on becoming an expert

It’s done. I set out for a degree in historic preservation and I’ve got it. But the purpose of that degree, the gaining of knowledge, of expertise in the field, is ongoing and still a long way from done. so I would really only say that Phase I is done, and Phase II is just beginning. I’m not qualified for a Preservation Award yet, come back when I’m complete.

I set out to get this degree because I wanted to learn a thing or two. I wanted to be an expert, honest to goodness that was my goal. it still is, and though I feel I’m falling incredibly short of being an expert in historic preservation most days, there are some days when I can see it shining through just a little bit.

It’s hardly worth bragging about, really, but it makes me smile with amazement that participants in the restoration of one of our Places in Peril sites were consulting me, ME, about the logistics of the restoration. Of the many questions on paint color, roofing material, adding non-historical structural support, etc I was able to offer accurate answers and assurances. I could even hear them nodding with enlightened interest when I suggested the “correct” way of putting on wood shingles (should they pursue that route), as if I’d just taught them something. At that moment I also felt a little snobby, but tried to keep that at bay.

site visit in February 2012

site visit in February 2012


December 2012

After all my involvement over the phone I could hardly wait to see the progress of the pavilion for myself and so V, J, N and I went all the way to Gainesville in search for the perfect Christmas tree in order to stop by. There they had sistered beams on either side of the corner rafters just as they’d inquired about, here was the replaced decking, stained to match what was still in good condition. It looked good, I approved.

So has gone one of my first tastes of being an expert and though it may be partly undeserved, it makes me beam.

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