By Alice Guerrant, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs archaeologist and Historic Properties Research Center manager.
Is your house listed on the National Register of Historic Places? How long ago was that house down the street built? What did the area look like 50 years ago? Now there’s a new way to find answers to these questions.
The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is pleased to unveil the updated version of its Cultural and Historical Resource Information System (CHRIS), a Web-based geographic information system (GIS) on historic properties that are located in the state of Delaware. This new edition of CHRIS is more comprehensive, interactive and faster than the original version that was launched in 2009.
The new version of CHRIS was developed as a collaborative project involving division staff, the Delaware Department of State and GeoDecisions, an information-technology company that specializes in geospatial solutions. Additional assistance was provided by the Delaware Department of Technology and Information.
The public side of the new CHRIS, shown in the images above, delivers information on Delaware’s National Historic Landmarks and National Register-listed properties, with a quick reference-table pop-up and attached nominations and photographs that can be viewed on-line or downloaded to your computer. In addition, forms and reports on non-confidential properties are available (archaeological-site locations are confidential).
As with the previous system, cultural-resource-management consultants; some academic researchers and private non-profit organizations; and federal-, state- and local-agency staff members that are planning projects can apply for passwords that will allow them to look at the full range of information, conduct research and view archaeological reports. For the first time, the system allows people who survey historic properties to interactively map and upload forms, making for more rapid review and posting of new information.
Getting the new system up and running is only the first step. Since our goal is to have most of the Historic Properties Research Center holdings available on-line, there is still much work to be done: mapping properties, scanning and converting documents, and uploading new information. There may be opportunities for you to help out. For now, just try out CHRIS and let us know what you think!
Written on: January 30th, 2015 in News
During January 2015, Greg Buchman of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Preservation Maintenance Team was promoted to the position of physical-plant trades mechanic III. Buchman first came to the division as a volunteer in June 2012 and joined the staff as a maintenance mechanic later that summer. Prior to coming to the agency, Buchman worked for over 15 years in a variety of trades including carpentry, electrical mechanics, plumbing and automobile mechanics. His prior experience includes work for a number of Delaware companies including Del-Mar Appliance in Dover, Middletown Appliances and Shore Line Electrical in Kenton.
With more than 120 years of combined experience in various trades, the division’s Preservation Maintenance Team is a group of skilled professionals that can handle any challenge that comes their way in order to maintain, repair and preserve the nearly 90 structures administered by the division.
Steven M. Pulinka, a Middletown, Del. resident and curator of the Mount Pleasant Plantation in Spring Grove, Va. has recently been named to the Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation.
Pulinka has extensive professional experience in the area of administration and restoration of historic houses, curation of decorative-arts collections and historic-property management. In 2010, he received Virginia’s Preservation Project of the Year Award for the restoration of Mount Pleasant Plantation.
Pulinka’s preservation-related activities in Delaware include service as director of Historic Houses of Odessa, then a division of Winterthur Museum, from 1986 to 2002; as the curator of historic structures for Winterthur Museum from 2002 to 2003; and as a 2003 adjunct professor at the University of Delaware where he taught a master’s level course in the Museum Studies program entitled “Preservation of Historic Structures.” He holds a Master of Arts in American Studies from Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Science in Social Studies and a teaching certificate from Millersville State University in Millersville, Pa.
The Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation serves as the advisory body to the state historic preservation officer, the official appointed by the governor to oversee and implement the state’s preservation policies in accordance with federal standards. The State Review Board evaluates historic properties for placement in the National Register of Historic Places, and provides professional advice on historic preservation matters.
Written on: January 30th, 2015 in News
The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has released its 2014 annual report which spotlights the awards and recognition received by the agency during the past year. Go to the following to read the full report: “Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Annual Report—2014: An Award-Winning Year.”