Historic Preservation

Spruce Tree House, Mesa Verde National Park: Cortez, Colorado

Discovered in 1888, Spruce Tree House is one of the largest and best preserved alcove sites in Mesa Verde National Park. Containing over eighty rooms and seven kivas and open areas with very complete surface finishes with geometric embellishments, Spruce Tree House provides a remarkable window onto the region’s Ancestral Puebloan communities of the 13th century AD. Since 1999, in collaboration with the National Park Service, the The University of Pennsylvania’s Architectural Conservation Laboratory (ACL) has been implementing a conservation strategy based on the site’s high physical integrity and its prominent location.  Active research into documentation methodology has been paired with culturally sensitive conservation treatment techniques, as well as preventive preservation planning.

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