September 27, 2017 § Leave a comment
A leading authority on the subjects of terrestrial and nautical archaeology and historic preservation, R. Christopher Goodwin, PhD, serves as research director and CEO of R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc. The firm maintains offices in several states, including its office in Chester, Connecticut. The Goodwin team conducts research and excavations nationwide. In 2016, Connecticut’s State Historic Preservation Office announced that Dr. Goodwin and his team were at work documenting state cemeteries of historic significance.
The cemetery documentation project is part of a larger effort to strengthen the resiliency of Connecticut’s coastal historic properties and coastline communities; it is funded through the state’s Hurricane Sandy disaster relief mandate. Its components include the development of a mobile app to help document historic cemeteries and a research guide that provides information on how to research and select methods for preserving tombstone art.
The project also has provided the necessary documentation for nominating multiple cemeteries for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and the Connecticut State Register. In order to achieve an NRHP listing, a site must meet the specific criteria for eligibility for the National Register, which require development of detailed documentation since most cemeteries are not NRHP eligible.
Connecticut has thousands of cemeteries, some of which are no more than small family plots. The artwork, tombs, and buildings in these cemeteries can reflect the flow of history in their landscape design, in their local importance and in their art and architecture.
September 20, 2017 § Leave a comment
Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin, who earned a PhD in archaeology, and the architectural historians working with him have assisted the residents of Clinton, Connecticut, with disaster planning efforts after Hurricane Sandy. During their 2016 historic preservation survey work in the area, specialists from Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin’s eponymous firm explained how better understanding and proper designation of historic properties can help owners obtain state and federal financial assistance should they experience damage from future natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy.
Clinton’s 2016 architectural survey of historic properties was administered by Connecticut’s State Historic Preservation Office following a federal grant of more than $8 million for disaster relief and historical preservation initiatives in Connecticut’s four coastal counties that were declared a federal disaster area after Hurricane Sandy.
Working with Connecticut’s 28 coastal municipalities, the Goodwin team focused on helping to update emergency preparedness plans – including hazard mitigation and recovery plans – to help these towns plan to protect at-risk cultural resources. Another phase of the work included additional surveys and inventories of historical sites in the coastal zone at risk from flooding, the nomination of new sites to the Connecticut and National Registers of Historic Places, the identification of historic structures and other properties like archaeological sites and historic landscapes that are most vulnerable to future storms and rising sea levels, and the development of Geographic Information System (GIS) planning map layers for each coastal town that identifies their historic properties with reference to future risk zones.