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Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Covered Bridges (2019)

Color photograph of the interior of a covered bridge (cover of the book, Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Covered Bridges)

The Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) is pleased to announce the publication of Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Covered Bridges (2019), edited by Christopher H. Marston, HAER Architect, and Thomas A. Vitanza, Senior Historical Architect, NPS Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC).

The book represents a final milestone from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)-sponsored National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation (NHCBP) Program. HAER and the FHWA's Office of Infrastructure Research and Development have maintained a joint research and technology program for historic covered bridges since 2002. This partnership has also included a variety of initiatives including documentation, engineering studies, National Historic Landmark designations, conferences, a traveling exhibition, and the 2015 book, Covered Bridges and the Birth of American Engineering.

At the First National Covered Bridge Conference in Burlington, VT, in 2003, attendees adopted the "Burlington Charter for the Preservation of Historic Covered Bridges." The charter resolved to develop guidelines that adapt the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration, and Reconstruction to historic covered bridges. Focusing on rehabilitation of covered bridges, these Guidelines are organized by function of the structure. Following general principles, chapters examine superstructure, substructure, exterior envelope, site features, and safety/protection systems. The illustrated Guidelines are presented in a two-column format describing recommended and non-recommended treatments.

The book concludes with eleven covered bridge rehabilitation case studies (written by the engineers, bridgewrights, and public officials who worked on them), comprised of various truss types, locations, rehabilitation issues, and budgets. The Guidelines will be a useful resource for educating engineers, State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs), Departments of Transportation (DOTs), bridge owners, preservationists, and residents in maintaining these historic symbols of American engineering for future generations.

Download the Book

HAER is distributing the Guidelines to members of the historic bridge community nationwide. Paper copies may be requested while supplies last, by contacting Christopher H. Marston at christopher_marston@nps.gov.

The Guidelines are available for download here:

 

Covered Bridges and the Birth of American Engineering (2015)

Black and white photograph of the interior of a covered bridge (cover of the book, Covered Bridges and the Birth of American Engineering)

The Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) is pleased to announce the publication of Covered Bridges and the Birth of American Engineering (2015), edited by HAER Historian Justine Christianson and HAER Architect Christopher H. Marston.

The book represents the culmination of research under the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)-sponsored National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation (NHCBP) Program. HAER and the FHWA's Office of Infrastructure Research and Development have maintained a joint research and technology program for historic covered bridges since 2002. This partnership has also included a variety of initiatives including documentation, engineering studies, National Historic Landmark designations, conferences, and a traveling exhibition.

This book examines the development of wood trusses and covered bridge construction, profiles the pioneering craftsmen and engineers involved, explores the function of trusses in covered bridges, and looks at the preservation and future of these distinctly American bridges. The editors have collaborated with some of the leading historians and engineers of historic covered bridges in the country to produce this volume. Contributors include Jim Barker, Lola Bennett, Joseph Conwill, Dario Gasparini, Matthew Reckard, and Rachel Sangree. Richard O'Connor and Sheila Rimal Duwadi supplied overviews of the HAER and NHCBP programs, and Michael Harrison and David Simmons provided invaluable editorial assistance.

Download the Book

HAER is distributing this publication to members of the covered bridge community nationwide. Paper copies may be requested while supplies last, by contacting Christopher H. Marston at christopher_marston@nps.gov.

The book is also available for download. Due to the number of images included in the book, both of these files are large:

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