3-D Scanning a National Treasure - Mid-Pacific Institute

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3-D Scanning a National Treasure

Posted on May 12, 2015 by Scot Allen

The Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium -- built to honor the 10,000 Hawaii citizens who served in the First World War -- has now been digitally scanned by Oakland-based nonprofit CyArk in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Joining this process were teachers from the Mid-Pacific Institute, an innovative K-12 school on Oahu whose unique and advanced curricular offerings draw from the arts, humanities and technology.
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"We are excited to partner with CyArk to bring this technology to the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium. There is no comparable structure that exists in the United States and we appreciate the opportunity to capture it digitally," said Brian Turner, senior field officer and attorney for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "We plan to make the scans publically available to bring the Natatorium, a remarkable and threatened site, to life for all who want to experience this important place no matter where they are in the world."

The Natatorium, designated by the National Trust as a National Treasure in 2014, is a one-of-a-kind historic resource. Designed by nationally-known architect Lewis Hobart and virtually unaltered in appearance since 1927, the Natatorium includes an ocean-fed pool twice the size of an Olympic swimming pool. CyArk and Mid-Pacific have used laser scanning, digital modeling and other state-of-the-art technologies to document the Natatorium above the water line. The process, known as Digital Preservation, is used for cultural resource management, condition assessment, conservation, restoration, reconstruction, structural analysis, interpretation, education, and cultural tourism.

"CyArk is proud to join with the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the important job of preserving this unique Monument inspired by Hawaii's history. I am thrilled that this National Treasure will inaugurate our partnership with the National Trust, and we look forward to future collaborative projects," said Elizabeth Lee, Vice President of CyArk.

The resulting data will contribute to ongoing research, conservation, and interpretation of the site. The data will also be eligible for nomination to the CyArk 500 Challenge, an international initiative to digitally preserve 500 at-risk cultural heritage sites over the course of five years.

In addition to making the digital imaging of the Natatorium available to the public, the National Trust will use the 3D representations to inform preservation planning for the site.