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Yet Another One of the Dorgan House....

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Offline Casa Grande

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Yet Another One of the Dorgan House....
« on: February 26, 2007, 07:17:28 AM »
Went through my old darkroom equipment (up for sale soon) over the weekend and I came across this image of Dorgan House I took in '91:




I've mentioned this before, but check out the huge difference between the '91 image above and the one I took in '06:



You can clearly see the entire large sections of the walls that have evaporated in 15 short years as well as what is left of the renovations done to it in '02.  Incredible to see the degradation in such a short period of time.

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BigBendHiker

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Yet Another One of the Dorgan House....
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2007, 07:35:18 AM »
Wow!  The change is startling!  Sad to see those things happen like that.


BBH

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Offline homerboy2u

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Yet Another One of the Dorgan House....
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2007, 08:12:18 AM »
I wonder why they did not restore the house to it?s fullest back in 2002 :?:
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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SHANEA

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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2007, 08:28:37 AM »
Quote from: "homerboy2u2"
I wonder why they did not restore the house to it?s fullest back in 2002 :?:


That green stuff, probably.  You know, the stuff that grows on trees out here in East Texas.  It won't grow on cactus, so they don't have enough of the green stuff out there.

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Offline presidio

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Re: Yet Another One of the Dorgan House....
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2007, 08:58:54 AM »
Quote from: "Casa Grande"
Incredible to see the degradation in such a short period of time.


Adobe is a remarkably resilient and durable building material....unless it is not maintained, then it melts rapidly. That is why traditional adobes were 'mudded' every year or so, to keep water from penetrating to the core. It also is why 'real' adobes today are stabilized by including cement, so you don't have to keep doing this.
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline presidio

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Yet Another One of the Dorgan House....
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2007, 11:20:21 AM »
Quote from: "homerboy2u2"
I wonder why they did not restore the house to it?s fullest back in 2002 :?:


Partly due to cost, but more due to the NPS not being able to decide whether to 'restore' or 'stabilize'. Having been criticized in the past for 'restoring' way too much, sometimes to the point of 'recreating' things for which there was no historical basis, they seem to have settled on a policy of 'arrested decay'. This probably is the best way to go. However, in taking so long to arrive at that decision, there likely are quite a lot of structures in parks that would be much more whole and original (not to mention in existence) today had they taken that approach long ago. The revelation that the NPS burned or otherwise destroyed many of the original homesteads at Big Bend to avoid having to maintain them is a good example of willfully removing important records of cultural occupation in favor of trying to recreate a pre-ranch landscape. It's no different than knocking down a pueblo ruin rather than preserving it.

One particularly egregious example of re-creation was some site in the east where the original historic structures had eroded into whatever river was there. The NPS built a 2/3rds scale replica of the fort (or whatever building was the focus) so that tourists could walk through something. Not even sure if the replica was accurate or some generalized expression of structures typical of the time. I don't remember what the site was and a google search didn't lead me to any info. That tidbit seems to have been buried. I may still have one of the really old park brochures (a small flyer printed in 2 colors...remember those?) on this site....will have to search for it someday. Of course, this was done many years ago and they pretty much are out of that mode today.

Question of the day: What national park was decommissioned? (most people think national parks are sacrosanct...but they are political creations and, as such, are not immune to being dismantled). In at least one case this has occurred.

10 extra points if you can say what happened to the park. 10 more if you can say when.
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline randell

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Yet Another One of the Dorgan House....
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2007, 12:04:12 PM »
Quote from: "presidio"

Question of the day: What national park was decommissioned? (most people think national parks are sacrosanct...but they are political creations and, as such, are not immune to being dismantled). In at least one case this has occurred.

10 extra points if you can say what happened to the park. 10 more if you can say when.


Are you referring to Mackinac National Park that became Mackinac Island State Park in 1895?

Or

Platt National Park that became Chickasaw National Recreation Area in 1976?

Or

Sullys Hill National Park that became Sullys Hill National Game Preserve in 1931.

Or is it one that is not on the list?
There's nothing like a good quest to get you intimate with a place. - Tom Clynes

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Offline presidio

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Yet Another One of the Dorgan House....
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2007, 12:09:14 PM »
Quote from: "randell"

Are you referring to Mackinac National Park that became Mackinac Island State Park in 1895?

Or

Platt National Park that became Chickasaw National Recreation Area in 1976?

Or

Sullys Hill National Park that became Sullys Hill National Game Preserve in 1931.


You are correct with all 3; however I was referring to Platt. Right after I posted the message I searched and found the others as well. The internet searches are a real problem in this kind of trivia since info is so easy to come by.

Anyway, you now have 120 points that I don't have a clue what you can use them for.  :D  :D
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline randell

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Yet Another One of the Dorgan House....
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2007, 01:56:00 PM »
I was looking at that list on Wikipedia last week and remembered it when you brought up the question...so I didn't even have to search for it.
There's nothing like a good quest to get you intimate with a place. - Tom Clynes

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Offline presidio

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Yet Another One of the Dorgan House....
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2007, 02:06:58 PM »
Quote from: "randell"
I was looking at that list on Wikipedia last week and remembered it when you brought up the question...so I didn't even have to search for it.


