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Preservation Lovin'

the inner workings of a historic preservationist as she courageously tries to save buildings, neighborhoods, and communities by showing the inner beauty and wisdom that lies within our physical environment

Posts tagged Conservation:

Neon Museum - Las Vegas, Nevada (Photos Courtesy of Author)

My final year of my masters program in Historic Preservation. The only thing that is stopping me from getting my diploma (other than completing all of my courses/credits) is the ultimate thesis. Feelings of anxiety has overcome myself and the majority of my peers. However, it is only through my love and passion of my thesis topic I know that I have the courage to complete this ultimate dissertation that may perhaps (as my professors have scared us to death) define my burgeoning years in the historic preservation field. This is definitely not for the faint in heart!

Okay, perhaps I am over-dramatizing this…

Let’s get back down to earth. For all those that are inclined, for my thesis I venture to preserve the neon signs of Las Vegas! I plan to do this by:

  • Investigating the existing conditions of signs;
  • Digging through the history of timeless Las Vegas neon signs to elucidate how their appearance has evolved over the years;
  • Analyzing how these signs age and deteriorate;
  • Researching different conservation techniques to preserve the paint, metal, and neon glass of these amazing sculptures;
  • And proposing a plan on how best to conserve these relics of Las Vegas yesteryear. 
  • (If there is anything that I am leaving off, please let me know.)

If you have any information, recommendations, comments, concerns, contacts, ANYTHING that can help me with my thesis, PLEASE let me know! (Even if its to drop an opinion on how you think the sign should be preserved.)

You can reply to this post, make a comment in the disqus thread (found on comments and requests link at the bottom of each post), the ‘ask me anything’ link at the bottom of the page, or shoot me an email at the email address found in my about page.

Oh and please reblog this to help spread the support of preserving Las Vegas Neon Signs! Thanks everyone! :)


Conservation Workshop

Tenement Museum

Paint Samples

For my Conservation Workshop class, we’ve been given the opportunity to investigate one of the apartments at 103 Orchard Street. Part of learning about the history of a site is by testing the existing conditions. However, it should be fully acknowledged that any kind of testing is invasive and damaging to the building.

Check out the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) Code of Ethics to learn more about conservation.

Taking paint samples at 103 Orchard Street for the Tenement Museum.

*CORRECTION: Not all testing is destructive! Stay tuned for an upcoming post about an example of non-destructive testing. It is important to explore as many non-destructive testing techniques not only for the sake and money, but also for protecting the historic building.


For all of you aspiring art and building conservators, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston created this incredible MATERIALS database where you can look up information concerning its chemical, physical, visual, and analytical makeup.


Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.

—Theodore Roosevelt


Journal of Architectural Conservation

Educate yourself in the types of historic preservation literature!

Journal of Architectural Conservation.

The international journal for historic buildings, monuments, and places.

As the leading authority in its field, the international Journal of Architectural Conservation provides invaluable guidance on policy, practice and technical developments. Encouraging debate on a broad variety of conservation issues, this peer reviewed Journal with its high academic and professional standards fulfils its ambition to illuminate, question and inform.

For conservation research and innovative practice…

Appealing to an international professional and academic readership, with its wide-ranging review of research and innovative practice, it offers a valuable resource on:

  • Building types

  • Building materials and their conservation

  • Recent case studies

  • Developments in specific construction techniques

  • Research results from key investigations

Click here for their website that contains present articles.


The conservator should possess sound technical knowledge, which is both tacit and explicit; solid scientific, artistic and historical training; and good communication skills. All of these should be complemented by the ability to keep in touch with the current needs and feelings of society at large and to envision what our descendants might expect from the objects that we are now taking care of. Even more difficult, conservators should be wise enough to know when not to make their opinions prevail.

—Salvador Munos Vinas. Contemporary Theory of Conservation (New York: Elsevier Ltd., 2005) p197


This is the COOLEST video ever!


Mylar! Let’s have some more facts about this polyster film.  Note that it can be metalized, as Tara Donovan would attest in her recent show at Pace.