Author Archives: Savannah Westerfield

We’ve Moved!

The CRA blog is now integrated with our new CRA website and can be found here:

CRA Blog

The new website and blog have been integrated to provide up-to-date information on the company, as well as information about the ongoing projects and discoveries in the field. New material will be posted to the new CRA blog address. While visiting the new blog address, be sure to check out the new website also!

Ron Rood joins CRA as new Director of Operations-Utah

Ron Rood, Director of Operations-Utah

Ron Rood, Director of Operations-Utah

Ronald Rood is the Director of Operations for CRA’s Utah office. Originally from Colorado, Ron moved to Utah in 1996 to take a job as the Utah Assistant State Archaeologist. He stayed in that position for 15 years and then got back into Cultural Resource Management. Ron has a somewhat unusual hobby of collecting road-kill for his ever expanding faunal remains comparative collection, currently consisting of more than 300 specimens. Thankfully, his wife and stepdaughter don’t necessarily mind the occasional dead animal in the outdoor freezer.

Archaeological Background

As an archaeologist, Ron has worked across the Northern Plains, Colorado Rockies, Colorado Plateau and in the Eastern Great Basin. He is especially interested in hunter-gatherer archaeology and while working in Utah, Ron became very interested in Fremont faunal exploitation and in the analysis of human remains from Archaic, Fremont and Anasazi sites. Public outreach and education programs are high on Ron’s list of favorite things because without public support, archaeology in North America would severely suffer. Ron is the volunteer caretaker for Danger Cave State Park in Utah’s west desert and often provides tours of this amazing archaeological site for the public and school groups.

In his free time

Ron lives in Magna, Utah with his wife Suzette who is a 5th grade teacher and his stepdaughter who attends high school. Other family members include three dogs, several cats, a turtle, three rabbits, a tree-frog, two lizards, a pond full of large goldfish, and a transient pigeon named Bud. In his free time, Ron enjoys growing a vegetable garden, growing chili peppers, fishing, playing guitar and ukulele (not at the same time), making guitars from wooden cigar boxes, and making homemade catsup.

Welcome Aboard!

CRA is excited to introduce two new members of the team! Joanne DeMaio has joined the Evansville, Indiana, office as a Staff Archaeologist, and Mike Clem has teamed up with the Hurricane, West Virginia, office as a Principal Investigation.

Welcome to the team Joanne DeMaio.

Welcome to the team Joanne DeMaio.

Joanne DeMaio, M.A., is a recent graduate of the University of Arkansas. She earned her B.A. in Archaeology from the University of Evansville and then went on to complete her Master’s in anthropology, with an emphasis on North American archaeology, at Arkansas. Joanne’s thesis research focused on ceramic analysis of whole vessels from The Adair Site (3GA1). This study provided additional information about the occupants of that site, and contributed to the understanding of the complex Mississippian period settlement systems in the Upper Ouachita River Valley of Arkansas. She has also conducted analysis of a Yankeetown phase ceramic assemblage from the Kuester site, located in southwestern Indiana, and has participated in archaeological fieldwork at Historic Old Washington State Park and the Prairie Grove Civil War battlefield in Arkansas, as well as in New Harmony, Indiana. Joanne has previously worked with the Arkansas Archaeological Survey, the USDA Forest Service, the Indiana State Museum, and Angel Mounds State Historic Site.

Welcome aboard Mike Clem.

Welcome aboard Mike Clem.

Michael Clem, MA has fifteen years of cultural resource management experience. He earned his B.A. in Humanities from Georgetown University and then went on to complete his Master’s in anthropology with a concentration in archaeology at American University. His previous employment includes work as a Vice President of a small CRM firm, as Senior Archaeologist, Staff Archaeologist, and was the county Archaeologist for Loudoun County, VA for five years. Much of his experience has been in the Middle Atlantic region, but Mike has worked on projects in the Midwest and Southwest, as well as in South America. He has worked on numerous slave quarter and plantation sites as well as Civil War related sites throughout the region. He also has worked on numerous prehistoric excavations.

CRA would like to welcome both Joanne and Mike to the team!

