Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Digitally Preserved and Reconstructed Coffeehouse Now Complete!

This Friday, November 20th is the grand opening celebration for the newly reconstructed Charlton's Coffee House in Colonial Williamsburg. It is the only structure of its kind, an authentic 18th-century coffeehouse, in the United States.

You can read about the events planned for opening day here.

Direct Dimensions was lucky to be involved as part of the pre-construction team, utilizing our 3D technologies to help document the coffeehouse's 18th century foundation.

To learn more about how, keep reading.

Case Study: Digital Preservation of Revolutionary Coffeehouse
In the summer of 2008, Direct Dimensions visited Williamsburg, Virginia to document the condition of the existing remains of an original ‘coffee house’ that George Washington was known to frequent.

This particular coffee house, owned by Richard Charlton during the 1760's, was one of several that had flourished in the area due to their popularity in London and abroad. Coffee houses of that time were known for more than their coffee, tea, and chocolate served to the colonials - they also hosted informal and spirited intellectual conversation. This activity made Charlton's coffee house one of Williamsburg's political and business ‘hotspots’ of the time.

DDI worked with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation to laser capture what remains of the coffee house’s stone foundation. Of the original structure, only part of the brick foundation and some wooden fragments are still intact. We scanned the exposed foundation and the earthen floor with our Surphaser HSX spherical scanner.

This unique scanner captures extremely accurate and high resolution data over a medium-range (2-10 meters). The Surphaser is a non-contact laser scanner so none of the delicate centuries-old foundation was harmed during the data capture process.

The raw 3D ‘point cloud’ data gathered in Williamsburg was then digitally modeled back at the Direct Dimensions facility in Baltimore, Maryland. The final surface mesh model can be used to analyze the archaeological features found at the site.

Additional digital preservation projects:
Historic Site Scanning
Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers