INTERIOR CONDITION ASSESSMENT | TUMACACORI NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK | TUMACACORI, ARIZONA
This project was carried out between the National Park Service and the University of Arizona’S Drachman Institute.
Tumacácori Mission Church was designated a National Monument in 1908, prior to the formation of the National Park Service (NPS) in 1916. Soon after its inception, the NPS assigned as custodian famed early preservationist Frank “Boss” Pinkley, who immediately took rehabilitative action to the historic ruin. Over the subsequent decades under NPS supervision, Tumacácori underwent various
phases of reconstruction and repair. As a consequence, the church structure embodies in microcosm the evolution of NPS preservation theory and action, demonstrating a range of
conservation techniques. The interior in particular, featuring layers of plaster and painted surfaces over the adobe construction, poses a unique set of maintenance challenges. Natural forces of
deterioration and mechanical responses to failing preservation techniques both affect the interior condition of the church. A comprehensive assessment and documentation of these factors was thus essential for the future application of treatment and maintenance at Tumacácori Mission Church.
Documentation was conducted by four graduate student investigators under the direction of the architectural conservator and exhibit specialist at Tumacácori, Alex Lim. Field documentation took place over a period of three weeks wherein the student investigation team recorded a defined set of conditions, repairs and materials present in the church’s interior. These data were then digitally rendered to create condition maps and materials from which the Tumacácori National Historical Park crew will be able to monitor change, archive a record of conditions and treatments, evaluate the performance of past treatments, and prepare an appropriate treatment plan.