Anatomy, Pathology, Diagnostics for Historic Log Buildings - Saturday July 23

Workshop with Brett Sturm
Saturday, July 23, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Free community workshop (Registration required)

With a nod to Dr. Bob Hart’s old day job, he will demonstrate how certain terms and ideas from the world of medicine can help reinforce a sound understanding of material health and wellness for “patients” like the log buildings of Hart Square. In the second half of the workshop, participants will practice their powers of diagnosis as they work in groups to evaluate, discuss, and share conclusions on the condition of several real-life log buildings chosen from the village itself. Mr. Sturm will end the day outlining possible treatment strategies—strategies which will form the focus of future sessions of the “Log Buildings 101” series.

Participants are encouraged to bring a notepad for notes or sketches, and to wear shoes and clothing comfortable for being outdoors on a morning in late July. Participants may also bring a wood scratch awl if they have one, or any other pointy object that can be used for prodding logs to test their integrity. For common diagnostic purposes, a flathead screwdriver or pocketknife makes an excellent substitute for an awl.

Do you love old log buildings like those at Hart Square but wish you knew more about how they “work?” How were they built, and why, with what materials, and why? Do you own or maintain an old log building and want to learn how best to prolong the lifespan of its historic components? If so, please join us for “Log Buildings 101,” a series of workshops exploring topics relevant to the preservation of historic log buildings, all with the goal of celebrating and protecting for future generations these special buildings gifted to us by the past.

In our first installment, Brett Sturm, Restoration Specialist with the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office, will provide the tools needed to start seeing historic log buildings through the eyes of an “old building doctor.” In a short talk entitled “Anatomy, Pathology, and Diagnostics for Historic Log Buildings,” Mr. Sturm will introduce key concepts about log building construction, materials, and material failure over time. 

About Brett Sturm

Brett Sturm joined North Carolina’s State Historic Preservation Office (HPO) in 2017 as Restoration Specialist for an 18-county area in the central Piedmont. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a master of science in historic preservation from the University of Pennsylvania, where his primary focus was the conservation of brick and terra cotta. Prior to his tenure with the HPO, Brett worked as a project manager for a general contracting company specializing in historic home renovations in center city Philadelphia. A native of Charlotte, Brett is  thankful to help advance preservation efforts, education, and awareness in the region of the state where he was raised. As a  Restoration Specialist, he provides technical assistance to property owners, local governments, and non-profit organizations on old building dilemmas of all kinds. He also consults on and reviews adaptive reuse projects seeking federal and state rehabilitation tax credits. Away from work, Brett’s interests include ceramic art, photography, music, and rowing.