The places we live and work have been shaped and known by many before us.
I prepare architectural, historical and social histories of buildings and places through interviews, document and archive research, photo research and other explorations to create a thorough understanding of a property and its impact, significance and role over time. In many cases, I’ve helped clients connect with former residents or their families who have shared memories and photos. Click here to see how I found photos that helped us restore our own home.
These connections often allow generations of owners—the people who have lived in, shaped and loved these buildings—to listen to each other, to learn, and sometimes to nod their heads in common understanding and amazement. What an honor and privilege to be able to help make those connections, to learn those stories and to visualize the passage of time.
A History Study usually includes these elements:
Utilizing old city building permit documents, city directories, census records, early neighborhood maps, county land records, newspapers, and interviews, I will compile for you:
- Information about the builder of your house, the date your house was built, and a discussion about the style and construction of your home. Included are the original construction and plumbing permits for your house;
- A detailed chronological listing of the former owners of your home, complete with information from and about past residents and their families. This is where we find photos of your house!
- Copies of early aerial photos that show your property, and an early map of the neighborhood that shows your house and its pre-1933 address.
- A narrative report that ties these pieces together into an interesting narrative synopsis of how your house and the immediate surrounding neighborhood have evolved over the years.
- A visit and walk-through to understand the unique historic characteristics of your home and any particular areas of inquiry you have.
History Study prices vary depending on the property, with more complicated properties requiring more time. Drop me a note and I’ll send you a proposal: firstname.lastname@example.org.
While I have completed dozens of history studies in the Alameda neighborhood, I work throughout the Portland area and beyond on both residential and commercial properties. You can read more about my research practice here: deckerhistorical.com . Example history studies are available.
Other specific research services are available including assistance locating historic photos; biographical research about former residents, builders or architects; architectural identification and construction mystery solving.
Just for fun, see what The Oregonian wrote about how our old-house research came in handy.