27 Jun From P.R to D.C
Hi, My name is Alexander Esparolini Hernández. I am a Latino Heritage Internship Program intern with the National Park Service’s Historic American Building Landscape Survey Program (HALS) Born and raised at the island of enchantment, Puerto Rico. I’m a rising Senior Architecture Student/College Tennis Player at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. On this Fall 2016, i’ll enter my last year at school, with the intentions to raise awareness among people about the importance of Architectural Preservation through my thesis project. This interest for preservation began at Sophomore year in an 1 month abroad course to Spain. What left me breathless and expanded perspective of preservation was the Herzog & De Meuron’s adaptive reuse design at Caixa Forum at Madrid. It impressed me how they managed to keep all the historic brick facade, the structural effort that makes the illusion that the building is floating and redesign all the interior with contemporary materials. No much later that year I participated on H.A.B.S, Charles E. Peterson Prize Measured Drawing Student Competition, the goal of this competition was to document a Historic building, by drawing, measuring and learn about its history, where my colleagues and I won the First Place. By winning this prize we went to the NPS Heritage Documentation Offices (HABS, HALS & HAER) where I first heard about the internship program. A year later I applied to the opportunity of being part of the Documentation Team and today i’m part of the Historic Amercian Landscape Survey.
The plan for the HALS Division is to document all the American Battle Monuments Commission’s World War I cemeteries. That so far they have been able to document Flander Field American Cemetery and Memorial Waregem, Belgium and Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France. Here is an Fly-Through of Flanders Field Cemetery.
At my first day of the job, I was assigned to document the Aisne Marne Cemetery, located about 50 miles northeast of Paris near the French village of Belleau. In this beautiful landscape, nearly 2,300 Americans came to their final rest. The cemetery sits at the foot of the hill on which stands Belleau Wood – where many brave marines buried here lost their lives in desperate fighting. The cemetery chapel is an example of French Romanesque architecture. It was erected over front line trenches dug by the American 2nd Division