Historic Preservation

Posted October 30, 2018
  • Christ Memorial Church at 43rd and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia and Notre Dame de Paris.

Philadelphia Is (and Is Not) the World

Aaron Wunsch, assistant professor of historic preservation, recently spoke at the Future for Religious Heritage's biannual conference Religious Heritage – Europe’s Legacy for the Future. Wunsch's lecture, Philadelphia Is (and Is Not) the World, sought to contrast Philadelphia's approach to church preservation with European approaches in which the state plays a far more hands-on role. Drawing on PennPraxis and Partners for Sacred Places research, Wunsch explained the Philadelphia predicament – its abundance of unprotected historic religious structures, which is based in William Penn's commitment to religious freedom (his Holy Experiment) and his establishment of city and colony as interlocking real estate ventures. For PennDesign, Wunsch teaches American Architecture (HSPV 521-001) and Public History: Theory and Practice (HSPV 534-001).