Historic American Building Survey - Washington, DC




Historic American Building Survey (HABS) Architects measure buildings, landscapes, industrial structures, sites, and objects, including floating vessels, and produce existing-conditions drawings in Computer-aided Design (CAD), including drawings that interpret and explain industrial processes and engineering works. The position requires hand sketching and hand measuring in the field and the production of detailed, as-built, measured drawings of historic sites and structures in AutoCAD.

An exact documentation project for summer 2018  has not yet been selected but possible site locations include Washington, DC; Manhattan, New York; and Sitka, Alaska. Travel and per diem to/from a project site outside of Washington, DC would be covered by the National Park Service through a reimbursement of covered expenses.

Learn what previous interns worked on when they spent their summer with us at:












  • Applicants should have completed at least three years in an accredited program of architecture or pursuing a degree / certificate in Historic Preservation.
  • Course work in an accredited design major or technical/computer-aided drafting is strongly recommended (e.g. Architecture, Architectural History, Historic Preservation).
  • Work samples may be requested prior to placement (e.g. freehand pencil sketches, drawings produced in AutoCAD 2015 or later version, etc.).
  • Applicants should possess the following three skills: hand lettering, freehand sketching, and precision computer-aided drafting.
  • Experience in producing field measurements and measured drawing is recommended, but not required.  
  • Experience with using AutoCAD or other CAD software is strongly recommended.

About the work environment:

  • The LHIP participant will work with several others student architects and historians who are hired as Federal employees and will be spending the summer in Washington, DC working on a variety of documentation projects, providing many opportunities for networking, cultural exchange, and learning
  • The majority of the internship will occur in a professional office environment between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.
  • Occasional site visits outside of the office environment will occur where appropriate clothing and footwear are necessary.
  • There may be the opportunity of overnight stays with a measuring team while conducting fieldwork.
  • The office building is accessible to those with physical disabilities, however, some site visit locations being documented may not be accessible.


About Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS):  

Heritage Documentation Programs administers HABS (Historic American Buildings Survey), the Federal Government's oldest preservation program, and companion programs HAER (Historic American Engineering Record), and HALS (Historic American Landscapes Survey). Documentation produced through the programs constitutes the nation's largest archive of historic architectural, engineering, and landscape documentation.The office staff consists of architects, historians and landscape architects. Documentation consists of measured and interpretative drawings, written historical reports and large-format photographs. The documentation produced by HABS/HAER/HALS is archived in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress, which makes the documentation available to a worldwide audience on their website.

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