Historic Preservation

  • The Arts Building by George Nakashima

    Photo credit, John Hinchman, The Center for Architectural Conservation.

  • Jyotsna Naga, Ana Gemma de la Fuente and Holly Manders Boyer, 2020 graduates of the Master of Design in Historic Preservation, with Professor of Practice Pamela Hawkes, at the National Historic Landmark Arts Building at the George Nakashima Studio. Photo credit, Charlotte Raymond.

  • Holly Manders Boyer participating in the final presentation of the Capstone Studio for the Master of Design in Historic Preservation, with leaders of the Nakashima Studio, the Raymond Farm Center, Penn faculty and guest critics in the Arts Building at the George Nakashima Studio. Photo credit, Charlotte Raymond.

Feasibility Study for a Visitor Center: George Nakashima House, Studio, & Workshop

University of Pennsylvania Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, 2019 Master of Design in Historic Preservation Post Professional Studio

For practicing design professionals seeking post-professional training, specialization, or change in career path, the one-year Master of Science in Design with a concentration in Historic Preservation (MSD-HP) offers an intensive complement to Weitzman School’s long-standing two-year MSHP degree. Two semesters of elective and required course work are synthesized in a three-week summer capstone studio, which, in 2019, was centered on the George Nakashima Woodworkers Studio in New Hope, PA.


George Nakashima (1905 – 1990) was one of the most prominent furniture designer-craftsmen in the United States in the period after World War II.  His 12-acre home and studio in New Hope, PA includes 19 structures designed and constructed by Nakashima between 1946 and 1982 in a unique style blending traditional Japanese elements with cutting-edge structure and materials.  Today, this 12-acre National Historic Landmark is both a working furniture studio and a family residence, while welcoming increasing numbers of visitors who seek a greater understanding of Nakashima’s life, work and design principles.

The 2019 Master of Design in Historic Preservation Studio, led by Pamela Hawkes, Professor of Practice in Historic Preservation, focused on understanding this distinctive site, helping to define its many layers of value and meaning, and identifying a range of options to support and preserve the site’s identity and public access at a critical time in its evolution.  Students spent several days living on the site and observing operations, as well as visiting a range of sites within the area.  They proposed a range of approaches, from signage and repurposing existing structures to a new visitor center on an adjacent property. The report and some of the recommendations are already being implemented by the site.

Click here to view the full report.