Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Historical Park

A select group of architecture students enrolled in Professor Ibarra-Sevilla’s course, Graphic Documentation, embarked on a unique educational journey—a four-day field trip to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Historical Park (CHOH) in Maryland. Armed with sketchbooks, cameras, and laser measuring tools, they were entrusted with a mission to document five historic Lock Houses in the park. 

The group met with park officials and historians who provided them with a rich context about the area's history and the significance of the Lock Houses. The students then divided into teams, each assigned to document the buildings. They took measurements, sketched intricate details, and photographed every detail. Each student was absorbed in their work, knowing that their documentation would contribute valuable data for the preservation and understanding of these architectural gems. Additionally, the experience allowed them to apply the theories and techniques they had learned in the classroom in a real-world context.

For these UT Austin architecture students, the field trip to Maryland was much more than just an educational experience; it was an opportunity to contribute to the preservation of American history. Moreover, the hands-on nature of the project sharpened their practical skills, deepened their appreciation for historic preservation, and highlighted the societal role and responsibilities of an architect.

The four days they spent documenting the historic Lock Houses at the CHOH National Park became an educational experience rich in practical skills, teamwork, and a profound sense of purpose.


Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla