Historic Preservation

The material legacy of humankind is our common heritage; it contributes to the identity and inspiration for all humanity.  Protecting and preserving cultural heritage is a core value of all civilized societies, including our own.  Armed conflict, looting, uncontrolled development, and climate change are already taking a toll on this legacy.  As a nation and leader of the free world, we should be working to enhance the protections and safeguarding of world heritage, not threatening destruction.  This has been the wisdom of all civilized nations as set down in these doctrines and advocated by the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design.

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 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
Associate Professor

Francesca Russello Ammon
Associate Professor 

Pamela Hawkes
Professor of Practice

Amanda Bloomfield
Assistant Director for Administration

Micah Dornfeld
Administrative Assistant

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 at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design. The purpose of the PPSA is to advocate on behalf of students’ interests, meaningfully engage with faculty, and foster a sense of community among students. It does this by holding regular meetings, bringing speakers to campus, and organizing events. The PPSA also strives to represent students' opinions and concerns to faculty and administrators through regular communication. It has three main focus areas: curriculum development and faculty relations; career planning and professional development; and social events and outreach.

The PPSA consists of three elected representatives from each class year and strives to reflect the diversity of student’s interests and backgrounds. The current PPSA representatives for academic year 2019-2020 are: Xue Fei Lin (MSHP‘20), Amanda Stevens (MCP/MSHP‘20), Maggie Sollmann (MSHP‘20), Meris Westberg (MSHP'21), Başak Şıklar (MSHP'21), and Julia Marchetti (MCP/MSHP'21)

.  Members of the PPSA can be reached at penndesignppsa@design.upenn.edu.  Please feel free to reach out to them at any time!