Historic Preservation

Fall 2015

Building Diagnostics and Monitoring
HSPV 516-001, Henry

Building diagnostics pertain to the determination of the nature of a building's condition or performance and the identification of the corresponding causative pathologies by a careful observation and investigation of its history, context and use, resulting in a formal opinion by the professional. Monitoring, a building diagnostic tool, is the consistent observation and recordation of a selected condition or attribute, by qualitative and/or quantitative measures over a period of time in order to generate useful information or data for analysis and presentation. Building diagnostics and monitoring allow the building professional to identify the causes and enabling factors of past or potential pathologies in a building and building systems, thus informing the development appropriate interventions or corrective measures. In the case of heritage buildings, the process informs the selection of interventions that satisfy the stewardship goals for the cultural resource.

American Architecture
HSPV 521-001, Holst

This course is a survey of architecture in the United States. The organization, while broadly chronological, emphasizes themes around which important scholarship has gathered. The central purpose is to acquaint you with major cultural, economic, technological, and environmental forces that have shaped buildings and settlements in North America for the last 400 years. To that end, we will study a mix of “high-style” and “vernacular” architectures while encouraging you to think critically about these categories. Throughout the semester, you will be asked to grapple with both the content of assigned readings (the subject) and the manner in which authors present their arguments (the method). Louis Sullivan, for instance, gives us the tall office building “artistically considered” while Carol Willis presents it as a financial and legal artifact. What do you make of the difference? Finally, you will learn how to describe buildings. While mastery of architectural vocabulary is a necessary part of that endeavor, it is only a starting point. Rich or “thick” description is more than accurate prose. It is integral to understanding the built environment – indeed, to seeing it at all.

American Building Technology
HSPV 540-001, Matero, 2nd half of the semester

Much architectural writing--from Vitruvius to Le Corbusier--has drawn analogous comparisons between buildings and the human body. Like the skeleton, skin, and internal metabolic systems of the human corpus, buildings are comprised of a structure, infrastructure, and outer surface which are all connected and through which liquids, gases and solids pass. Traditionally, form depended in large part on systems of construction and the selection and manipulation of individual materials. Understanding architecture’s materiality in terms of form and fabric, structure and skin, and mechanical systems is essential in understanding not only what a building is, but how it evolves over time. American Building Technology will be divided into two discreet six week modules conceived in succession and taught during the second half of the first semester and first half of the second semester respectively. Module 1: Building Anatomy will examine traditional construction methods through a typological analysis of construction systems. Module 2: Building Archaeology will address the morphological evolution of a structure and its physical setting, sometimes known as “above ground archaeology.” Since the physical fabric and its evidences of cultural alteration present one primary mode of inquiry, archaeological theory and method provide an excellent means to recover, read, and interpret material evidence, especially in association with documentary and archival sources. The course is intended to introduce students in Historic Preservation to the physical realities of built form and its analysis through careful observation and description.

Preservation through Public Policy
HSPV 572-001, Hollenberg

An exploration of the intersection between historic preservation, design, and public policy. That exploration is based on the recognition that a network of law and policy at the federal, state and local level has profound impact on the ability to manage cultural resources, and that the pieces of that network, while interconnecting, are not necessarily mutually supportive. The fundamental assumption of the course is that the preservation professional must understand the capabilities and deficiencies of this network in order to be effective. The course will look at a range of relevant and exemplary laws and policies existing at all levels of government, examining them through case studies and field exercises.

Documentation, Research, Recording 1
HSPV 600-001, Ammon

The goal of this class is to help students develop their understanding and utilization of materials that contextualize the history of buildings and sites. In order to gain first-hand exposure to the actual materials of building histories, we will visit a half-dozen key archival repositories. Students will work directly with historical evidence—both textual and graphic—and exercise their facility through projects. We will explore various forms of documentation, discussing each in terms of its nature, the motives for its creation, and some ways it might find effective use. Philadelphia is more our laboratory than a primary focus in terms of content, as the city is rich in institutions that hold over three centuries of such materials; students will find here both an exposure to primary documents of most of the types they might find elsewhere, as well as a sense of the culture of such institutions and of the kinds of research strategies that can be most effective.

Digital Media for Historic Preservation
HSPV 624-001/101, Hinchman

A required praxis course designed to introduce students to the techniques and application of digital media for visual and textual communication. Techniques will be discussed for preservation use including survey, documentation, relational databases, and digital imaging and modeling.

Contemporary Design in Historic Settings
HSPV 640-301, Hawkes

Thoughtful contemporary design can add value and meaning to historic settings of any scale. Rigorous dialogue with history and context enriches contemporary design. This seminar immerses students in the rewarding yet challenging realm of design with landmarks and existing structures. It will encourage participants to create their own models for design and preservation planning through discussion of source materials that illustrate the political, cultural and aesthetic environments that have shaped regulation and design with heritage throughout the past century. Sketch problems set in Philadelphia and analysis of case studies from around the world will enable students to critique and communicate a range of responses to landmarks and historic contexts, and to explore the roles of significance, physical and intangible conditions in shaping appropriate responses. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.

