Archeological Firm Helps Document Connecticut Cemeteries

September 27, 2017 § Leave a comment

 R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates pic

R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates
Image: rcgoodwin.com

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.

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The Protection of Connecticut’s Historical Resources

September 20, 2017 § Leave a comment

 

Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office pic

Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office
Image: ct.gov

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.

An Enduring Company Where Scientists Can Build Their Careers

August 23, 2017 § Leave a comment

 

R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc. pic

R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc.
Image: rcgoodwin.com

Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin is an archaeologist and climate change expert whose firm, R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc., conducts archaeological and historical surveys and planning throughout the United States and abroad. Dr. Goodwin, who holds a PhD, founded the company over 35 years ago shortly after implementation of federal regulations codifying the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).

The NHPA provides a framework for government agencies to conduct and oversee archaeological and historic building surveys to protect archaeological and historic sites from inadvertent destruction during construction projects. Passionate about scientific field work and American heritage resources, Dr. Goodwin has led his firm as a principal investigator in numerous significant cultural resource studies, including multidisciplinary projects for recovery and resiliency from natural calamities such as hurricanes. Other archaeologists and scientists from his firm who have been employed in these projects also have had many opportunities to practice in their respective fields and sub disciplines, and to expand their professional experience and horizons.

Because of his commitment to preserving American heritage resources, Dr. Goodwin envisions his company to remain in existence for the next hundred years and beyond. The private company is contracted by both the private and public sector entities for its recognized high-quality scientific capabilities as well as providing a rare venue for other passionate scientists in the preservation sciences to build upon their careers and contribute to knowledge of and appreciation of American prehistory and history.

Efforts to Survey and Preserve Connecticut Cemeteries

August 2, 2017 § Leave a comment

 

Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office pic

Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office
Image: ct.gov

A professional archaeologist with a Ph.D. in archaeology, Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin and his professional staff provide a wealth of historical and archaeological research and preservation planning services to clients nationwide.. Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin’s firm currently is engaged in projects such as one spearheaded by the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) designed to assist in preservation of thousands of historically important burial sites and cemeteries across the state.

The SHPO’s initiative centers on the four coastal counties affected by Hurricane Sandy. It involves both resiliency planning and nomination of important historic cemeteries to the National Register of Historic Places. More than simply having importance to local residents and extended family members, old cemeteries can house important works of artistic merit; they also can provide vital data on early settlement patterns, demography and on changing concepts of death and memorialization that reflect broader societal trends. Such attributes make some of these cemeteries worthy of individual listing on the National Register.

R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc.’s efforts include archaeological surveys, documentation of nomination of some individual cemeteries in Connecticut’s coastal communities. In addition, the firm is developing an app for cemetery groups to use in recording historic cemeteries and their markers, landscapes and monuments. Additionally, the firm has developed an annotated research guide on Connecticut’s cemeteries or public use.

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