Historic Preservation

The Graduate Program in Historic Preservation is pleased to share this recent Penn News story on Kasey Diserens (MSHP’13). Kasey is now an anthropology Ph.D.

On a sunny morning in early May, our team of preservation students and faculty stepped off a train at Starcross station in Devon, England, and surveyed the expansive Exe estuary, where the River Exe meets the English Channel.

Using a syringe filled with a breathable, lime-based injection grout, Federico and his team filled the voids of Franklin’s marble grave marker. Photo by Rebecca Elias Abboud & Denise Henhoeffer.

Recently, two alumni of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at PennDesign led the restoration of Benjamin Franklin's grave marker at Christ Church Burial Ground.

Professor Matero in the field with students at Fort Union National Monument.

The Graduate Program in Historic Preservation is pleased to announce that Professor Frank Matero was this year's recipient of the Preservation Alliance for Grea

Nearly 300 Master’s and PhD degrees were presented on Monday afternoon under a sunlit tent on Meyerson Plaza at PennDesign’s 2017 Commencement Ceremony. Capping off a weekend’s worth of festivities that began on Friday with a reception for the Year End Show for design graduates, the ceremony was led by Dean and Paley Professor Fritz Steiner, who shared the podium with Dr. Mindy Fullilove, who gave the Commencement Address; alumnus and Overseer Mark Gardner (MArch’00), who congratulated gradates on behalf of the Board of Overseers; PennDesign Alumni Association President Stuart Mardeusz (MArch’95); and the department and graduate group chairs.
As cities across the U.S. rebound from the population loss and disinvestment of the 20th century, officials, institutions, designers and planners have begun to focus on renewing public assets with civic investments large and small. Under the Kenney administration, Philadelphia has gone all in on this strategy with a plan called Rebuild, meant to invest $500 million in public and foundation money in neighborhood parks, recreation centers and libraries. In March, PennPraxis released a report—funded by the William Penn Foundation, which is also a major investor in the Rebuild initiative—to help provide context for the challenges of the city’s undertaking with research on civic infrastructure and the work of other cities.

Among the most recent additions to the National Register of Historic Places is Mill-Rae, a house designed in 1890 by Philadelphia architect Minerva Parker Nichols.

Duomo di Pienza and fountain, taken from the Piazza Pio II. Photo: Arielle Harris

Over spring break, second year preservation students in Professor Randall Mason’s Pienza Seminar/Studio traveled to Tuscany, Italy for a week of fieldwork and site visits.

Historic preservation has existed as an active movement for over a century, and as a professional field for over 50 years. Within that time, concepts of heritage have evolved dramatically, expanding beyond the Neoclassical mansions of the Founding Fathers to include places such as vernacular neighborhoods, landscapes, and sites of memory. Yet, the basic principles of contemporary design in historic settings have not kept pace with the contexts and challenges facing preservationists, designers, regulators, property owners, and the general public. Last month, the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation convened the Design + Heritage Symposium to wrestle with these foundational principles and explore innovative strategies for thoughtful, creative design in historic contexts. The event was organized by Professor of Practice Pamela W. Hawkes and co-presented by the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation.

Photo: Architectural Conservation Lab

It’s not uncommon for Penn students to travel south, or west, with the onset of Spring.

Historic Preservation and Anthropology students and faculty. Photo credit: Clark Erickson.

During spring studio travel week, students from the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and the Department of Anthropology traveled to Fort Union National Monument in Mora County, New Mexico.

Penn Presidential Professor of Law and Education Wendell Pritchett, PennDesign alumna Prema Gupta (MSHP’05), Assistant Professor in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation Aaron Wunsch

On Instagram, there are something like 1,500 photographs tagged with the phrase “This Jawn Matters,” a twist on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “This Place Matters” campaign, customi