Study of Woodhaven

Study of Woodhaven with maps, lithographs and explanation

Using Historic Documents for Historic Preservation provide an interesting application to, among things, date and inventory historic structures within a community.

With the right tools and procedure, the process is fairly straightforward:

  • An aerial photograph or panoramic (also called ‘birds-eye’) view with buildings drawn or depicted provides an historic sample of study area.
  • A map from the same timeframe as the historic sample (mentioned above) depicting buildings from the same timeframe.
  • Blocking the historic study area on the coordinates of a modern map
  • Overlaying of  modern street layout upon the historic map or photo
  • Using Google Earth to compare existing streetscapes with information of historic study area.

To familiarize students with this technique, where possible, their home communities were assigned as study areas. It is a real treat to be working with students when they reach an ‘ah-ha’ moment of discovery when they associate the familiar features of their block or community with its historic counterparts.