsible for the physical condition, in all formats, of the collections of UF Libraries. Services
include repair, restoration, rebinding, deacidification, encapsulation, constructing protective
enclosures and environmental monitoring. The conservation lab is one of the best equipped
institutional labs in the country. Equipment includes an ultrasonic encapsulator, a bookkeeper
spray deacidification system, a cold suction table and humidity dome, several leaf casters, a blast
freezer and a paper washing station able to handle flat paper up to 6x4 feet.

The preservation plan also includes digital reproduction of the entire collection. Although the
conservation treatments will ensure long term stability of the drawings, their existing condition
and size make them excellent candidates for digitization. Researchers will have access to digital
surrogates, reducing physical handling of originals. Randall Renner, Digital Imaging Coordinator
for the UF Digital Library Center (DLC), is responsible for ensuring quality control of imaging
production, including preservation and presentation. He will supervise a scanning student
technician in all imaging capture and enhancement activities. The scanning student will be hired
using grant funds; Renner will devote 10% of his time as cost share.

The DLC is among the largest digitization facilities in the southeastern U.S. Established in 1999
to manage several imaging projects at UF, it is responsible for the creation and maintenance of
digital collections from library, archival and museum materials for use in research and education.
Currently over three million pages have been digitized by the DLC and are available online in UF
Digital Collections (UFDC). Before coming to the DLC in 2002, Render taught college courses
on traditional and digital photography, and worked professionally as a photographer. An imaging
expert for two and three dimensional objects, his experience in photography spans from image
capturing via digital or analog methods to the printing and display of the captured images.

The project director at UF, John Nemmers, has over 10 years of experience as a professional
archivist. As archivist for the Architecture Archives since 2003, he manages the Carrere and
Hastings collection and serves as liaison with Flagler College and the Presbyterian Church.
Responsible for coordinating all project activities, he will work with Conservation and DLC
personnel to ensure the safety of the drawings throughout conservation and imaging. He and other
project personnel will create photographic and written documentation before, during and after
treatment and imaging. Nemmers will devote 10% of his time as cost share.

Drawings will be treated in groups of 25-50, based on condition, type and size. Each group will
be transported from the Architecture Archives to Conservation for treatment. Prior to
encapsulation, Conservation personnel will transport each group to the DLC for imaging. Once a
group is received by the DLC, national Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard metadata
will be created in the DLC Tracking Database. Drawings will be imaged at a minimum of 300 dpi
using a Super 8K-HS Digital Camera. Advanced image enhancement will be performed as needed
in order to ensure fidelity and optimum image results. Images will be captured as uncompressed
TIFF files (ITU6.0) at 100% scale; the current de facto standard for electronic image archives.
Freund will assist with the imaging of fragile drawings to minimize risk during handling.

Matthew Mariner, head of the DLC text processing unit, will validate metadata and coordinate
digital archiving. He will contribute 8% of his time as cost share during the second year. 130GB
of computer storage will be purchased using grant funds. In practice consistent for all UF
projects, redundant digital archives will be maintained. An in-house archive will be created by
burning TIFF masters, derivatives, and metadata to gold-based DVDs, which will be retained in
climate controlled storage. Disks will be logged in the DLC Tracking Database, which queues
files for inspection every three years and migration every 10 years or upon format obsolescence.
The primary digital archive, the Florida Digital Archive, is maintained by the Florida Center for
Library Automation (http://www.fcla.edu/digitalArchive/), and its services are available at no
cost to Florida's public universities. It is a dark archive; no public access functions are provided.
It supports the preservation functions of format normalization, mass migration and migration on
request. Information about DLC technologies is available at http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/ufdc.

Following digitization, Freund and the conservation technician will encapsulate each group of
drawings. Nemmers and Freund will return materials to the Architecture Archives, ensuring that
items are re-shelved properly. Mariner and Nemmers will create the project Web interface hosted
by UF, including project documentation and partner interfaces for Flagler College and Memorial
Presbyterian Church. Digital surrogates will be available online globally, as scalable (zoomable)
images, for viewing and downloading. Nemmers and Flagler College personnel will publicize
availability of the digital collection and project results, inform other repositories holding related
materials, and disseminate press releases and articles, among other activities.

