Computer generated imagery and historic properties: Taliesin

Posted in: Bridges, Cultural Resources, Highways


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CGI is a cost-effective tool that provides a common understanding among stakeholders and facilitates developing consensus during Section 106 consultation.

Technology keeps transforming all aspects of the cultural resource industry, providing ever more tools to identify and evaluate historic properties. Computer generated imagery is the application of computer graphics to create still images and video. CGI is an effective tool to illustrate a variety of proposed design alternatives with a range of stakeholders and assess potential effects on historic properties for Section 106 consultation.

Taliesin, a nationally significant property in south-central Wisconsin associated with Frank Lloyd Wright is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, designated a National Historic Landmark, and a World Heritage Site candidate. Resources that contribute to the historic district include numerous buildings and structures and approximately 490 acres of the surrounding landscape that inspired Wright.

The use of CGI was critical in selecting designs to minimize adverse effects for two bridge improvement projects. At issue were the required beam guard and end treatments and the effects it would have on the view shed of the surrounding landscape. Numerous visualizations were completed from various vantage points to illustrate various types and colors of beam guards and end treatment options and the associated landscape work at each bridge location.

CGI provided the National Park Service, the Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Officer, Taliesin Preservation Inc., and local historical society with realistic visualizations for a range of beam guard designs under consideration and select an option that minimized adverse effects on the historic district to the greatest extent possible.

More on the Wisconsin Highway 23 Section 106 Compliance project


Emily Pettis

About the Author

Emily Pettis enjoys different types of historic preservation projects and helping our clients. “I love the variety of projects I get to work on, from leading large urban surveys to evaluating historic rural landscapes,” she says. Emily specializes in developing balanced solutions that meet client needs while respecting historic resources for future generations.

Read more posts by Emily Pettis

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