Mission Statement - Cultural Resource Documentation Services (CRDS)
CRDS is dedicated to producing the highest quality, multi-disciplinary documentation of significant historic resources, in order to promote public understanding, appreciation and preservation of the architectural and engineering achievements of our cultural heritage.
Who is Richard K. Anderson, Jr.?
My professional documentation experience goes back 26 years, 12 of those working as staff architect for the HistoricAmerican Engineering Record in HABS/HAER’s Washington, DC headquarters. During this time I staffed and directed numerous HAER and HABS documentation projects which employed student architects and historians.
The projects I ran covered sites ranging from arsenals, mines, mills, power plants, machinery, bridges, ships, to lighthouses and plantation homes. I was well-known at HABS/HAER as a “quick study,” owing to my familiarity with and interest in a very wide range of architectural design and engineering technologies. I got to be very adroit at combining relevant historical records,extant architectural/engineering drawings, historic and contemporary photographic coverage with contemporary field measurements to arrive at comprehensive documentation of sites. After ten years’ employment I was awarded the Department of the Interior’s Meritorious Service Award, usually reserved for those with 20 or 30 years’ distinguished service. Since opening private practice in 1989, the National Park Service has frequently contracted me to carry out or advise NPS documentation projects, revise older guidelines publications, and write new ones as a recognized authority in this field.
I co-wrote and revised HAER’s field manual, "Recording Structures and Sites for the Historic American Engineering Record," and wrote and illustrated "Guidelines for Recording Historic Ships." These publications serve as the National Park Service’s official guides for documenting engineering, industrial, institutional and maritime sites for Section 106 and historical purposes (see www.cr.nps.gov/habshaer/pubs/guide.htm). In addition to accomplishing the research, field work and graphic skills necessary for producing measured drawings, I have also written or contributed to several HABS and HAER historical reports. While the production of National Register nominations is not a regular part of my practice, I possess the research skills and familiarity with the standards and process to generate nominations. While at HABS/HAER I wrote a successful National Landmark Nomination for the Borough House plantation, Stateburg, Sumter County, South Carolina.
After leaving HABS/HAER, I acquired CAD software (MicroStation), wide-document (large drawing) scanning and plotting equipment, and other field and office tools to use for accomplishing HABS/HAER documentation in a digital environment.
My skills and experience have been such that I was invited by HABS/HAER and the Historic Resources Imaging Laboratory at Texas A&M University to draft HABS/HAER’s CAD guidelines in 1997. (A very abbreviated version appears on the HABS/HAER website.) I also taught HABS documentation standards and techniques on the college level from 1990-2001 in the Historic Preservation Program of the Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, Georgia). I continue to document a wide variety of historic structures, including archaeological artifacts and sites, historic architecture, housing, engineering structures and systems, boats and ships, and museum artifacts (machinery and transportation vehicles). I am frequently “sole-sourced” by government and private clients because of my wide-ranging experience, abilities, and the quality of my work.
A detailed list of projects is on the "Resume" page of this site.
How did I end up in this sort of work?
As a child I was fascinated by drawing, design, machinery, processes, transportation equipment and numerous scientific disciplines. My father was a career naval officer with a graduate degree in naval architecture. He first "dented" me with concepts of naval ship design and performance, including structure and steam machinery. I spent a lot of time building up a chemistry "lab" and collecting mineral specimens and making fine-scaled model railroad equipment from scratch. I briefly got into cable-controlled model airplanes, then began construction of a large scale live steam locomotive built with machine tools. I became acquainted with historic buildings and their maintenance through the family antebellum plantation home (now a National Historic Landmark) located in South Carolina. I began at Princeton University as an engineer due to my advanced skills in mechanical design, drafting, machine shop and metalworking skills.
An architecture degree offered a wider application of design skills and interests, and after acquiring a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania, I ventured into historic preservation, because the sweep of history offered a breadth of technologies and design examples unavailable in ordinary commercial practice. I found myself very much at home at the Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record Division of the National Park Service in Washington, DC. During my years there I “moonlighted” for the Division of Transportation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History making documentary measured drawings of the 1848 propeller ship Indiana’s propulsion plant (among many projects), and continued my avocational interests building machine tool components and parts of a live steam locomotive, as well as enlarging my library of “out-of-date” technical tomes for reference use at work.
Last Updated: November 5, 2006