WVU Visits Cockayne

wvu visit

L-R - Ron Dulaney, Asst Professor of Interior Design; Lara Pitrolo,
Visiting Lecturer, Design Technology; Kathryn Burton, Asst. Professor,
Design Studies: and Ben Groover, Manager of Information Systems at WVU.

On Monday, August 10, 2009, six faculty members from West Virginia University, led by Dr. Barbara McFall, Interim Director and Assistant Professor in the Design and Merchandising Department, and including Assistant Professors Ron Dulaney and Kathryn Burton, visited the Cockayne Farmhouse. McFall and her colleagues brought with them a laser scanner which they used to scan 3D images of both the exterior of the farmhouse and the various rooms within the farmhouse.

Lara Pitrolo

Lara Pitrolo, visiting lecturer in Design Technology and Interior Design at WVU,
works with the WVU team scanning the rooms in the Cockayne farmhouse.

According to Dr. McFall, the University’s Design and Merchandising Department plans to use the scans in courses relating to historic structures. She pointed out three ways in which both the University and the Cockayne Farmstead Preservation Project will benefit from this effort. First, the scanned images will enable a significant number of students to utilize the resources of Cockayne Farmstead without the necessity of traveling from Morgantown. Second, the 3D scans will result in production of computer generated images of the structure’s floor plan, to a resolution of 1 millimeter. Finally, the 3D scanned images will also be provided to the Cockayne Farmstead as a resource for the Project’s website.

McFall noted that it is extremely unusual to find a Nineteenth Century house with its finishes and furnishings intact at the turn of the Twenty-first Century. In an additional effort to more completely document the Cockayne furnishings, Dr. Kathryn Burton supervised the collection of samples of the house’s wallpaper. The knowledge gained through this process will enable a more thorough and accurate restoration of the home’s interior.

The WVU team plans to return in November to create 3D images of the extensive collection of furniture and artifacts at the historic farmhouse.

Dr. McFall was the second faculty leader to visit the Cockayne Farmstead in the last several weeks. Dr. Larry Sypolt, who is the Senior Project Coordinator of the Cultural Resource Management program at WVU, toured the farmhouse in July and met with the project’s Program Director, Tom Tarowsky, to outline a mutually beneficial plan. Dr. Sypolt will bring his fall semester class in Museum Operations to tour the farmhouse, with development of a museum collection management plan as the focus of their activities.

wvu visit

Ron Dulaney and Ben Groover working with the 3D laser scanner.

Program Director Tarowsky’s goal has been to develop a program involving the Cockayne Farmstead as a teaching resource and tool at the elementary, high school and college levels. He’s pleased to note that WVU has recognized and is taking advantage of this unique teaching opportunity, and is looking forward to future collaboration.