Historic POW Camps in California

 

Challenges

  • Historic building—one of the few intact architectural representations of WWII POW internment camps remaining in California—needs evaluation and interpretation to support preservation efforts of this unique structure.
  • The 10-cell solitary confinement structure is filled with paintings, drawings, and etchings that include musical compositions, accounting , self-portraits, war propaganda, love letters, personal reflections, and notes.
  • The structure and its art works are deteriorating quickly due to exposure to the elements, pest infestations, and vandalism.

Solutions

  • Re-evaluated and re-documented the structure using high-quality, digital, still photography and 360° digital photographs that captured intricate details of the individual cells.
  • Researched and recovered records related to the cell block and activities of POWs who were housed there.  
  • Conducted interviews with site visitors, Department of Defense personnel, and community members to better understand the context and meaning of the structure to a range of interested stakeholders.
  • Generated California DPR site forms and a technical report for use in nomination of the cell block to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and for management and preservation of the structure by the U.S. Air Force.

 

all images © Anthrographic