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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 produced in recent years by graduates of the Urban Planning Program are listed below. Theses produced prior to 2012 include the title and abstract for each thesis, these titles are housed in Special Collections, Avery Library, and may be requested through the library. Theses produced since 2012 are available digitally through Academic Commons, the University’s digital research repository, and can be accessed by clicking on the titles below. Graduating students have the option of deferring the publication of their thesis on Academic Commons for up to two years, if an abstract appears for a given title but does not have an option to download the full thesis then it is not yet available for public view. 

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

2014 Historic Preservation Theses

*Denotes a thesis awarded a prize at commencement.

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

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