Building Conservation Associates, Inc. (BCA) is a historic preservation consulting firm that provides a wide range of services, including field documentation, construction administration, materials testing supported by an in-house lab, archival research, rehabilitation tax credit applications, and cultural resource management. As the summer intern at BCA, I have been exposed to a variety of projects in various stages of completion. The main project that I have been involved with so far is in Montclair, New Jersey. BCA is working with the Township of Montclair to produce an updated Historic Preservation Plan Element for the Township Master Plan. The previous HP Element was adopted in 1994, so there are many opportunities for the new plan to have a significant impact on historic preservation efforts in Montclair. We will be conducting a historic resources survey in July, as well as evaluating existing policy in Montclair and at the state and federal levels, in order to arrive at a set of recommendations that the Township can use to meaningfully involve historic preservation in its overall development. It’s great to see how the research that I am doing is being put into action through our work with municipal staff and other stakeholders in Montclair, and it’s also been great to get to know the town.
I also contributed to the building documentation section of a rehabilitation tax credit application for a property in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. I photographed the site and also did historic photo research at Brooklyn Historical Society. Seeing hands-on how the application process works has added a lot to what I had learned in class. I give thanks to all of the extremely talented and friendly staff at BCA for including me in their process, and giving me an opportunity to experience what it is like to work in preservation and also see how a successful firm is run. As my internship progresses I am excited to continue working on different projects as I get more of a sense of the many professional roles that are out there in historic preservation. Beyond the meetings and informal conversations that we have in the office, my work this summer will also take me to the New Jersey HPO, out in the field on site visits, and to installations of epoxy dalle de verre in New York City for a research project. I’m looking forward to the rest of my time at BCA, a unique firm that offers the full spectrum of historic preservation services under one roof.