Historic Preservation

Message from the Chair

Over the past few years, the Historic Preservation Program and Ukrainian colleagues from the Lviv Polytechnic National University, brought together by our colleague Myron Stachiw, joined together to share our expertise, students, and faculty focused on the conservation of Ukraine’s remarkable legacy of painted wooden churches. Until recently, we were making plans this summer to see each other to finally realize a joint workshop and field project in the making for several years. Now we find ourselves thinking only about our friends and colleagues that are in danger at this moment, yet in spite of these dangers, they continue to write us to share updates on the state of Ukraine’s historic buildings and sites and plans to meet in the future.

As academics and professionals we work in many countries to support the global concept of heritage and we believe wholeheartedly in its role in international dialogue and in peace. We stand in solidarity with all who are defying and protesting against this war, and we strongly condemn the violence.

—Frank Matero, Chair, Graduate Program in Historic Preservation

Below is the most recent statement from ICOMOS on Ukraine:

Paris, 24 February 2022

ICOMOS deplores the lives already lost and threatened by the deterioration of the situation in the Ukrainian territory. ICOMOS also fears that serious threats weigh on Ukraine’s heritage. As one of the foremost organisations in the heritage field and Advisory Body to the World Heritage Committee, it reminds all involved of the extreme fragility of the cultural heritage during armed conflict, even to unintentional damage, and the commitments of care they have made under the UNESCO Cultural Conventions – in particular the 1954 Hague Convention and its two Protocols, the 1972 World Heritage Convention and the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage – and their absolute duty to do everything in their power to preserve all heritage, in all its components and layers, from damage. ICOMOS is at the disposal of its colleagues and the authorities in Ukraine for any support or advice it may be able to give in safeguarding cultural heritage or risk preparedness measures.


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 University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman 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 Us

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

Frank Matero
Chair, the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation

Micah Dornfeld
Department Coordinator 

Laney Myers
Administrative Assistant

Full Historic Preservation Faculty Directory

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