Debora Rodrigues joined Worcester Eisenbrandt, Inc. (WEI) to start up and head the new conservation division, Architectural Preservation Services, LLC (APS). Prior to joining WEI, Ms. Rodrigues was the Preservation Manager/Senior Architectural Conservator for the Mission of San Juan Capistrano in Southern California. During her time at the mission, she supervised the work of staff conservators, archaeologists, construction crews, and contract workers on all preservation-related activities for the buildings, landscape, outdoor sculpture, and objects in the museum collection. Ms. Rodrigues also spent several years working for the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Historic Cities Support Programme in Cairo, Egypt, where she surveyed and assessed the historic Darb al-Ahmar District and made recommendations for its improvement, as part of the trust’s plan for revitalizing Islamic Cairo. Her work in Cairo included carrying out a material-condition survey and conservation treatments on a portion of the Ayyubid eastern city wall, which dates from the twelfth century. Ms. Rodrigues has worked on preservation projects for the National Park Service, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University (in Yemen), and several privately-owned conservation firms. She holds professional memberships with APT and AIC, and regularly attends national and international conferences, often presenting papers and publishing her work. Ms. Rodrigues holds three degrees from the University of Pennsylvania: a Bachelor of Arts in Design of the Environment, a Master of Science in Historic Preservation, and a post-graduate Advanced Certificate in Architectural Conservation.
Amy Hollis graduated summa cum laude from the Savannah College of Art & Design, with a Master of Fine Arts in Historic Preservation. She undertook her undergraduate studies at James Madison University, graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and a minor in Art and Architectural History. Prior to joining APS, Ms. Hollis managed the preservation of the forty late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century historic buildings within the Jekyll Island Club National Historic Landmark District, as well as the colonial Horton House site, and the Spanish-American War gun batteries. Her work for private conservation firms has included assessing and conserving the marble columns and cornice of the Merchants’ Exchange Building in Philadelphia, as well as documenting and managing the conservation of the iron and steel 5th New York Volunteer Infantry Memorial Gates in Manassas National Cemetery. In Savannah, Ms. Hollis assisted a master carpenter and painter in the restoration of historic homes throughout the city, participated in the conservation of the Roundhouse Railroad Museum and Old Fort Jackson, and performed historical research, structural assessment, and historic paint analysis of the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home.
Aliya Turner graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Science program in Historic Preservation, where she specialized in building pathology and material conservation. She also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the University of Georgia. Her graduate thesis involved original research on the penetration depth of borates in historic wooden structures in Virginia City, Montana. Between graduation and employment with APS, Ms. Turner completed several freelance projects, from surveying the heating and cooling systems of Frank Llloyd Wright’s Beth Sholom Temple in Philadelphia, to preserving multiple layers of decorative paint on the walls of the Rosario Chapel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Ms. Turner also completed a project for Stanford University, where she assisted in the design of a water-intrusion prevention system for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hanna House, located just outside of San Francisco. In Philadelphia, she performed a historic context study in some of the city’s industrial, working-class neighborhoods, as part of an evaluation by the Philadelphia Historical Commission to create a new historic district. Ms. Turner has presented her work on conservation studies at both national and international conferences.
David Davis has worked for WEI since graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute, College of Art (MICA). His strong background in painting and sculpting make him the ideal candidate for sensitive historic preservation projects, for which artistic technical skill and attention to detail are essential traits. Indeed, Mr. Davis has applied his technical talent to numerous projects, among them: MICA, his alma mater, for which he reinstated decorative details on a weathered and heavily deteriorated marble frieze. At Johns Hopkins University, Mr. Davis was instrumental in the conservation and restoration of Gilman Hall’s art-glass windows, working with a variety of materials, including wood, metal, stained glass, and painted and stained finishes. He is the recent recipient of the Building Congress & Exchange Craftsmanship Award for his work at Gilman Hall. Besides working as an artisan for APS/WEI, Mr. Davis spends his time creating artwork.
Matthew Hankins is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington’s Bachelor of Science in Historic Preservation and the North Bennet Street’s Restoration Carpentry programs. He joined Worcester Eisenbrandt, Inc. (WEI) after spending several years restoring historic homes in Maryland and Washington, DC. Mr. Hankins was also a restoration carpenter on the staff of Historic Richmond Town in Staten Island, New York. At WEI, he supervises a 10,000-square-foot restoration and mill shop, including lead abatement, glazing, and finishing operations, and also manages the metal fabrication and restoration shop. Mr. Hankins has worked on restoration projects dating from 1660 to the twentieth century, and has provided his knowledge and skills on several APS projects involving wood and metal components.
Hugh Bennett is a graduate of the Maryland Institute, College of Art, where he focused on painting, ceramics, and sculptural art. At WEI, Mr. Bennett is responsible for Exhibit Hues, which provides highly unique exhibitions, environments, and components. He brings over 15 years of experience as an exhibit specialist with the Smithsonian Institution at the Office of Exhibits Central, where he carried out exhibit services for the entire museum organization, including traveling exhibits. Prior to joining the Smithsonian Institution, Mr. Bennett spent several years working as a masonry specialist for WEI. In this capacity, he performed masonry repairs on sculptural architectural elements, including fabricating custom molds and free-hand sculpting of mortar to repair areas of stone loss. Mr. Bennett often lends his expertise to APS projects that involve decorative painted finishes and sculptural architectural elements.