This course is a survey of architecture in the United States. The organization, while broadly chronological, emphasizes themes around which important scholarship hos 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 "highstyle" 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 port 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.
Building Diagnostics and Monitoring
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. In the case of recently constructed buildings, the process informs the identification of envelope and systems interventions for improved performance and energy efficiency.
This course presents the basic principles of conservation science of architectural materials and serves as the foundation for subsequent conservation courses such as HSPV738 – Wood, HSPV739 – Masonry, and HSPV740 – Architectural Surface Finishes, as well as, related courses such as HSPV551 – Building Pathology and HSPV552 – Building Diagnostics and Monitoring. The format includes lectures, demonstrations, and laboratories and is designed to provide a fundamental understanding of architectural materials with respect to their composition, properties, and performance.
Beginning with a general discussion of mechanical properties such as strength, modulus, toughness, creep, and fatigue of all architectural materials, the course moves to porous building materials such as stone, brick, terra cotta, mud brick, concrete, cast stone, and mortar and focuses on the evaluation of their properties and their identification through an exploration of composition and texture using hand specimens and polarizing light microscopy. Rounding out the discussion of inorganic architectural materials is the examination of the unique set of properties of metals including their identification using methods of elemental analysis.
The course then shifts to the important organic architectural materials such as wood and finishes and begins with an overview of basic organic chemistry and follows with a more in-depth exploration of the properties and performance of wood, adhesives, and clear finishes for wood; the chemistry of pigments and paint media; and the identification of pigments, paint media, and clear finishes using several analytical methods. Knowledge of basic college level chemistry is required.
Preservation Through Public Policy
This course explores the intersection between historic preservation, design and public policy, as it exists and as it is evolving. That exploration is based on the recognition that a challenging and challenged network of law and policy at the federal, state and local level has direct and profound impact on the ability to manage cultural resources, and that the pieces of that network, while interconnected, are not necessarily mutually supportive. The fundamental assumption of the course is that the preservation professional must understand the capabilities, deficiencies, and ongoing evolution 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 in-depth analyses of pertinent programs and agencies at the local, state and federal level.
Documentation, Research, Recording I
Ammon & Fong
The goal of this course is to help students learn to 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, including maps, deeds, the census, city directories, insurance surveys, photographs, and many other kinds of archival materials. After discussing each type of document in terms of its nature and the motives for its creation, students will complete a series of projects that develop their facility for putting these materials to 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. The final project is the completion of an historic register nomination.
Theories of Historic Preservation (First Half of The Semester Only)
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 (HSPV660) while the second half (HSPV661) takes place in the spring semester and engages advanced topics. Note: This course continues in the second half of the spring semester for another 0.5 CU.
Digital Media for Historic Preservation I (Second Half of The Semester Only)
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
Contemporary design can add value and meaning to historic settings of any age or scale, from individual landmarks to landscapes and neighborhoods. Rigorous dialogue with history and context enriches contemporary design. This seminar immerses designers, planners and preservationists in the challenges of design with existing structures and sites of varying size and significance. Readings of source materials, lectures and discussions explore how design and preservation theory, physical and intangible conditions, and time have shaped design response, as well as the political, cultural and aesthetic environments that influence regulation. Through sketch analytical exercises set in Philadelphia and outstanding case studies from around the world, students will learn to communicate their understanding of historic places, to critique and generate a range of responses to historic contexts. No prerequisites.
Historic Preservation Studio
Mason & Hawkes
The Preservation Studio is a practical course making architectural, urban and landscape conservation operations, bringing to bear the wide range of skills and ideas at play in the field of historic preservation. As part of the core MSHP curriculum the Studio experience builds on professional skills learned in the first-year core. The work requires intense collaboration as well as individual projects.
The Preservation Studio centers on common conflicts between historic preservation, social forces, economic interests, and politics. Recognizing that heritage sites are complex entities where communities, cultural and socio-economic realities, land use, building types, and legal and institutional settings are all closely interrelated, the main goals of the studio are (1) understanding and communicating the cultural significance of the built environment, (2) analyzing its relation to other economic, social, political and aesthetic values, and (3) exploring the creative possibilities for design, conservation and interpretation prompted by cultural significance.
Studio teams undertake documentation, planning and design exercises for heritage sites and their communities, working variously on research, stakeholder consultation, comparables analysis, writing policies and designing solutions. Students work in teams as well as on individual projects. Study sites in Fall 2020 are expected to be located in both Philadelphia and Detroit.
Conservation Seminar: Masonry
Pre-requisite: HSPV 555 Conservation Science and permission needed from department.
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.
Thesis Workshop I
The Graduate Program in Historic Preservation’s Thesis course is a two semester 2 CU capstone. The goal of the Thesis is demonstrated mastery of the research process by exploring a question of academic/professional relevance to the preservation field and presenting the results of the study in accordance with the highest standards of scholarly publishing. The Thesis spans the academic year, beginning with HSPV 710/Thesis I in the fall semester and continues in the spring with HSPV 711/Thesis II. Students are required to successfully complete 9-10 CUs (the first year of the curriculum) to qualify for Thesis. Dual degree students are expected to enroll in HSPV 710 before undertaking thesis studio in their respective dual program in their final year.
American Domestic Interiors
This course will examine the American domestic interior from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries with emphasis on the cultural, economic, and technological forces that determined the decoration and furnishing of the American home. Topics covered include the evolution of floor plans; changes in finish details and hardware; the decorative arts; floor, wall, and window treatments; and developments in lighting, heating, plumbing, food preparation and service, as well as communication and home entertainment technologies. In addition to identifying period forms and materials, the course will offer special emphasis on historic finishes. The final project will involve re-creation of a historic interior based on in-depth documentary household inventory analysis, archival research, and study. Students will create a believable house interior and practice making design and furnishing choices based on evidence. Several class periods will be devoted to off-site field trips.