Historic Preservation

Posted August 27, 2014
  • PennDesign Historic Preservation Fall 2014 incoming students

Kicking off a new year

Fall 2014


On this first day of classes, there’s a great sense of energy and enthusiasm for the year ahead. While the campus buzzes with new arrivals, summer renovations to Meyerson are wrapping up and courses are meeting this morning… we’re off and running.

For the past week, HSPV first-year students have been hard at preparing for next week’s start of classes. We conducted workshops on preservation theory, the history and significance of Philadelphia; did some start-up skill-building in CAD, writing, descriptive analysis skills; and took tours of campus, West Philly, Eastern State Penitentiary, the Woodlands, Fishtown, and Society Hill led by faculty and alumni.  Meanwhile, second-years are back from summer courses, projects, internships and travel, looking tanned and ready to jump into thesis work.

This fall brings some new colleagues to augment our outstanding faculty. Pamela Hawkes will initiate a new seminar on Contemporary Design in Historic Settings; David Biggs will be leading the second half of American Building Technology; Kecia Fong will offer a series of lectures on preservation practice in Asia (particularly drawing on her research in Yangon). We are delighted to be welcoming these excellent teachers to Meyerson Hall.

Our speaker series will feature Michael Holleran, from the University of Texas; and a series of midday departmental talks will include Sean Kelley from Eastern State Penitentiary and Tom Mayes of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

New research projects including a long-term agreement with Nakashima Foundation for Peace and George Nakashima Woodworking – an incredible historic site in nearby Bucks County, a symposium planned for spring on Therapeutic Landscapes organized by Aaron Wunsch, and a new raft of cultural landscape projects undertaken with the National Park Service. Frank Matero will be on a well-deserved sabbatical leave this fall, completing a book while a visiting scholar at the Getty Conservation Institute in LA.

As ever, there is a lot to report on…Stay tuned for future blog posts – from students, from alumni, from faculty – giving glimpses of the PennPreservation community’s work. Check out the website for news bulletins about this summer’s internships, more works in progress, and updates on fall coursework as it happens.