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Michael Spencer - University of Mary Washington. Fredericksburg, VA, US

Michael Spencer Michael Spencer

Associate Professor and Director | University of Mary Washington

Fredericksburg, VA, UNITED STATES

Michael Spencer is the chair of the Historic Preservation department at the University of Mary Washington.



Michael Spencer serves as the Director of the Center for Historic Preservation. He is responsible for contract negotiation, budgeting, research design, and oversight of staff and facilities. Prof. Spencer is a preservationist with expertise in architectural conservation and building forensics. His research has focused on the use of nondestructive technologies to investigate and assess historic structures. Such technologies have included infrared thermography (IRT), resistance drilling, and micro-timing. Integration of scientific analysis and the increased understanding of historic trades has also been a focus of Prof. Spencer since coming to the University of Mary Washington in 2009. Currently, Prof. Spencer is involved with writing the UMW campus Preservation Plan and assisting the National Trust for Historic Preservation in developing plans for Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country.

Areas of Expertise (3)

Historic Preservation


Building Forensics

Education (2)

University of Kentucky: M.H.P., Historic Preservation

University of Mary Washington: B.A.

Media Appearances (10)

Town Talk/Historic Preservation (Fredericksburg Today)

Fredericksburg Today  online


Town Talk/Historic Preservation

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Michael Spencer Gallery Talk

Daily Press  online


Spencer’s talk will be focusing on Charles M. Robinson’s designs for institutions of higher education in Virginia.

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Gallery Talk with Michael Spencer

visitrichmondva.com  online


Gallery Talk with Michael Spencer (visitrichmondva.com) Spencer’s talk will be focusing on Charles M. Robinson’s designs for institutions of higher education in Virginia.

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WHM Speaker Series

The Free Lance-Star  online


October’s speaker will be Michael Spencer, Associate Professor with the Historic Preservation Department at the University of Mary Washington, and Washington Heritage Museums’ Board Chair. Mr. Spencer’s lecture is entitled “Dendrochronology: Using Tree Rings to Date the Mary Washington House.”

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Visitors get behind-the-scenes tour at Rising Sun Tavern

The Free Lance-Star  print


Tour participants had the same reaction when Michael Spencer, an associate professor at the University of Mary Washington and chairman of its Department of Historic Preservation, led them into the basement to show—and describe—the “summer beams” hand-hewn by craftsmen who built the 1760s structure.

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Virtual reality can enhance tours at local museums

The Free Lance-Star  print


Michael Spencer, an associate professor in the Department of Historic Preservation at the University of Mary Washington, and students in his computer applications class have developed a virtual reality tour of Mary’s attic.

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Moves, modifications leave traces on Fredericksburg's Alms House

The Free-Lance Star  print


The column of a long-ago front porch has left faint traces of where it once adorned the front of a two-story, frame house across from the University of Mary Washington. On a recent afternoon, the director of the University of Mary Washington’s Center for Historic Preservation pointed out what’s left of its outline on the siding next to the building’s front door. The paint is different there, a clue that the column’s back covered it for years....

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City Council approves Catholic Student Center parking expansion

The Free-Lance Star  print


City Council has reluctantly approved the Catholic Diocese of Arlington’s request for a special-use permit to expand parking for the Catholic Student Center across from the University of Mary Washington. Members weren’t happy that this means an 1877 house may have to be demolished....

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Fredericksburg to demolish building to expand library parking lot

The Free-Lance Star  print


A former halfway house next to the Central Rappahannock Regional Library headquarters in downtown Fredericksburg will be torn down next week to make way for additional parking for the library. Southern Environmental Services Inc. is removing asbestos from the building at 1208 Sophia St. Abby Construction is expected to take about a week to demolish the building once that’s done....

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Mary Washington House renovations shed new light on historic home

The Free-Lance Star  print


Michelle Hamilton was as excited as a child unwrapping presents as she sorted through the latest treasure trove of artifacts uncovered during renovations at the historic Mary Washington House in downtown Fredericksburg...

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