I just now looked at Wikipedia and found several more on that page I did not know about...minor ones, but NPs that ceased to exist just the same; and one that became 2 NPs.

Name                       Established          Disbanded      Result

Abraham Lincoln NP  July 17, 1916      August 11, 1939    redesignated Abraham Lincoln Birthplace NHS

Fort McHenry NP        March 3, 1925    August 11, 1939  redesignated, uniquely, Fort McHenry NM & Historic Shrine

Hawaii NP              August 1, 1916    Sept 13, 1960    divided into Hawaii Volcanoes NP and Haleakala NP

Mackinac NP            April 15, 1875        1895             now Mackinac Island State Park

Platt NP                June 29, 1906     March 17, 1976   now Chickasaw National Recreation Area

Sullys Hill NP               April 27, 1904     March 3, 1931    now Sullys Hill National Game Preserve (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
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<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline homerboy2u

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Yet Another One of the Dorgan House....
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2007, 05:50:56 PM »
Those Greens that grow on east texas and don?t on cactus means nothing if they would have decided to hire the folks in Boquillas or the other small ejido in Chihuahua at the very foot of the entrance to Santas Elena Canyon....Oh, I forgot :!: ..That is illegal to save greens for the park budget and more. Forget it. Nothing said here...
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Offline BIBEARCH

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Yet Another One of the Dorgan House....
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2007, 07:14:30 PM »
Quote from: "homerboy2u2"
I wonder why they did not restore the house to it?s fullest back in 2002 :?:


The policies that guide what the NPS does are complex, but specific. No reconstruction of what has totally disappeared. Stabilization of what remains is acceptable. The alternative is to let nature take the whole thing. We tried to preserve the remaining architectural features that defined the Dorgan House, which in this case was the front facade of the building with its massive wooden lintels, the odd double thickness wall sections adjacent to the wall fenestration (window and door openings), and to retain a sense of the original building. Those architectural features were seen to be representative of what was originally a large and architecturally unique (for the Big Bend) house.

One interesting fact about the Dorgan House is that it apparently was never completely finished. That is according to the descendants of J. L. Sublett with whom we consulted on this project.

The stabilization project was also subject to the annually fluctuating federal budget allocations, and the ability of Big Bend to compete against parks like Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, etc. for the limited available funds.

We continually balance the park's needs against what is handed down to us from Washington, and what we can reasonably expect to receive.  

Dorgan is representative of all those other vanishing treasures in national parks all over the southwest US.
The opinion expressed above is my own and not that of the National Park Service or the Federal government.

"Government of the people, by the people, for the people . . . people hey, that's us!"? - Swami Beyondananda

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Offline BIBEARCH

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Yet Another One of the Dorgan House....
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2007, 07:32:16 PM »
Quote from: "homerboy2u2"
Those Greens that grow on east texas and don?t on cactus means nothing if they would have decided to hire the folks in Boquillas or the other small ejido in Chihuahua at the very foot of the entrance to Santas Elena Canyon....Oh, I forgot :!: ..That is illegal to save greens for the park budget and more. Forget it. Nothing said here...


One of our most successful projects was the Alvino House at Castolon. This was pre-9-11-border closure. We enlisted the aid of volunteer adobe maestros from Santa Elena to come in and apply their traditional adobe skills, using traditional adobe recipes and construction methods, to stabilize the Alvino House. They mixed the adobe mud, packed it into molds on the building site, sun-dried the adobes and stacked them in the old Hispanic tradition in preparation for use in the building.

The whole stabilization and repair project was done so that park visitors could observe the work in progress.

Times change and the way we are able to get things done also changes.

It was wonderfully educating to see these maestros use centuries-old techniques to keep this one-century-old building alive.
The opinion expressed above is my own and not that of the National Park Service or the Federal government.

"Government of the people, by the people, for the people . . . people hey, that's us!"? - Swami Beyondananda

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Offline homerboy2u

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Yet Another One of the Dorgan House....
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2007, 08:04:13 PM »
You would be very surprised BIBEARCH to see what people in small towns around this area can do with Adobe blocks.

 I bet that is just a matter of asking Friends of Big Bend....maybe Big Bend Chat, or some other organization to pitch in , and they always find a way. Even churches i am sure.
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Offline Roy

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Yet Another One of the Dorgan House....
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2007, 10:11:01 PM »
Quote from: "BIBEARCH"
the ability of Big Bend to compete against parks like Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, etc. for the limited available funds.

I know that several sites, Chaco in particular, had some kind of affiliation with an organization that provided volunteers (who paid for the privilege) to preform restoration work after suitable training.  Can't remember their name;  think they were out of Philadelphia.  Has BIBE ever tried something like this?

 


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