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Updates on the Historic Preservation Program

25 May 2017

Dear Students, Faculty, Alumni and Colleagues,

Over the last year since I started as Director, we have been making changes in our administrative structure and reallocating resources to strengthen our Historic Preservation Program, especially our architectural conservation science and technology offerings, in an effort to fortify our position as the country’s leader. I want to take a moment to share some of our important achievements thus far with you.

  • Our faculty is stronger than ever. We now have three full time tenure-track lines, which gives the program a level of stability and continuity it never had. In addition, we draw from a pool of over 30 adjunct faculty, more than a third of which are specialized in architectural conservation science and technology.
  • We have set in place a new integrated curriculum, breaking down the silos of the old ‘sectors’, to respond to the 21st century realities of a rapidly changing professional practice. Every student now receives a solid education in architectural conservation, building diagnostic research methods, archival research methods, values assessment methods, planning, regulation, history, theory and design in a coherent integrated fashion.
  • We have increased the number of architectural conservation science and technology courses dramatically. They now make up nearly half of our total course offerings.
  • We have updated and improved our architectural conservation science and technology courses, and integrated them with the rest of the curriculum.
  • For the first time ever, we have made architectural conservation a central aspect of the required core Studio 1. Prof. Claudia Kavenagh, a senior figure in architectural conservation, and Prof. Kim Yao, a world-renowned architect, co-teach the studio.
  • We have created a new Studio 3 focused on advanced research in architectural conservation science and technology. Prof. Adam Lowe and Prof. Carlos Bayod, world-renowned pioneers in the development and application of digital technologies to architectural conservation, teach this new studio.
  • We have secured funding for all students to travel internationally in their advanced studios, allowing them to do hands-on conservation work on major monuments around the world.
  • We have freed up Fridays for hands-on work both in the laboratory and in the field to give students real-world experience in architectural conservation.
  • We have funded scaffolding safety training for all students so that they can be allowed to do on-site learning at real world architectural conservation projects.

As part of our ongoing restructuring efforts, we have eliminated the administrative position of Director of Conservation Research. We are most appreciative to Prof. George Wheeler for his years of service in this position and wish him every success in his new endeavors.

I am confident that these changes have set our program on a path to augment its leading role in preservation education, and I can assure you that we will continue to work tirelessly in this direction to continue to strengthen our program’s already robust position. Over the coming months and years we will be implementing new and exciting initiatives that will further increase our program’s research capacity, scholarly depth and impact in the world. More on that soon!

This is an invigorating moment of renewal for our Historic Preservation Program and I am deeply thankful to be working with such amazing students, faculty, staff and alumni as we leap forward with an eye to the bright future ahead.

With best wishes,

Jorge Otero-Pailos
Director and Professor of Historic Preservation