Historic Preservation

A headshot of Professor Frank Matero.

Frank G. Matero

Chair, the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation
Gonick Family Professor

Office Hours

Wednesday 10:00am-12:00pm
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B.A., State University of New York, Stonybrook
M.S., Columbia University
Conservation Program, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University


Frank Matero received his education in anthropology, architectural preservation, and material conservation. As an educator and conservation practitioner, Matero has shaped architectural conservation discourse and practice in the US and abroad for over 35 years.  He is Professor of Architecture and directs the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director and founder of the Center for Architectural Conservation, a member of the Graduate Group in the Department of Art History, and Research Associate of the University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Previously he was Assistant Professor at Columbia University and Director of the Center for Preservation Research.  He is founder and editor-in-chief of Change Over Time, the international journal on conservation and the built environment published by University of Pennsylvania Press. He has served on numerous editorial and non-profit organization boards including the National Institute for Conservation, US/ICOMOS, the American Institute for Conservation, the Journal of Architectural Conservation, the Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites, and Cultural Resource Management. He is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and former Co-chair of the Research and Technical Studies Group.

Matero studied at SUNY Stony Brook, Columbia University and the Institute of Fine Arts/New York University and has been visiting faculty at the International Center for the Study of Preservation and the Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM/UNESCO), the Politechnic Univeristy of Puerto Rico, Yale University, and Carleton University and has been a visiting scholar at The Getty Conservation Institute and the Museum of New Mexico. He was appointed the first Architectural Conservator for the National Park Service and served as Scientific Director for the Aga Khan Historic Cities Support Program for the Ayyubid Wall, Cairo and Director of Conservation for the Gordion Archaeological Project/Penn Museum.

Throughout his career Matero has focused on the historical and material investigation of architectural technology and the implications of this approach for the interpretation and conservation of built heritage. His teaching and research address the conservation of historic buildings and sites, with an emphasis on masonry and earthen construction, the conservation of archaeological sites, and issues related to preservation and appropriate technology for traditional societies and places. Current research and practice are focused on developing a framework for material and site risk and vulnerability related to climate change.  He has authored over 100 publications on a wide range of topics addressing conservation history, building technology, ethics, and professional practice. He has lectured widely at universities and professional forums in the US and abroad. Awards include the G. Holmes Perkins Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Oliver Torrey Fuller Award for multiple publications, and the American Institute of Architects Education Honors Award.


Projects include:


Publications include: Saving the Bar BC Dude Ranch: A New Method for Setting Preservation Priorities (2016), Managing Change: Sustainable Approaches to the Conservation of the Built World (2003), Contributions Towards Reflexive Method in Archaeology: the Example at Catalhoyuk (2000), Architectural Ceramics (1996), Ancient and Historic Metals (1995), and Conserving Buildings (1994), as well as articles in professional journals and conference proceedings.


Frank Matero CV