Historic Preservation

Historic preservation addresses change responsive to the historic environment. At a time when society increasingly realizes the historical and cultural value of that inherited environment and what has been lost through the destruction of buildings, landscapes, and communities, the field of historic preservation has become central to the design, adaptive use, planning, and management of buildings, cities, and regions. By understanding the time dimension in human culture, it identifies history as an integrated component of the continuous change responsible for the material, psychological, and symbolic qualities of our environment. The Graduate Program in Historic Preservation provides an integrated approach for architects, landscape architects, planners, historians, archaeologists, conservators, managers, and other professionals to understand, sustain, and transform the existing environment.

The identification and analysis of cultural places and their historic fabric, the determination of significance and value, and the design of appropriate conservation and management measures require special preparation in history, theory, documentation, technology, and planning. These subjects form the core of the program, which students build upon to define an area of emphasis including building conservation, site management, landscape preservation, preservation planning, and preservation design for those with a previous design degree.

Through coursework and dedicated studios and laboratories at the School of Design as well as through partnerships with other national and international institutions and agencies, students have unparalleled opportunities for study, internships, and sponsored research. Graduates can look toward careers focused on the design and preservation of the world's cultural heritage including buildings, engineering works, cultural landscapes, archaeological sites, and historic towns and cities.

Contact Information

Graduate Program in Historic Preservation 
115 Meyerson Hall
210 South 34th Street
Philadelphia PA 19104-6311

Frank Matero 
Chair and Professor

Randall Mason
Associate Professor

Aaron Wunsch
Assistant Professor

Francesca Ammon
Assistant Professor 

Pamela Hawkes
Professor of Practice

Nadine Beauharnois
Administrative Assistant

Amanda Bloomfield
Program Coordinator

Student Groups

The Penn Preservation Student Association (PPSA)

The Penn Preservation Student Association (PPSA) is a student-led organization that represents students in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, both within the program and in PennDesign. The goal of the PPSA is to advocate on behalf of students’ interests, meaningfully engage with faculty, and foster a sense of  community among students. It has three main focus areas: curriculum development and faculty relations; career and professional development; and social events and outreach. The PPSA will host a town hall meeting in the fall to gauge students’ opinions and concerns so that it may better represent those needs to faculty and administrators.

The PPSA consists of three elected representatives from each class year and strives to reflect the diversity of student’s interests and backgrounds. An election will be held in Fall 2018 to elect three new representatives from the HSPV Class of 2020. The current PPSA representatives for academic year 2018-2019 are: Margaret Back (Social Events and Outreach) mback@design.upenn.edu; Julia Cohen (Curriculum Development and Faculty Relations) coheju@design.upenn.edu; and Sarah Scott (Career and Professional Development) scottsam@design.upenn.edu.  Please feel free to reach out to them at any time!