Heidemann - UT Austin Fran Gale's Research Summary

Heidemann‐Barrera Ranch Complex

Summary of Student Research Projects

ARC 385T Materials Conservation: Lab Methods

School of Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin



Beginning in February, 2014, students in Fran Gale’s Materials Conservation course investigated materials of several historic structures on the Heidemann‐Barrera Ranch complex in Boerne, Texas. The investigation was undertaken at the request of the San Antonio Conservation Society Historic Farm and Ranch Complexes Committee and current owner Carmen Barrera. Gale’s course is offered at the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, and focuses on documenting and identifying historic building materials through laboratory examination and testing. Participants in the 2014 spring semester course included graduate students in Architecture, Historic Preservation and Engineering. The investigation, which focused on the circa 1860s structures, began with a site visit on February 15, 2014. Following a tour of the property, students collected small samples of wood, chinking, mortar, stucco, plaster, paint finishes and nails from the Heidemann Log House, Barn and Smokehouse. Examination and testing of these materials were conducted at the UT Architectural Conservation Laboratory; additional analysis of mortar materials was carried out at UT’s Pickle Research Campus. Project goals included documenting the composition of original and early materials and providing recommendations for appropriate restoration materials. Below is a summary of the results of their investigation. The student research summaries and laboratory reports include information about sample locations and the procedures used in laboratory examination and testing. Read more.


Heidemann - UT Austin Fran Gale's Research Summary