Student interns to complete historic preservation fieldwork in Virginia City

Student interns to complete historic preservation fieldwork in Virginia City
Virginia City. Image: Don Dike-Anukam

VIRGINIA CITY – Four graduate student interns from the University of Oregon are set to spend the summer in Virginia City documenting the historic buildings of the Comstock as part of a survey funded by the Historic Preservation Fund.

The project is through a partnership between the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office and Storey County intended to show the changes to the historic district over time. The last survey of historic buildings in the district was in the late 1980s.

The students will work in teams of two to photograph and document building exteriors in Virginia City, the Divide and Gold Hill, all part of the district listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a designated National Historic Landmark. Project work will be conducted five days a week from July 12 to Aug. 6, 2021. 

NSHPO said it will use the data collected for future preservation projects.

“Virginia City is known around the world as a time capsule representing a pivotal time in the American West,” said Rebecca Palmer, administrator of the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office. “This internship program provides a great opportunity to gather information about the historic Virginia City area and connect the next generation of stewards to the enchanting history of this region.”  

Storey County officials said the project data will aid in planning efforts.

“Storey County looks forward to working with the students and maximizing this opportunity to share our historic community with them,” said Lara Mather, Storey County’s Community Relations Coordinator. “Their work documenting Virginia City’s past will be essential to the planning of Virginia City’s future.”  

The survey work will be completed by four graduate student interns from the University of Oregon Historic Preservation Program:  

  • Jordan Aungye Paing is a Fulbright Scholar from Burma and has a background in architecture.  
  • Cayla McGrail’s historic preservation studies focus on underrepresented histories.
  • Victoria Banda has a background in history and was inspired to study historic preservation after seeing her hometown transformed through numerous preservation projects .
  • Hannah Mellor comes from a sciences and GIS background and is interested in urban planning and preservation planning. 

Source: Nevada State Historic Preservation Office