The Challenge of Defining Modernism

by Alan Higgins, Director of Architectural and Cultural History

A Field Guide to the Modern Built Environment

A Field Guide to the Modern Built Environment.

While it has been widely noted that systematic categorization of architecture from the post-war period defies the intent of much of this era’s design, the current framework of professional cultural resource work mandates a system that provides categorization, particularly in reference to comparative evaluations undertaken during eligibility determinations. Thus, a consistent application of terminology not only remains necessary to foster the meaningfulness of recordation but also to decrease expenditures of time and money. Unfortunately, the challenge of labeling and identifying resources from the Modern era and the Recent Past has historically plagued many survey efforts.

Continue reading

The Recent Past’s Greatest Challenge: Public and Professional Outreach

by Alan Higgins, Director of Architectural and Cultural History

Unnoticed ModernOver the last several years, I’ve been fortunate to have many opportunities to present on architecture of the Modern era and the Recent Past at local, regional, and national conferences, workshops, and other such events. Some of these have been directed at the public, while others have been directed at kindred practitioners who have to address these resources as part of environmental compliance. With each event, no matter the crowd, an underlying theme becomes again and again apparent – Continue reading

Exploring Modernism in Philadelphia’s Suburbs

by Alan Higgins, Director of Architectural and Cultural History

Sharples Dining Hall

Sharples Dining Hall, Swarthmore College, Vincent Kling, 1964.

Just before coming to CRA, I wrapped up a project that examined the post-war era in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, a suburban community with roots dating to the earliest years of our country’s settlement (William Penn landed in Delaware County, not Philadelphia). Layered on top of this though, is an intricate and critically important layer of modernist architecture from the post-war era that had not been previously identified, documented, and evaluated. Continue reading

Unnoticed Modern: The Midcentury Architecture of Evansville, Indiana

Design Study for Snyder Buick, Hironimus-Knapp-Given, 1960

Design Study for Snyder Buick, Hironimus-Knapp-Given, 1960

by Alan Higgins, Director of Architectural and Cultural History

Unnoticed ModernOver the last year, I have been spearheading a study to document the midcentury architecture of Evansville, Indiana, a regional center on the Ohio River that, like many communities, witnessed numerous transitions in the post-World War II era as a result of burgeoning populations and the accompanying need for new dwellings, commercial venues, and community resources. The Unnoticed Modern initiative is the first systematic look at this period of Evansville’s history, which has to date been left out of the narrative of the city’s rich legacy. Continue reading

Addressing the Next Generation of Historic Resources – Modern + Recent Past Architecture

Methodist Temple, Ralph Legeman, 1950

Methodist Temple, Ralph Legeman, 1950

The task of architectural documentation and assessment is the product of an ever-evolving field that, with the passage of time, must constantly take new periods and types of resources into consideration. Even now, resources from the Modern era have largely come into their own, with resources from the early 1960s readily meeting the 50-year threshold widely accepted as the standard for environmental review. Over the next decade, hundreds of thousands of other resources built during the 1960s and 1970s will likewise turn 50 years old and will have to be documented and evaluated for environmental review. These resources require a vast skill set, from completing historical research to properly photographing and documenting within their context. Continue reading

Excavations at the Artesian Branch Site

Overview of the Excavation at the Artesian Branch Site.

Overview of the Excavation at the Artesian Branch Site.

by Richard Herndon, Principal Investigator

Artesian Branch was a large Late Woodland site investigated during the course of the AOS project (see http://www.modot.org/ehp/AvenueofSaints.htm on the MoDOT website for a summary of the AOS project). Located at the base of a north–south trending bluff along the western edge of the Mississippi floodplain, this site was occupied from approximately A.D. 600 to 1100/1200. Continue reading

Pottery and Tools Recovered from the Carskadon Site Tell a Story

by Richard Herndon, Principal Investigator

Yesterday I introduced the Carskadon Site that CRA excavated during the AOS project. The site has a Middle Woodland occupation (circa A.D. 1–250). Many of the traits observed in the ceramics and lithic artifacts indicated an affiliation with Havana-Hopewell seen elsewhere in the region at this time. Today I’ll expand on the discussion from yesterday. Continue reading