In summer of 2017 I was able to help save a slave house. Together with Springpoint Structural (formerly Keast & Hood Structural Engineers), the University of Virginia (UVA) Scholars’ Lab, and Virginia Humanities (formerly Virginia Foundation for the Humanities) a slave house in Amelia County, Virginia was thoroughly documented and saved from demolition.
The owner was considering having the fire department burn down the house because he felt that it had become structurally compromised. Springpoint Structural donated their time to perform an onsite evaluation of the slave house, at no cost to the property owner.
The onsite evaluation included visual inspections of the building and resistance test drilling of select logs to determine their core strength. The structural analysis revealed that the house was not structurally compromised and could be stabilized if the critical issues were addressed.
Scholars’ Lab from UVA 3D laser scanned the structure and put it into virtual reality so that one can explore the building safely. The next steps are to find ways to stabilize the building inexpensively.