Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:
Torres, Joseph C. (2011). Resurrecting Saint Louis No. 1 Cemetery: Integrating Archival and Field Research with Digital Tools to Spatially Analyze, Map, and Reinterpret Site Evolution and Morphology. (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


This design thesis is a synthesis of two issues. Without the accuracy and assured quality if the first issue, the second one would have no value. The first issue is the culmination of rich historical material and analysis demonstrated at St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 in New Orleans (St. Louis 1). The second issue is the availability contemporary developments in how society collects, manages, and disseminates information, and how the internet has been a principal component in facilitating each element of managing information. This thesis utilizes St. Louis 1 as a platform to assess how managing and distributing information on the internet can influence and inform the field of historic preservation. Although any historical site could have been assessed, given the time frame of this thesis, few sites offered as complete and vast an archive of visual documents as St. Louis 1. These documents depict change, provide a wealth of existing information to perform additional analyses, and offer the potential to visually recreate and disseminate information over time.

The intent of the thesis is to use this existing data from earlier assessment of St. Louis 1, and to assess the process of collection, management, and dissemination of that data. While these three concepts of collection, management, and dissemination are critical, the most significant to the historic preservation field is that of dissemination. Without high quality dissemination that’s easy to navigate, collected data will most often, fall by the wayside, becoming irrelevant. By incorporating digitalized archival visuals (e.g., photographs, paintings), and prior assessments from 2001 and 2010, with analytical findings brought about by the use of ArcGIS, in a digitally based delivery system, the hope is that a new site experience for the cemetery can be created that will ultimately reach a broader audience, and produce, for casual users and trained researchers alike new insight for St. Louis 1 through contemporary media.



Date Posted: 04 May 2012