The project will achieve the goals of the partner institutions to preserve these endangered,
nationally significant historical records. The project also produces obvious benefits for the public
including new and continuing access to drawings that had been lost. Many of these drawings are
in such poor condition that they have not been unrolled for decades, but soon researchers will
have access to their unique, informative content. By rendering digital reproductions accessible via
the Internet, the project further protects the original records and facilitates increased access. Upon
completion, this project will preserve and make public the largest collection of early Carrere and
Hastings drawings in the world.

Plan of Work and Timeline Saving St. Augustine's Architectural Treasures
Year 1

Month 1. Order conservation and imaging supplies ($14,651) plus 5% head of Conservation over two years
Sort collection by type and size, and establish triage schedule.

Month 2. Hire and train conservation assistant ($1,795 for 150 hours each year).
Begin treating #1-50.

Month 3-4 Initial treatment of items #1-50.
Hire and train imaging assistant ($3,960 for 330 hours each year).
Transfer # 1-50 to Digital Library Center (DLC) for imaging preservation.

Month 5-6 Initial treatment of items #51-100.
Return of #1-50 from DLC. Complete conservation and re-shelve.
Transfer #51-100 to DLC.

Month 7-8 Initial treatment of items #101-150.
Return of #51-100 from DLC. Complete conservation and re-shelve.
Transfer #101-150 to DLC.

Month 9-10

Month 11-12

Year 2

Initial treatment of items #151-175.
Return of #101-150 from DLC. Complete conservation and re-shelve.
Transfer #151-175 to DLC.

Initial treatment of items #176-200.
Return of #151-175 from DLC. Complete conservation and re-shelve.
Transfer #176-200 to DLC.

work will slow in year-two as the Conservation unit treats more damaged and larger items.

Month 1-3 Initial treatment of #201-225.
Return of #176-200 from DLC. Complete conservation and re-shelve.
Transfer #201-225 to DLC.
Complete metadata validation and digital archiving.

Month 4-6 Initial treatment of #226-250.
Return of # 201-225 from DLC. Complete conservation and re-shelve.
Transfer #226-250 to DLC.
Complete metadata validation and digital archiving.

Month 7-9 Initial treatment of #250-267.
Return of #226-250 from DLC. Complete conservation and re-shelve.
Transfer # 250-267 to DLC.
Complete metadata validation and digital archiving.

Month 10-12

Return of #250-267 from DLC. Complete conservation and re-shelve.
Complete metadata validation and digital archiving.
Create Web interface hosted by UF, and partner interfaces for Flagler College and Memorial
Presbyterian Church.
Publicize project and collection availability.


SAT Cash Cost Share
SAT Cash SAT Cash Totals 2 Cost Share Cost Share Totals 2 UF Indirect
Year 1 Year 2 years Year 1 Year 2 years Costs (25%)

John Nemmers 10% FTE

John Freund 15% FTE
(5% cash/10% cost share)

Randall Renner 10% FTE

Matt Mariner 8% FTE
(year 2 only)

Conservation student
technician (34% or 300

Digitization student technician
(75% or 654 hours)

Annual Salary

Annual Salary

Annual Salary

Annual Salary

Salary (@$12/hour)

Salary (@$12/hour)





$5,216 $5,216 $10,432
$1,454 $1,454 $2,908

$2,548 $2,548 $5,096 $5,095 $5,095 $10,190
$844 $844 $1,688 $1,688 $1,688 $3,376

$4,077 $4,077
$1,350 $1,350




$10,560 $1,795 $1,795 $3,590

$10,560 $3,960 $3,960 $7,920

10 rolls 5 mil polyester
10 rolls 3 mil polyester
2 roll 5 mil polyester
2 roll 3 mil polyester
Bookkeeper Deacidification solution
Japanese paper for lining and repairs
Filmoplast tissue
Blotting Paper 40x60"
3 M 415 tape 1/4"
Tyvek roll
Permalife rolls


Archival computer storage 119GB
Online computer storage 12GB

Total Request

$23,798 $9,147 $32,945 $18,880 $22,443 $41,323

$460 roll
$390 roll
$500 roll
$450 roll


100 sheets
10 rolls
2 rolls
2 rolls
4 rolls