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Historical Preservation

Historic Resources Imaging Laboratory becomes Center for Heritage Conservation


Prospects for preserving buildings and cultural sites of historic significance throughout the state and elsewhere were boosted Friday (Dec. 2) with the establishment of the Center for Heritage Conservation in the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University.

The center will conduct research, teaching and service projects related to management and preservation of historic buildings, places and cultural sites, noted David G. Woodcock, who will serve as its director.

The new center will unite faculty from academic departments across the university and will build on the work of the 14-year-old Historic Resources Imaging Laboratory, which it will replace. It will take over administration of the graduate certificate in historic preservation, which has already been awarded to more than 150 students from 11 disciplines in six colleges, explained Woodcock, a professor of architecture who has specialized in historic preservation work since 1964.

"Since 1991, Professor David Woodcock and his associates at the Historic Resources Imaging Laboratory have earned national acclaim for their impressive body of work in historic preservation while instilling in generations of students a passion for conserving our rich architectural legacy," said J. Thomas Regan, dean of the College of Architecture. "The establishment of the Heritage Conservation Center at the College of Architecture promises to expand Texas A&M's significant influence on historic preservation and resource management and further assure the integrity of our treasured architectural heritage in Texas and throughout the world."

The center was established by The Texas A&M System Board of Regents. In addition to its certificate program, the center will continue field research begun in 1977, which has added more than 60 historic Texas buildings to the Historic American Buildings Collection in the Library of Congress; support faculty research projects focused on numerous locations around the world, including the D-Day landing site at Pointe du Hoc, Normandy, France and the petroglyphs at Montezuma Castle National Historic Site in Arizona; facilitate the placement of graduate students for internships and other work experiences; and continue and expand upon the tradition of annual symposia that have brought national and international speakers to the Texas A&M campus.

"Texas A&M University is rooted in tradition and heritage, and I am delighted that the Board of Regents has approved the establishment of the Center for Heritage Conservation," Woodcock said. "It will provide an effective focus for the ongoing teaching, research and service activities of faculty from across the campus who share a dedication to the wise use of our built and natural resources, and to the understanding and nurturing of our rich cultural heritage, and it will grow the quality and the visibility of our work."

Funding for the Center for Heritage Conservation will be provided by the College of Architecture and through grants and gifts for specific projects from sources such as the U.S. National Park Service, the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, the American Battle Monuments Commission and individuals and professional architecture firms.

The Board of Regents met Thursday and Friday (Dec. 1-2) at Tarleton State University in Stephenville.

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David Woodcock, director of the Center for Heritage Conservation

Montezuma Castle National Historic Site, Arizona

Students at the Montezuma Castle site

Aggies make the climb at Montezuma Castle


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