With St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church’s centennial approaching, the parish wanted a set of measured drawings documenting the historic structure for its archives. The 2008 summer ARCH647 class took on the project, spending the ten-week session surveying and drawing the church in downtown Bryan, Texas.
The first week of class was used to develop a set of rough field drawings that were based on hand measurements and estimated distance of mortar joints for the hard to reach distances. From here, the class moved into remote sensing techniques; which included a combination of disto, total station, laser scanning, and photogrammetry readings, for the production of the final drawings. The range of methods not only gave the students an opportunity to learn about the different tools and techniques, it also served as a check for the gathered information and helped in collecting data about inaccessible and obstructed areas of the church.
While each student was responsible for a different drawing, they had to work in teams to collect the necessary data and check their measurements against each other’s as well as between the six different forms of measurement used to achieve a higher level of accuracy.
Initial data collection lasted about a month and a half, while the class spent the last few weeks of the project compiling the information into final drawings and verifying data to resolve discrepancies. The final product included floor plans of the church and parlor, taken through the main floor and basement levels, an east-west section through the transept, a north-south section in line with the center aisle and through the bell-tower, elevations of the north (front) and west sides of the church, and a rough site plan.
The class included instructor, Professor Robert Warden, and seven graduate students: Justin Curtsinger, Pamela da Graca, Stephanie Guariglia, Sheldon Henning, Craig Jeffery, and Ashley Martin from the Master of Architecture program, and Colin Darby from Civil Engineering.
When ARCH647 students documented the near-one-hundred year old St. Andrew’s Church in downtown Bryan, they had no idea their work would be so instrumental in restoring the damage soon to be inflicted upon the building. A mere seven months later, two of the historic, leaded-glass windows were broken when the building was burglarized. In response to the building-owner’s request for assistance, Bob Warden was able to piece together images of the windows from information gathered over the summer. These images along with measurements of the surviving frames, enable Center personnel to provide autocad drawings of the window lead-work for use by the local stained-glass artists who restored the windows.