Historic Preservation

Photo: Billy Fleming

In a recent Houston Chronicle opinion editorial, Billy Fleming (PhD'17) and Katie Randall (MSHP'19, MCP'19) argue that climate change is an immediat

Plaza de los Herreros. Photo Source: Dorcas Corchado

Surrounded by four rivers in the Andes Mountains in southern Ecuador lies the World Heritage city of Cuenca. Spanish Colonial and Republican era architecture line the streets of its historic center, dotted with archeological remains of the Cañari and Inca civilizations. It is here, within walking distance of the route that once connected these three cultures, that our team stayed during our week-long studio travel. The opportunity came as part of a collaboration between the Historic Preservation Program and the Ecuadorian Ministry of Housing and Development (MIDUVI), presented in the course on Urban Regeneration in the Americas: Conservation and Development of Urban Historic Sites (HSPV 703-301) led by Professor Eduardo Rojas.

Students listen to an interpretive presentation by park staff in order to better understand the site’s complex history.

Wedged between the edge of the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains lies the formidable ruins of Fort Union National Monument. A seemingly endless highway whose sole purpose is to connect the fort to the greater world brings visitors to the site, and long before arrival at the park, the adobe ruins appear on the horizon. At this moment it was easy to picture ourselves as setters arriving at the fort along the Santa Fe Trail. Northern New Mexico is a landscape unlike any other and it is certainly a world apart from the urban hustle and bustle of Philadelphia. This year, graduate students from PennDesign’s landscape architecture and historic preservation programs, enrolled in HSPV 747-401 Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites & Landscapes with faculty Frank Matero (HSPV) and Clark Erickson (ANTH), once again took on the complex and layered site of Fort Union National Monument, the third and last year of a multi-year project. 

Low-rise lilong houses in the shadow of newer high rises.

Historic Preservation Lecturer Donovan Rypkema was recently interviewed by the South China Morning Post on the economics of heritage conservation in Shanghai, China.

PennDesign will offer a Master of Science in Design with a concentration in Historic Preservation beginning Fall 2018, increasing the roster of degrees offered by the School to 12. Developed to meet the needs of practicing design professionals seeking post-professional training, specialization, or a career change, the one-year MSD-HP complements the two-year Master of Science in Historic Preservation, which serves students entering preservation from an allied field (e.g., history, art history, and archaeology) and those with undergraduate training in design or planning but little professional experience.

Mount Pisgah African Methodist Episcopal Church, at 432 North 41st Street

A legacy of William Penn’s “Holy Experiment,” which fostered religious freedom in the colony of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia’s historic sacred places have been centers of city life for centuries. They comprise a priceless and irreplaceable architectural and social legacy, particularly for immigrants and African-Americans. But these places also face serious challenges, including migration and displacement, secularization and aging congregations, and privatization of urban space, according to Philadelphia’s Historic Sacred Places, a new report published by The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Philadelphia Research Initiative (PRI) based on an 18-month research project by PennPraxis, with contributions from Partners for Sacred Places. 

Two Historic Preservation alumni were honored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the new initiative 40 Under 40: People Saving Places.

In an ongoing collaboration, students and faculty from the graduate program in Historic Preservation have teamed up with researchers from the University of Plymouth’s Cornerstone Heritage to examine the architectural history of Powderham Castle in Devon, England.

HSPV alumna Starr Herr-Cardillo (MSHP’17) was recently featured in PennCurrent for her work with the Grave Gardeners program at the Woodlands Cemetery in West Philadelphia.

After a tumultuous year of public debate about monuments and memorials, New York City recently released the findings of its Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers. Among the voices on the Commission was PennDesign alumna Amy Freitag (MLA’94, MSHP’94), who is the executive director of the JM Kaplan Fund. Freitag and the other members of the commission were charged with developing recommendations for how the City of New York should address city-owned monuments and markers on city property, “particularly those that are subject to sustained negative public reaction or may be viewed as inconsistent with the values of New York City”—namely, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The 19th General Assembly and Scientific Symposium of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) hosted 1,090 delegates representing 102 countries in Delhi, India from December 11 - 15, 2017.

The Northwest Philadelphia neighborhood of Germantown has a long and colorful history of Revolutionary War battles, abolitionist protests, the Underground Railroad, suburbanization, the Great Migration, and more.

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