Historic Preservation

Spring 2023
HSPV Course Schedule as of 12-08-2022

Public History - Theory and Practice
Elective - HSPV 5340-001
Wunsch / Keim

This seminar is required for students wishing to concentrate on the Public History of the Built Environment while pursuing an MS in Historic Preservation. It builds on skills developed in HSPV 5210 (American Architecture), HSPV 6000 (Documentation), and HSPV 6060 (Site Management); only HSPV 6000 is a prerequisite. Unlike many public history courses, this one focuses on interpretation of the built environment. While proficiency in archival research is required, an understanding of form and chronology in American architecture is helpful. Fundamentally, this course is about community, memory, and their relationship to built form. As such, it examines oral history methodology and includes readings in sociology and ethnography. It acknowledges that while buildings and landscapes are in one sense simply larger forms of material culture than furniture or other movable objects, they also "work" differently by dint of being inhabited, occupied, and publicly encountered, forming de facto frameworks for private and public life. More than other courses, this one grapples with interpretation and dissemination- everything from signage and monuments to websites and exhibits. It is not, however, a tutorial in the use of those media so much as a chance to reflect critically on their strengths and weaknesses in different contexts.

Building Pathology
Elective - HSPV 5510-001
Henry

This course addresses the subject of deterioration of buildings, their materials, assemblies and systems, with the emphasis on the technical aspects of the mechanisms of deterioration and their enabling factors, material durability and longevity of assemblies. Details of construction and assemblies are analyzed relative to functional and performance characteristics. Lectures cover: concepts in durability; climate; psychrometric, soils & hydrologic; conditions; physics of moisture in buildings; enclosure, wall and roof systems; structural systems; and building services systems with attention to performance, deterioration, and approaches to evaluation of remedial interventions.

Documentation, Research, Recording II
Core First Year - HSPV 6010-001
Hinchman

Documentation, Research, Recording II. This course provides an introduction to the survey and recording of historic buildings and sites. Techniques of recording include traditional as well as digitally-based methods including field survey, measured drawings, photography and rectified photography. Emphasis is placed on the use of appropriate recording tools in the context of a thorough understanding of the historical significance, form and function of sites. Required for first-year MSHP students; others by permission.

Celebrations in the Contingent City
Elective - HSPV 6200-401
CROSS LISTED WITH LARP 7710-401
Milroy & Wunsch

This seminar will focus on the history of Philadelphia’s celebratory public landscape and its lingering impact on adjacent communities. Selected to host the 1876 Centennial Exhibition (in West Fairmount Park), Philadelphia was the first American city to dedicate a considerable amount of public parkland to an exhibition organized to celebrate American independence as well as to affirm private entrepreneurship and America’s growing importance in global capitalist markets. What was the long term impact of the Centennial on Philadelphia’s growth and development? This question is especially pertinent because while much of the landscape of the Centennial survives, as well as some exhibition buildings, it is in the neighborhoods adjacent to the exhibition site that we see the impact of the fair and its legacy on the city’s urban realities. Why did subsequent Philadelphia planners return repeatedly to West Fairmount Park as a space that was available and disposable – proposed for the 1926 Sesquicentennial, the United Nations and the Bicentennial in 1976? How did parkside neighborhoods change over the decades, and did development plans take into account these changing conditions?

Students will conduct archival, documentary, site-based, and other kinds of research to analyze the origins, course, and consequences of these celebratory sites, in particular their impact on the development of adjacent residential neighborhoods as well as on the management and interpretation of public landscapes and institutions. In addition to discussing readings in history, art history, cultural landscapes, historic preservation, sociology, and material culture, students will design and conduct original research projects that may involve:

  • The exploration of a particular landscape feature, building, or object.
  • Archival research involving the planning, implementation and impact of Philadelphia’s world’s fairs
  • Archival research about architecture, urban planning and real estate development, civic culture or historical commemoration.

Heritage and Social Justice
Elective - HSPV 6210-301
Leggs & Mason

This course will explore connections between heritage, historic preservation (and related design, planning and artistic practices) and the pursuit of social justice. How do historic preservation and other design and humanities professionals contribute to more equitable and just societies? How can our work be organized to result in greater equity, access and social justice?

The course will focus on conceptual and theoretical work (how we think about built heritage and social change; how we conceptualize social justice) and practical examples of advancing social outcomes through preservation and design (how social justice concerns reorganize projects, practices, and organizations).

We'll draw on work by: designers; historians; public intellectuals; geographers, anthropologists and other social scientists; heritage organizations; artists; entrepreneurs; and more. Subjects will include traditional preservation, reparative practices, creative placemaking, public art, memorialization, and organizational-managerial social innovation. Cases will be drawn from the US and abroad.

The course will progress through a series of weekly topics, often including guest practitioners and scholars. Students will have significant agency in helping flesh out the topics and cases; final projects (individual and group) will be envisioned as a statement (in the form of an exhibition or publication) of how social justice concerns have reshaped practice and how they could reshape our fields in the future.

