Thursday, 06 June 2019 12:34

Row House Summer

Hello reader and welcome to my Blog! My name is Mónica and I was hired by the Latino Heritage Internship Program to work as a Historic American Building Survey Architect for the summer. During the next couple of weeks I will be keeping you posted about my opportunities and experiences with LHIP and HABS.

 But first let me tell you a little bit about myself.

 I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, which is also where I got my Architecture degree at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. During those five years I became interested in the preservation and conservation of historic buildings since the island is filled with structures that were built by the Spanish during the time of their rule. Researching, documenting and encountering historic documents inspired me to do my graduate degree in Historic Preservation, which I'm finishing next year at the University of Pennsylvania. I have always been interested in HABS and have participated in two of their competitions, which brought me to this opportunity to work with them and learn more about documentation and heritage preservation.

 What is HABS? you ask;

 The Historic American Building Survey is one of the oldest preservation programs of the country. It started in 1933 to "mitigate the negative effects upon our history and culture of rapidly vanishing architectural resources"It is one of three programs including the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) and The Historic American Landscape Survey (HALS) which are administered by the Heritage Documentation Program. All the documentation they produce can be found at the Library of Congress, behind the United States Capitol in DC. They also produce competitions and guidelines for research and documentation of historic places.

This summer I'm going to be working at the Department of Interior with a HABS Architect and a HBCUI intern, we are going to document (hand sketch, measure, laser scan and draw in CAD) row houses in the Washington, DC area. The first house is around 100 years old, it was built using brick and designed to allow for more natural light inside the space.


See you in two weeks,



Ps. Some link that may interest you

Heritage Documentation Program


Library of Congress

Published in HAF intern blog
Wednesday, 15 May 2019 14:49

Mónica Ortiz Cortes

Hi, I'm Mónica. I was born and raised on the colorful island of Puerto Rico. Growing up I was very interested in art, but it wasn't until I was fifteen that I discovered my love for architecture. I was inspired by how historic buildings were designed to last and endured time way past the designers lifetime. That's when I decided to pursue a degree in Architecture which I just finished in July 2018. During my degree, I first experienced working with historic buildings in a preservation studio where we had to document and look for the history of that special place that we were going to incorporate into our design. That experience made me decide that Historic Preservation was something I wanted to do in conjunction with my Architecture degree for my career. Now I'm a student at the University of Pennsylvania who plans to graduate with a Historic Preservation Master of Science in 2020.

Published in Intern Bios
Friday, 15 June 2018 00:34

An Introduction

My name is Emelyn Najera, and this summer LHIP has given me the opportunity to work alongside the wonderful team of architects and historians of the Historic American Building Survey (HABS) in Washington D.C.  I am currently a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania studying Historic Preservation and City Planning,

Published in Blog
Friday, 10 August 2018 00:31

HABS: Documenting a Washington DC Rowhouse

At the Historic American Building Survey (HABS), documentation begins with comprehensive fieldwork of the structure in question. The second project that my team and I worked on documenting this summer was a traditional nineteenth-century DC row house located on T Street, near the hustle and bustle of the U Street Corridor.

Published in Blog

Founded in the 1930s as part of FDR’s New Deal projects, the Historic American Building Survey (HABS) has produced a vast and varied archive of the nation’s historic architecture.  Composed of measured drawings, large-format black and white photography, and historic reports,

Published in Blog
Thursday, 29 November 2018 15:38

Rodrigo Martinez

Rodrigo Martinez was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and raised in Southern California’s San Gabriel Valley. He is currently working on earning his Master in Architecture degree with a concentration in Historic Preservation from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Prior to pursuing a second career in Architecture, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and enjoyed a formative eight-year career as a Structural Analysis Engineer in the aerospace industry. Now two years into his architecture studies, Rodrigo has developed a passion for historic preservation and cultural resource management. He is grateful for the opportunity to assist the D.C. HABS team’s surveying efforts of the Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Amphitheater. He hopes to be able to leverage the internship experience in support of his master’s thesis project, the focus of which will be the preservation of the largest World War II-era Japanese American concentration camp, the Tule Lake Segregation Center in Newell, California.

Published in Intern Bios
Thursday, 29 November 2018 14:31

Jureily Pastrana Solá

Jureily Pastrana was born and raised in one of the Greater Antilles of the Caribbean - San Juan, Puerto Rico. Since childhood, she has liked to design and build houses for her dolls with shoe boxes. Today she’s a Junior Architecture student at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. No matter how long it took her to finally study her dream career, her goals to graduate from a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture is more desirable than ever. She likes the idea to preserve or rehabilitate abandoned buildings to provide them a new function. In her free-time she likes to walk through the city to do urban sketches, listen to music and read. In this blog I’ll keep in touch with you guys about the crossing of this new adventure with HABS! 


Published in Intern Bios
Thursday, 29 November 2018 12:01

Emelyn Najera

A California native, Emelyn Najera is a first-generation Mexican American and graduate student. Growing up in Southern California, she had the opportunity of visiting several of the region’s most iconic architecture, from the state’s historic missions to LA’s deconstructivist monuments; recognizing the importance that the built landscape has in the formation of a region’s, and its people’s, identity. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Southern California where she earned a Bachelor of Architecture in May 2017. Her interest in architecture and the built heritage inspired her to pursue graduate degrees in Historic Preservation and City Planning at the University of Pennsylvania, where she currently attends. In the future, she hopes to do her part in the designation and preservation Latin American built heritage. In her free time she enjoys sketching, reading, and spending time with her family and pets.

Published in Intern Bios
Wednesday, 28 November 2018 20:35

Avidan Fernandez

Avidan is currently a fourth year architecture student at California Polytechnic University at Pomona and hopes to attend grad school to pursue a Master’s Degree in historic preservation. Avidan has worked as a docent and assistant to the artist in residence program that is hosted at Richard Neutra’s Studio and Residence. He has helped give guided tours to visitors as well as helping to assemble installations, which frame the historic fabric of the building in a modern context. Avidan is interested in highlighting issues about historic preservation in a dynamic social perspective that raises the public’s awareness to their environments.

Published in Intern Bios