• Part of a roofline shows from one building. Trees with fall color leaves on them fill most of the photo. A lamp-post is near center of the photo.

    Harpers Ferry Center

Planning Consultation

A planning consultation provides an opportunity for a historic furnishings curator to visit a historic site, meet with park staff, and conduct a quick survey of furnishings research sources. It provides a “quick and dirty” look at research sources and the role historic furnishings can play at a site, and helps define the complexity, and thus the cost and time-line of a full-scale historic furnishings report.

The site visit is an essential part of the consultation. On site, the staff curator will tour the resource, view site collections, and review primary and secondary source research materials. Prior to a site visit the furnishings curator will review NPS planning and research documents for the site, and may do preliminary on-line searches of photograph and manuscript collections pertaining to the site. With park staff the curator will identify local and national research sources, including federal records.

The total consultation can take anywhere from one to three weeks, with two to four days spent on travel and time on site. The length of the consultation depends on the site location, ease of travel to the site, and nature and quantity of site resources. The cost will vary accordingly, from roughly $3,000 to $5,000.

Outcomes of the planning consultation include:

  • Summary of a recommended research approach – a better understanding of what the research sources are, how accessible they are, how rewarding they will be in terms of a furnishings project.
  • Outline of the interpretive goals of various spaces, based on site meetings with park staff -- the staff curator can suggest where furnishings will work well, and where a site may want to consider alternative media.
  • Awareness of important decisions that will have to be considered during a full furnishings planning process, such as selecting supporting media, barrier and visitor flow issues, visitor safety and object security.
  • Proposal for complete historic furnishings project (“complete” meaning a full scale HFR with a detailed research component) to include cost and schedule estimates, with phasing options and assistance with PMIS statements, if desired.
  • If the park and HFC decide to proceed, a project agreement will be generated by HFC which details the work to be accomplished, the total cost, and the time schedule.

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