Preservation Economics
Elective - HSPV 6250-001
Rypkema

The primary objective is to prepare the student, as a practicing preservationist, to understand the language of the development community, to make the case through feasibility analysis why a preservation project should be undertaken, and to be able to quantify the need for public/non-profit intervention in the development process. A second objective is to acquaint the student with the measurements of the economic impact of historic preservation and to critically evaluate "economic hardship" claims made to regulatory bodies by private owners.

Digital Media for Historic Preservation II
Core First Year - HSPV 6270-001 (Lecture) & 101 (Lab)
Hinchman

A required praxis course designed for students to further explore the techniques and applications 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.

Must enroll in both lecture and lab sections HSPV 6270-001 and HSPV 6270-101.

Photography and the City
Elective - HSPV 6380-401
CROSS LISTED WITH CPLN 6870-401
Ammon

This seminar explores the intersecting social and cultural histories of photography and the urban and suburban built environment. No prior background in photography is necessary. Since its inception in 1839, photography has provided a critical means for representing urban space. The medium has helped to celebrate the great structures of the industrial city, reform cities from the Progressive Era through urban renewal, critique expanding postwar suburbs, and document change in the post-industrial and post-disaster city. In all of these ways, the photograph has been both a reflection of the city and an agent of its transformation. Our subjects each week will include individual images and larger photographic archives. We will discuss not only the creation of these images, but also their application in design and planning discourse. Although technical training in photography is not expected, students will have a chance to construct a photo-essay of their own. Through our investigations, we will collectively explore how photography's dual documentary and aesthetic properties have shaped the city—physically, socially, and culturally.

Theories of Historic Preservation II
Core First Year - HSPV 6610-301 
Mason

Theories of historic preservation serve as models for practice, integrating the humanistic, artistic, design, scientific and political understandings of the field. HSPV 6610 builds on HSPV 6600, which examines the historical evolution of historic preservation, reviews theoretical frameworks and issues, and explores current modes of practice. HSPV 6610 engages advanced topics such as cultural landscape theory, economics of preservation, sustainability and environmental conservation, social justice, and urban design. In addition to readings and lectures, case studies from contemporary practice will be used to examine theories in practice. Students from outside the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation are welcome; instructor's permission is required for any non-HSPV student. (Note that the course is the second of two parts; the first half, on the basics of preservation theory is taught in the fall semester.)

Thesis II
Core Second Year - HSPV 7110-001
Fong

The Historic Preservation's Thesis course is a two semester 2 CU capstone required of all MSHP candidates. The goal of the individual 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 7100/Thesis I in the fall semester and pending successful completion, continues in the spring with HSPV 7110/Thesis II. Students are required to successfully complete 9-10 CUs (the first year of the curriculum before beginning the Thesis process. Dual degree students are required to enroll in HSPV 7100 only before undertaking thesis studio in their respective dual program in their final year. Thesis II follows Thesis I with a focus on writing and developing the research methods explored in Thesis I. During Thesis II, students work with their individual academic advisors and come together periodically to present their progress and participate in advanced workshops on publishing and publication, peer-review, and specific methods related to each concentration.

Successful completion of HSPV 7100 Thesis I is required to enroll.

Capstone Studio: Materials + Materialities
Core Second Year - HSPV 7210-001
Matero & Matteini

This Capstone Studio will focus on the materials and materialities of Taliesin West considering the role of material selection and combination in the design and construction methods, environment, and subsequent alterations in Wright’s design and its performance and resilience over time. Students will consult Wright’s writings on the nature of materials - his attitudes and deployment of stone, concrete and wood through his drawings; investigate and record the many ‘typologies of desert masonry on site as it evolved over the years as built by Taliesin students; study the deployment of wood and canvas for his ephemeral roofing; and finally consider overall building performance and deterioration and appropriate conservation interventions and maintenance.

Permission Needed from Department to enroll.

Capstone Studio: Rethinking Public Space in Philadelphia
Core Second Year - HSPV 7210-002 
CROSS LISTED WITH CPLN 7040-002
Hahn

This capstone studio will explore new preservation possibilities for historic public spaces in Philadelphia, challenging existing building-centric designation and regulatory frameworks to develop forms of preservation appropriate for a set of active, public facilities. It will examine a network of public spaces, intersecting local public policies, and practices of use, in response to ongoing efforts to reinvest in Philadelphia’s aging civic infrastructure and calls for more honest and just representation of history in the public realm. Students will be encouraged to study the daily life of study sites, learning from the lived experience of site users and staff (past and present) to develop recommendations for incorporating aspects of historic and contemporary cultural significance into site adaptation, management, and care. Students will explore public history and community engagement opportunities embedded within public space projects at study sites, developed through oral history, ethnography, archival research, and physical survey.

This studio dovetails with initiatives currently underway in Philadelphia, including a pilot effort to survey sites of cultural significance and the Kenney administration’s Rebuild initiative to repair and revitalize aging parks, recreation centers, and libraries with an emphasis on community-engaged design and equitable workforce development. It will also build upon the recent Civic Infrastructure research by PennPraxis, and the Reimagining the Civic Commons projects jointly funded by the Knight and William Penn foundations.

Permission Needed from Department to enroll. Can be taken for 1 CU. 

Conservation Seminar: Wood
Elective - HSPV 7380-301
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 conversation 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.