Lanier Estate Public Archaeology Site interpretive design project

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Costura, Daniel L.
Spangler, Ronald L.
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Thesis (B.L.A.)
College of Architecture and Planning
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This project is based upon the work that I have done for three years on an archaeological site for the Department of Natural Resources and the Indiana State Historic Museum. The site is in Madison, Indiana, at the Lanier State Historic Site and has been run since 1992 by William Wepler, the Curator of Anthropology at the museum. The specific focus of the project is an interpretive design for the archaeological site in order to better interpret to visitors and best present the archaeological evidence. The purpose of the dig is to find enough evidence to reconstruct buildings that used to be connected to the mansion and the surrounding grounds. The questions that they find before them now are: "How much should be completely reconstructed, if any?" and "If reconstruction is not possible, then what are the alternatives?" Those are the questions that I answered by utilizing historic preservation guidelines and applying them to the archaeological site and the historic grounds of the property.Analysis of the archaeological data along with comparison to case studies discovered in a review of literature led to the formulation of four different interpretative schemes. Each one of these options was explored in a conceptual design. The four options were complete reconstruction, partial reconstruction, ghosting, and a no-touch policy.The options were all compared and their relative merits were examined in order to produce the final master plan which utilizes elements from each of the four conceptual plans. The main focus of the site is the completely reconstructed greenhouse, but connected to this is the frame structure of the carriage house with partially reconstructed walls. The other elements of the site were partially reconstructed in order to interpret them best to site visitors.Note on Formatting: Throughout this book, all italicized words are defined in Appendix A.