• View of Square Tower House, seen along the Mesa Top Loop

    Mesa Verde

    National Park Colorado

Stabilization and Structural Engineering

Stabilization

Stabilization treatments are used to preserve the original architecture and archeological features within a site. The stabilization crew at Mesa Verde National Park consists of professional archeologists and stone masons that work together to assure that each wall is properly documented and repaired to meet National Park Service standards. For stabilization needs specific to Cliff Palace, go to Preserving Cliff Palace.

 
Stabilization crew repairing archeological sites.
Left: The stabilization crew repairs a kiva at Square Tower House. Middle: Gary Ethridge repairs a kiva wall in Long House. Right: Raymond Begay working in Balcony House.
NPS Photo
 

Structural Engineering

Through the Vanishing Treasures Program (pdf, 47 kb), a structural engineer was hired to work with 44 National Parks that contain historic and prehistoric buildings and structures. This specialized expertise is used to evaluate sites with structural problems. Through assessment and monitoring, structural engineering problems are identified and treated before they lead to collapse. In this way, threats are better identified and understood, and stabilization priorities are established according to structural needs.

 
Examples of walls in need of structural engineering attention.
Top left: Structural engineer, Preston Fisher inspects a crack for possible movement. Top right: A crack monitor is used to track movement. Bottom: A wall at Spring House being monitored for structural movement.
NPS Photo

Did You Know?

A view from Park Point overlook

Park Point, the highest elevation in the park (8427 ft/2569 m), has a 360 degree panoramic view that is considered one of the grandest in the country.