Advanced Conservation Science
HSPV 656-001/101, Vatankhah

Prerequisite(s): HSPV 555, Conservation Science or Permission of the Instructor. A methodological approach to the examination and analysis of historic building materials. Experimental design for conducting conservation research and statistical calculations and modeling of analytical data. Practical analytical techniques appropriate for conservation practice including: classical and instrumental analytical techniques for qualitative and quantitative analysis of organic and inorganic materials. Theoretical and practical applications of advanced surface analyses for both elemental and molecular/composition characterizations as well as application of nanotechnology and nanomaterials in conservation will be discussed. Students will also learn about deterioration processes and long term effects of conservation treatments through accelerated aging techniques. Course material will be taught through lectures, laboratory sessions, and practicing techniques on thesis samples, along with provided readings.

Theories of Historic Preservation
HSPV 660-301, Mason, 1st half of the semester

Theories of historic preservation serve as models for practice, integrating the humanistic, artistic, design, scientific and political understandings of the field. This course examines the historical evolution of historic preservation, reviews theoretical frameworks and issues, and explores current modes of practice. Emphasis is placed on literacy in the standard preservation works and critical assessment of common preservation concepts. In addition to readings and lectures, case studies from contemporary practice will form the basis for short assignments. Professional ethics are reviewed and debated. The instructor’s permission is required for any student not registered in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation. Note that the course is organized in two parts; the first half, on the basics of preservation theory, is taught in the fall semester while the second half takes place in the spring semester and engages advanced topics.

Historic Preservation Studio
HSPV 701-201, Mason / Wang / Hawkes

The studio is a practical course in planning architectural, urban and regional conservation interventions, bringing to bear the wide range of skills and ideas at play in the field of historic preservation. Recognizing that historical areas are complex entities where cultural and socio-economic realities, land use, building types, and the legal and institutional setting are all closely interrelated, the main focus of the studio is understanding the cultural significance of the built environment, and the relation of this significance to other economic, social, political and aesthetic values. Through the documentation and analysis of a selected study area, studio teams undertake planning exercises for an historical area, consult with communities and other stakeholders, carry out documentation and historical research, and create policies and projects. The studio seeks to demonstrate how, through careful evaluation of problems and potentials, preservation planning can respond to common conflicts between the conservation of cultural and architectural values and the pressure of social forces, economic interest, and politics. The studio focuses on a specific site in need of comprehensive preservation effort, most often in Philadelphia proper. Students work in teams as well as on individual projects. Consultation with local preservation and planning groups, community representatives, and faculty advisors informs research and analyze the study area, helping to define major preservation planning problems and opportunities, formulate policies, and propose preservation plans and actions.

Conservation Seminar: Wood/Masonry
HSPV 740-301, Ingraffia / Fearon

Module 1: Masonry – Roy Ingraffia This seminar will offer an in-depth study of the conservation of masonry buildings and monuments with a particular focus on American building stone. Technical and aesthetic issues will be discussed as they pertain to the understanding required for conservation practice. Part 1 will address a broad range of building stone, masonry construction technologies, and deterioration phenomenon; Part 2 will concentrate on conservation methodology as well as past and current approaches for the treatment of stone masonry structures. The subject will be examined through published literature and case studies. Students will gain practical experience through lab and field exercises and demonstrations. The subject matter is relevant to interested students of conservation and preservation, architecture, landscape architecture, architectural history, and archaeology. Module 2: Wood – Andrew Fearon Prior to the twentieth century, most structures found in the built environment relied upon wood as a primary material for both structural members and decorative features. An understanding of the physical properties as well as the historic application of this organic material provides the basis for formulating solutions for a wide spectrum of conservation issues. As the scope of preserving wooden structures and wooden architectural elements is continually broadened, new methods and technology available to the conservator together allow for an evolving program – one that is dependent upon both consistent review of treatments and more in depth study of craft traditions. This course seeks to illustrate and address material problems typically encountered by stewards of wooden cultural heritage – among them structural assessment, bio-deterioration, stabilization and replication techniques. Through a series of lectures and hands-on workshops given by representative professionals from the fields of wood science, conservation, entomology, engineering, and archaeology, theoretical and practical approaches to retaining wooden materials will be examined with the goal to inform the decision making process of future practicing professionals.

Conservation of Archaeological Sites
HSPV 747-401, Matero

This seminar will address the history, theories, and practice of the preservation and display of archaeological sites and landscapes. The course will draw from a wide range of published material and experiences representing both national and international contexts. Topics will include site and landscape documentation and recording; site formation and degradation; intervention strategies including interpretation, display, and exhibits; tourism and development, and legislation, policy, and contemporary issues of descendent community ownership. The course is organized as a seminar incorporating readings, lectures, and discussions focused on major themes. Readings have been selected to provide exposure to seminal works in the development of theory and method as well as current expressions of contemporary practice. Readings and discussions will be complemented by a field project: Fort Union National Historical Site in eastern New Mexico, the largest earthen ruin in North America. Participants will have the opportunity to review the history of the site and its preservation and display, evaluate current conditions, and make recommendations for intervention and interpretation. A funded site visit is planned during studio travel week, Oct 3-10. The course is open to all first and second year preservation students and all others interested in the conservation and management of archaeological sites.