Historic Preservation

Woman headshot in front of flowers

Elizabeth Milroy



Elizabeth Milroy is Professor Emerita of Art History and American Studies at Wesleyan University and has published and lectured widely on the history of cultural spaces in the United States and Canada.  She is author of The Grid and the River: Philadelphia's Green Spaces, 1682-1876 (Penn State University Press, 2016), which was awarded the 2017 John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize by the Foundation for Landscape Studies for significant contribution to the study and understanding of garden history and landscape studies. She also coedited the anthology Reading American Art, a standard textbook in the field. After teaching at Wesleyan University, she was appointed the Zoë and Dean Pappas Curator of Education, Public Programs, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. From 2016-21 she served as Professor and Department Head of Art & Art History at Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. She is Secretary of the Board of Councilors of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and is a member of the Committee on Historic Designation with the City of Philadelphia’s Historical Commission.


“’For the like uses, as the Moor-Fields’: The Politics of Penn’s Squares,” in The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography vol. 130, no. 3 (August, 2006).

“Repairing the Myth and Reality of Philadelphia’s Public Squares, 1800-1850” in Change Over Time vol. 1, no. 1 (Spring, 2011).

“Pro Bono Publico: Ecology, History and the Creation of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park System” in Nature’s Entrepôt: Philadelphia’s Urban Sphere and its Environmental Thresholds, edited by Brian Black and Michael Chiarrappa. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012. 

The Grid and the River: Philadelphia’s Green Places, 1682-1876. Penn State University Press, 2016.

“The Elusive Body of William Penn,” in The Worlds of William Penn, edited by Andrew Murphy and James Smolenski. Rutgers University Press, 2019