Architectural Intern / Historic Preservation Technician

Website Heritage Documentation Programs National Park Service

Start Date: May 15th, 2023

End Date: August 4th, 2023

Compensation: $640 a week paid every two weeks. Travel costs to the site and back home are covered by the program. 

Application Due: February 6th, 2023

The Latino Heritage Internship Program seeks to engage ethnically and racially diverse young professionals in natural resource careers.

Must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident.

All interns must be fully vaccinated for covid-19 prior to the start of their internship.

Please Apply HERE

Position Description:

 The selected intern will work with a team of permanent HDP staff architects to produce measured drawing documentation of the Processing Center or other historic structure at the Rio Vista Farm in Socorro, Texas. Travel from Washington, DC, to El Paso and a per diem for five days to undertake the field work will be covered by the Historic American Buildings Survey.

The site, originally a 14-acre farm built in 1915 to shelter El Paso County’s indigents and orphans, became a processing center for more than 80,000 braceros per year. In 1942, the United States reached an agreement with Mexico to establish the Bracero Program, which brought Mexican workers known as braceros (“strong arms”) into the U.S. on a temporary basis to better domestic farm-labor shortages. From 1951-64 the site was associated with the Mexican Farm Labor Program, the “largest single temporary alien worker program” ever undertaken by the United States. The Braceros played a vitally important role in the nation’s agricultural economy in the postwar era, comprising nearly a quarter of US agricultural workers by 1959. The program greatly enhanced the profitability of the US agribusiness sector, providing a steady, reliable supply of highly-skilled farmworkers at relatively low wages and permitting expansion of certain crop sectors. In 2016 the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the site a National Treasure and has since provided financial support for the preservation and interpretation of the site. In 2019, the National Park Service made the site a National Historic Landmark. 

The internship will provide the student with marketable skills that will further their professional career in architecture, historic preservation, and technology. The position requires hand sketching and hand measuring in the field for the production of detailed, as-built, measured drawings of one or more of the historic buildings in AutoCAD. The architect intern will learn about various documentation methods including photogrammetry and terrestrial laser scanning including being introduced to several new software programs. The intern will produce standard two-dimensional architectural drawings (site plan, floor plan, building sections, details, etc.) with some work in three-dimensional modeling. The documentation produced will be transmitted to the HABS/HAER/HALS Collection in The Library of Congress, where it will be archived and made available to a world-wide audience online. The position is supervised by a permanent member of the Heritage Documentation Programs (HABS/HAER/HALS) staff.

Intern Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated leadership skills and experience
  • Strategic thinking ability
  • The ability to self-start/work independently
  • Flexibility/resourcefulness
  • The ability to adapt new skills and ideas to the public sector

Interns selected for the NPSCF Program should possess:

  • Proficiency in the use of computers and AutoCAD
  • Ability to work outdoors to conduct fieldwork
  • Basic knowledge of building construction, surveying methods, ability to create legible hand sketches/field notes
  • Working in a team environment
  • Detail oriented
  • Easily adapts to new software and hardware
  • Desire to learn

Physical/Natural Environment: Washington, DC is a large urban area with multiple opportunities for learning, exploring and discovery. Adams Morgan area of DC has a high concentration of Latinos.  As with any large urban area, care should be exercised when outside of the office. Public transportation is easy and plentiful in the DC Metro Area. The HABS/HAER/HALS office is in downtown Washington, DC – just a few blocks from the White House and Presidential Memorials. Washington is a large urban area with a diverse population. As the Nation’s capital, there are many international visitors to the city. The Washington DC area has multiple ethnic neighborhoods, parks and museums. The weather in the summer is hot and humid.

Work Environment: The first week of the internship will likely be in the field learning about the site and gathering measurements needed for producing measured drawings. The remainder of the internship will be in the Washington, DC office. The office is in a secure historic government building. There is a cafeteria, post office, bank, gym, dry cleaners, craft shop(s) and barber in the building. The attire in the office is casual. Clothing for working in the field (long pants, closed toe shoes, hat, sunscreen, etc.) will be needed.

To apply for this job email your details to

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