Historic Preservation

Student after receiving diploma
Nearly 300 Master’s and PhD degrees were presented on Monday afternoon under a sunlit tent on Meyerson Plaza at PennDesign’s 2017 Commencement Ceremony. Capping off a weekend’s worth of festivities that began on Friday with a reception for the Year End Show for design graduates, the ceremony was led by Dean and Paley Professor Fritz Steiner, who shared the podium with Dr. Mindy Fullilove, who gave the Commencement Address; alumnus and Overseer Mark Gardner (MArch’00), who congratulated gradates on behalf of the Board of Overseers; PennDesign Alumni Association President Stuart Mardeusz (MArch’95); and the department and graduate group chairs.
Black and white photo of Mill Rae
Among the most recent additions to the National Register of Historic Places is Mill-Rae, a house designed in 1890 by Philadelphia architect Minerva Parker Nichols.
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.
Panel discussion at PAFA
As cities across the U.S. rebound from the population loss and disinvestment of the 20th century, officials, institutions, designers and planners have begun to focus on renewing public assets with civic investments large and small. Under the Kenney administration, Philadelphia has gone all in on this strategy with a plan called Rebuild, meant to invest $500 million in public and foundation money in neighborhood parks, recreation centers and libraries. In March, PennPraxis released a report—funded by the William Penn Foundation, which is also a major investor in the Rebuild initiative—to help provide context for the challenges of the city’s undertaking with research on civic infrastructure and the work of other cities.
Duomo di Pienza and fountain, taken from the Piazza Pio II.

Duomo di Pienza and fountain, taken from the Piazza Pio II. Photo: Arielle Harris

Over spring break, second year preservation students in Professor Randall Mason’s Pienza Seminar/Studio traveled to Tuscany, Italy for a week of fieldwork and site visits.
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.

Pages