This past summer 2016, members of PVAMU School of Architecture volunteered time to 3D laser scan and document accurate field measurements of eight (8) Slave Cabins located on the former Magnolia Plantation at the request of the Natchitoches National Center for Preservation Technology, 645 University Parkway, LA 71457. The eight historic slave cabins are located at the Cane River Creole National State Park, 400 Rapids Drive, Natchitoches, LA 71457.
The Magnolia Plantation was originally acquired by Jean Baptiste LeComte I in 1753 and has since remained within the LeComte/Hertzog family for more than 250 years. Approximately seventy-five African slaves lived and worked on the Magnolia plantation. There were 24 original cabins built by African slaves, placed in rows, there are now only 7.5 cabins that remain. One cabin was partially destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008. All eight cabins exist in situ and are in relatively good condition. The existing brick is now visibly disintegrating.
The finished drawings we propose to reconstruct will be of a technical quality and studied for accuracy and period authenticity. Our primary goal is to secure time and resources to redraw and reconstruct all eight cabins to their original form. To include reconstruction drawings of the accurate 18th c. vernacular roof construction and rafters which are no longer visible. We will also attempt to provide information how to preserve the brick that is rapidly dissolving in the humidity and seasonal wear.
To complete this historic reconstruction will require ample research to study 18 an 19th century slave cabin constructions in the South, created by the French, Creole, Spanish, and Anglos of this region. Our librarian University Librarian is skilled in all matters of particular research and is an excellent collaborator with faculty and student. Each semester Our Librarian staff provide instructional demonstrations to our students to assist them in conducting their individual research.
This project reconstruction will be a comprehensive endeavor to record of all 8 cabins. The historic nature of this work will allow our students, faculty, and librarian to work together and create an information repository of finalized reconstruction drawings and data for historic purposes and for the Cane River Creole National park records to be dispensed to visitors. Also to contribute to the National Register of Historic Places.
Finally, students will be directly involved with Faculty and the Research Librarian in this research to create and the architectural drawing component and to achieve the reconstructive authenticity and accuracy representative of this period and region. This reconstruction will be developed and presented as a major resource for the students, faculty and the local Cane River Valley Heritage and State park visitors to enjoy, imagine and learn continually. The collection of knowledge will provide a significant learning experience in digital architecture, 3D laser scanning instruction and sequence for future instruction and made available as a document to enhance incentive and information for students faculty and librarians to conduct future 3D laser documentation and reconstruction projects.