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Historic Preservation Thesis

A thesis is a requirement for graduation in the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia. You will begin work on it in the first semester and continue through the spring. It is original and independent work, designed to showcase a capacity to research, analyze, and present material on a topic relevant to the discipline of Historic Preservation.

In mid-September, second year students join with faculty in the HP Studio to present their ideas for thesis topics. Students will begin to identify and work with a faculty member as an advisor as soon as the semester begins. At the October review, students state their topic, with their research plan, in a formal presentation to all the other students and faculty. Another formal presentation in January gauge progress on the thesis. Drafts are due in late March and then students discuss their work with their advisor and readers during a one-hour jury in mid-April. The final copy of the thesis, incorporating corrections and changes suggested during the jury, is due prior to graduation in May.  

The fall semester Historic Preservation Colloquium course supports the student in developing their thesis through identification of issues that resonate within all aspects of preservation, that is, questions of significance, authenticity, and value. However, the Colloquium is not "Thesis I" and different work products are expected for the course and the development of the thesis. Theses from the Historic Preservation Program are housed in Special Collections, Avery Library, and may be examined there.

Additional Information

Author Rights Agreement Form

Alumni who are interested in posting their thesis to the online repository, Academic Commons, should submit a completed Author Rights Agreement form, and a digital version of their thesis following the Digital Thesis Guidelines to the Historic Preservation Office, 1172 Amsterdam Avenue, 413 Avery, New York, New York 10027

2013 Historic Preservation Theses

*Denotes a thesis awarded a prize at commencement.

2012 Historic Preservation Theses

2011-2012 Academic Year

*denotes a thesis awarded a prize at graduation
**awarded the James Marston Fitch Thesis prize by Preservation Alumni

Anthony Baragona “Neo-traditional, volcanic pozzolan-lime mortars for the repair of historic structures.”

Kelly Carroll (Dual UP) "Preserving North Carolina's Last Textile Landscape: The Case for Henry River Mill Village."

Alison Chiu “The Evolution of the Weep-Hole.”

*Jorgen Cleemann “The Kiln in the Garden: Damariscotta River Brick Making and the Traces of Maine's Agro-Industrial Past.”

Peter Harper “On Never Mistaking Culture For An End: The Influence Of Cultural Aesthetics In Architectural Conservation.”

Heather Hartshorn “Dolomitic Lime Mortars: Carbonation Complications and Susceptibility to Acidic Sulfates.”

Matthew Kuhnert “Building Community in Kleindeutschland: The Role of German Immigration in Shaping New York City’s Seventeenth Ward.”

Alison LaFever “Rethinking Industrial Heritage: A Discussion of the Preservation of Compromised and Contested Cultural Landscapes in Butte, Montana”

Kayla Loveman “In Situ Deacidification of Vernacular Wallpaper.”

Emma Marconi “American Decorative Stenciling: 1840 to 1940.”

*Elyse Marks "The World War II Defense Housing Community of Aero Acres: Case Study for the Future Preservation of Historic Planned Suburban Communities"

Michael Marsh “Reconfiguring Montcalm Farm: A Prototype for a New Cross-Disciplinary Approach to Preserving Rural Architecture.”

Andrew Maziarski “A City, Asleep: Revisiting and Reevaluation History and Interpretation at Mesa Verde National Park.”

Esther Mittelman “The Old World, the New World, and the World to Come: Interpreting Bayside Cemetery.”

Kett Murphy “Form / Counter(re)Form : Additions to Mid-Century Modern Buildings in New York”

Lauren Ortega “The Rise of the Mall.”

Asuka Ogawa “Sister City as a Preservation Strategy.”

Emily Piper "Navigating the Post-Disaster Landscape: Historic Preservation and Recovery in Three New Orleans Neighborhoods" 

*Adam Poole “The Patrimonialization of Old Montreal or, Preserving a Monument, a Cultural Resource, and a Heritage Space for the Modern Metropolis.”

Susie Ranney “Beyond Boutiques and Cast Iron: The Significance, Legacy, and Preservation of the Pioneering Artist Community’s Cultural Heritage.”

Lauren Racusin (Dual UP) "Locked In: the Silent Siege of Dubrovnik by the Tourism Industry."

Sarah Ripple “The Evolution of Modern Thin Stone Veneer Systems: 1950-1980.”

*Julie Rosen “Early Twentieth Century “Face Brick” as a National Industry.”

Sarah Rosenblatt “The History of Terra-Cotta Glaze-Fit Testing and Artificial Weathering Methodologies and a Comparative Testing Program of their Impact on Glaze Failure.”

Kaity Ryan “Preserving Postmodern Architecture and The Legacy of Charles W. Moore.”

*Rebecca Saldago “Rebuilding the Network: Interpretation of World War II Prisoner-Of-War Camps in the United States.”

*Myun Song “Wireless Corrosion Monitoring for Reinforced Concrete Structures and Concrete Repair.”

