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Building Conservation Associates

Camden High School

Location: Camden, New Jersey
Year Built: 1916-1918
Original Architect: Paul A. Davis III

The old Camden High School, built in 1916, was to be demolished and replaced by a new building. As the result of a pre-design Phase IA Archaeological Survey and Intensive-Level Historic Architectural Survey of the old Camden High School facility, the Schools Development Authority decided to salvage and re-use select architectural elements from the old high school in the new building.

As part of this effort, BCA was retained to document one terra cotta spire above the main entrance to the school. Documentation of the original spire included: field measurements; high-resolution photography; creation of architectural drawings in AutoCAD; and development of a numbering system keyed to drawings that would allow the spire to be accurately reassembled. The goal of the pre-demolition documentation was to create a guide that could be used to reinstall the spire, faithful to its original appearance, in the new high school. BCA also created a work plan for the salvage of the spire that included a step-by-step process for dismantling and temporarily storing the spire’s unit masonry.