While most people think of "graffiti" as a modern phenomenon, the impulse to mark buildings and public spaces is timeless and nearly universal. This presentation explores the frequent presence of historical graffiti in early American buildings, including The Woodlands, highlighting common types of graffiti, their social and cultural significance, and how they can enrich our understanding of historical places--and the people who interacted with them.
Michael Emmons is a doctoral candidate in Preservation Studies at the University of Delaware, and holds an MA in Historic Preservation (University of Delaware) and an MA in American History (University of Connecticut). His dissertation is an interdisciplinary study of historical graffiti, inscriptions, and other markings in early American buildings. Michael is an architectural historian at the University of Delaware’s Center for Historic Architecture and Design (CHAD), where his projects involve intensive field documentation of historic buildings, writing National Register nominations, and teaching courses in historic preservation for UD's graduate certificate in historic preservation.