Michelle Taylor “The Commuter’s Cathedral: An Examination of the George Washington Bridge Bus Station.”

Tatum Taylor “Concealed Certainty and Undeniable Conjecture: Interpreting Marginalized Heritage.”

*Peter Watson “Picturesque Transformations: A.J. Davis in the Hudson Valley and Beyond. ”

Kerensa Wood (Dual UP) "Architecture of Compromise: A History and Evaluation of Facadism in Washington, DC"

2011 Historic Preservation Theses

2010-2011 Academic Year

 

*denotes a thesis awarded a prize at graduation
**awarded the James Marston Fitch Thesis prize by Preservation Alumni

2009 Historic Preservation Theses

2008-2009 Academic Year

 

*denotes a thesis awarded a prize at graduation
**awarded the James Marston Fitch Thesis prize by Preservation Alumni

2008 Historic Preservation Theses

2007-2008 Academic Year

 

*denotes a thesis awarded a prize at graduation
**awarded the James Marston Fitch Thesis prize by Preservation Alumni

2007 Historic Preservation Theses

2006-2007 Academic Year

 

*denotes a thesis awarded a prize at graduation
**awarded the James Marston Fitch Thesis prize by Preservation Alumni

2006 Historic Preservation Theses

2005-2006 Academic Year

 

*denotes a thesis awarded a prize at graduation
**awarded the James Marston Fitch Thesis prize by Preservation Alumni

2005 Historic Preservation Theses

2004-2005 Historic Preservation

 

*denotes a thesis awarded a prize at graduation
**awarded the James Marston Fitch Thesis prize by Preservation Alumni

  • Jessica Breitbach - A Home Away From Home: Telling The Story Of The Trucking Industry Through The Preservation Of 1960S Truck Stops
  • *Erika Carlson - Authenticity And Adaptation Of Historic Movable Bridges For Contemporary Use
  • Sandy Chung - The Development Of Solid Steel Windows In The United States
  • Gloria Colom - Design Proposal For The Estate Of Anna's Hope In St. Croix, Usvi
  • Joselito Corpus - Proprietary Alkoxysilane Systems And Their Efficacy On Fine Grained Marble
  • Rama Dadarkar - Bombay's "Lesser" Architecture: Making A Case For Preservation
  • Debora DeBarros - The Electrical Resistance Moisture Meter And Infrared Thermography: Assessing The Effectiveness Of Two Non-Destructive Techniques For Moisture Diagnosis In Structures Contaminated By Hygroscopic
  • Sarah Devan - Adaptive Use Of The Joseph Lemaire Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Tombeek, Belgium As A Wellness Center
  • Jenny Fields - Homogenization Versus Innovation: A Critical Analysis Of The National Main Street Program At Twenty-Five Years Through Two Case Studies
  • Lewis Gleason - Preservation At The Edge: An Adaptive Reuse Project For The New York Central And Hudson River Railroad Kingsbridge Substation
  • Allison Greenberg - Preliminary Investigation Into Interpretation, Display And Conservation Possibilities For The World Trade Center Artifacts Housed At Jfk International Airport
  • Jill Hall - The Interpretations Of Sites Of Shameful History Through A Focus On Individual Stories: A Case Study Of The Interpretations At The Japanese American Relocation Camps
  • Jacqui Hogans - An Assessment Of Graffiti Removal Methods For Artifically Patinated Weathering Steel
  • Susie Jackson - Natural Extractives As Wood Preservatives: The Potential Of Phytochemicals In Preservation
  • *George Jaramillo - Barnscapes: Mapping Rural Cultural Landscapes
  • Jennifer Kearney - Painting By Numbers: Depression Era Interior Paint Finishes And An Evaluation Of Manufacturers' Catalogs As Primary Sources
  • Jennifer Ko - An Argument For Reconstruction In Oceania's Indigenous Cultures: The Case Of Moku'ula
  • *Jennifer Most - Neighborhood Conservation Policies: Protecting Communities From Teardowns And Other Threats To Neighborhood Conservation
  • Amy Peterson - The Kansas City Park And Boulevard Plan: Design: Proposals For Additions To A Historic Network
  • Tara Phelps - Post-War Housing In Warsaw: Integral Part Of The City's Future?
  • Mark Soeth - Evaluating The National Trust Main Street Model: A Matched Pairs Comparison
  • Robert Garland Thomson - Modeling Mostar: Evaluating The Mostar 2004 Program In The Context Of Present And Future Trends In Historic Preservation Education
  • Mikel Travisano - The Impact Of Security From Terrorism Of Postwar Modernist Architecture

2004 Historic Preservation Theses

2003-2004 Academic Year

 

*denotes a thesis awarded a prize at graduation
**awarded the James Marston Fitch Thesis prize by Preservation Alumni

2003 Historic Preservation Theses

2002-2003 Academic Year

 

*denotes a thesis awarded a prize at graduation
**awarded the James Marston Fitch Thesis prize by Preservation Alumni