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Historic Building Preservation Surveys

March 19, 2015

Historic preservation

Historic preservation is a big deal in our cities these days. There’s an entire movement focused on the rediscovery and re-use of our urban cores. With any city of significant age, a key step to making the most out of our existing infrastructure is understanding, preserving, and in many cases reusing our historic sites in new and interesting ways.

Snell Arcade in St. Petersburg

The historic Snell Arcade building in downtown St. Pete

Historic preservation societies exist nationwide that dedicate themselves to identifying, protecting, and documenting landmarks of historic significance. And in my mind it’s not just about protecting these buildings from anyone touching them – it’s about showcasing them as elements of our urban history, through offering tours to visitors, and reimagining old structures for new purposes.

St. Petersburg, Florida historic landmarks

In our home city of St. Petersburg, Florida, there are over 100 designated historic landmarks in town, many of which have taken on new lives beyond their original use, like many of our old Central Downtown hotels. One of fantastic buildings in the old industrial downtown has been revamped as an excellent local brewery, preserving the old garage look – and instead of being abandoned, it’s enjoyed by hundreds of visitors every day.

Fulcrum is a great tool for collecting data and surveys for historic preservation, and can even be used to publish that data to a web map to share with the community of residents and visitors. We’ve built a sample historic buildings survey app on our gallery to demonstrate the kinds of data that architects, historians, urban planners, and urban designers would be interested in to understand the geographic landscape of historic districts in urban centers. Our template lets you document architecture styles, type of construction, year build, photos, reason for significance, and more.

I took a geocoded list of historic building locations and imported them into Fulcrum. In the field when walking around town, I can capture photos and fill out the associated form field to build a rich dataset of historic landmarks of St. Petersburg.

Check out this video showing what the app looks like in action.