Historic Preservation

Historic preservation has existed as an active movement for over a century, and as a professional field for over 50 years. Within that time, concepts of heritage have evolved dramatically, expanding beyond the Neoclassical mansions of the Founding Fathers to include places such as vernacular neighborhoods, landscapes, and sites of memory. Yet, the basic principles of contemporary design in historic settings have not kept pace with the contexts and challenges facing preservationists, designers, regulators, property owners, and the general public. Last month, the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation convened the Design + Heritage Symposium to wrestle with these foundational principles and explore innovative strategies for thoughtful, creative design in historic contexts. The event was organized by Professor of Practice Pamela W. Hawkes and co-presented by the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation.

Historic Preservation and Anthropology students and faculty on site

Historic Preservation and Anthropology students and faculty. Photo credit: Clark Erickson.

During spring studio travel week, students from the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and the Department of Anthropology traveled to Fort Union National Monument in Mora County, New Mexico.

Southeast elevation facing the Delaware river from the rail viaduct

Figure 1: Southeast elevation facing the Delaware river from the rail viaduct. (Source: PECO, 1930s)

Richmond Power Generating Station

Historic Preservation Studio
HSPV 701-201

Open edition of Change Over Time. Article title “Housing Lunatics and Students: Nineteenth-Century Asylums and Dormitories,”
In “Housing Lunatics and Students: Nineteenth-Century Asylums and Dormitories,” Carla Yanni, Professor of Art History, Rutgers University, explores the residential building types that have persisted at American universities for decades.
Profile photos of the six Spring 2017 Lecturers

Clockwise from top left: Aki Sasamoto, A. Eugene Kohn, Dara Friedman, Steward Pickett, Carla Diana, Charles Renfro

Beginning Wednesday, January 18, PennDesign hosts more than 50 leading architects, artists, designers, planners, preservationists, and scholars in public lectures on the built environment and visual culture.

Open copy of "Greener Cities and Human Health". Chapter heading: Greening Cities in an Urbanizing Age

In “Greening Cities in an Urbanizing Age: The Human Health Bases in the Nineteenth and Early Twenty-First Centuries,” Theodore Eisenman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, considers the research on physi

Remains of fort union

Photo: Architectural Conservation Lab

It’s not uncommon for Penn students to travel south, or west, with the onset of Spring.

Penn Presidential Professor of Law and Education Wendell Pritchett, PennDesign alumna Prema Gupta (MSHP’05), Assistant Professor in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation Aaron Wunsch on the Penn Praxis panel

Penn Presidential Professor of Law and Education Wendell Pritchett, PennDesign alumna Prema Gupta (MSHP’05), Assistant Professor in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation Aaron Wunsch

On Instagram, there are something like 1,500 photographs tagged with the phrase “This Jawn Matters,” a twist on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “This Place Matters” campaign, customized for Philadelphia.

Lisa Servon at a book talk for Unbanking America: How the New Middle Class Survives

Lisa Servon at a book talk for Unbanking America: How the New Middle Class Survives

On January 30, Assistant Professor of Architecture Daniel Barber is among the panelists talking about “

Charlette Caldwell

From a video interview with graduating PennDesign students, 2016

Alumna Charlette Caldwell is a Project Manager at the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia.

Marcelo and Milton Roberto at the Edificio Marques do Herval, Rio de Janeiro, 1952

Marcelo and Milton Roberto at the Edificio Marques do Herval, Rio de Janeiro, 1952; Photo courtesy Research and Documentation Center, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janiero

This winter, PennDesign faculty have been called upon by the media, cultural organizations and universities to share their expertise on topics from preservation in China to mid-century architecture in urban Brazil.

Palazzos of Power. Central Stations of the Philadelphia Electric Company 1900-1930

Aaron Wunsch, Assistant Professor in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, is co-author with Lecturer Joseph Elliott of

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