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M.S. Historic Preservation

Overview
The M.S. in Historic Preservation Program curriculum educates students to create new, future-oriented roles for built heritage that promote inclusive and resilient communities. With a particular focus on adapting to climate change and promoting social justice, the curriculum integrates humanist, scientific, and technological approaches necessary for students to shape the future of the profession: including the reuse of buildings, the design of adaptation technologies, planning and policy innovations, social and historical research, materials science and digital computation applied to the 3D scanning, documentation, assessment, monitoring, and care of built heritage. The program frames preservation both as an experimental form of creative expression and as a critical form of collective action guided by philosophical, ethical, and critical thinking, supported by evidence of its benefits to society, and enabled by emerging technologies and policy tools. We teach preservation as a social, material, and environmental process; as a way of thinking and acting through buildings and places of cultural significance to improve the built environment and people’s quality of life. The program’s curriculum and academic activities express an ongoing commitment to anti-racist systemic change as reflected in its anti-racism statement of purpose and the 2021-2022 anti-racism task force summary report.

Founded in 1964 as the first Masters Program in Historic Preservation in the United States, the program embodies a pioneering spirit by continually questioning how the discipline actively responds to the changing social values and climate challenges associated with architectural and cultural heritage, so as to ensure that the historic built environment better serves present and future generations.

The program prepares its graduates in the theoretical and practical foundations of preservation so they can be agents of positive environmental, cultural, and social change. Students are drawn from multi-disciplinary backgrounds such as architecture, art history, history, urban planning, engineering, science, art, urban design, archeology, anthropology, sociology, philosophy and jurisprudence. Students bring to bear their respective interests on preservation. By focusing on historical, aesthetic, technological, environmental, social and political questions, the program cultivates deep engagement with the ideas and practices that constitute preservation, and the broad multi-disciplinary skill sets that it draws upon.

The program reflects a global outlook in its diverse faculty, alumni, visiting scholars, advanced researchers, as well as in the locales where students work. It emphasizes real-world engagement with buildings, sites and communities near campus and beyond. Through study and engaged research in New York and New Jersey, as well as countries such as Italy, Cuba, Ethiopia, France, Haiti, Mexico, Norway, and the United Kingdom students apply skills in the real world and co-create knowledge with multiple publics. Learning beyond the lab and classroom is likewise enhanced through faculty-led publications, studio reports, research, public lectures and events such as the annual Fitch Colloquium.

Preservation Technology Laboratory
Jorge Otero-Pailos, Director of the MS Historic Preservation Program at Columbia GSAPP introduces the School’s newly renovated laboratory. Read more about the Preservation Technology Laboratory.
Curriculum
Columbia’s Historic Preservation Program provides a comprehensive foundation in the discipline through place-based studios, field work, laboratory research, lectures, and seminars. The curriculum encourages students to apply theoretical concepts, critical thinking and problem-solving in real-life contexts. With core strengths in design and technology, planning and policy, and history and theory, the curriculum mirrors the disciplines preservationists must engage and collaborate with in the professional world. The course of study provides fundamental knowledge of the spectrum of the discipline, and then affords each student the opportunity to develop an area of deep focus through a one year thesis.

The centerpiece of the curriculum is a three-semester studio sequence, supported by core coursework. These interdisciplinary and cross-cultural learning experiences encompass skill-building in historical, social, and technical research, data collection and visualization, community and stakeholder engagement, formal and material analyses, condition surveys, planning and policy development, interpretive and adaptive design, and the formulation of evidence-based proposals for action. Exploring questions of research and interpretation, cultural identity and values, justice and equity, sustainability and resilience, creative expression and process, these studios position the work in the field within broader societal and environmental contexts, and within broader realms of critical inquiry.

During the summer between the first and second year, the Historic Preservation Program strongly suggests the completion of one or more internships or work experiences as part of a student’s education and career development, and provides support in identifying opportunities in New York and elsewhere.

A capstone of the curriculum is a student thesis. As a critical piece of independent research, the thesis allows students to augment their course and fieldwork to further develop specialized knowledge in an aspect of the preservation enterprise. Students develop their thesis work with the support of faculty to forge new lines of inquiry and practice, as well as to engage with members of the discipline as they launch their careers.

For those students who would like to like to specialize further or expand their studies, GSAPP offers dual degrees, allowing Historic Preservation students to jointly study Architecture (MArch), Urban Planning, or Real Estate Development.

Studio Reports

Visit an archive of studio reports completed as part of the M.S. in Historic Preservation Program here, and browse through highlights below.
Preservation as a Tool for Social Inclusion in Poughkeepsie, NY<br>Spring 2017
Yangon at a Turning Point: Progress, Heritage, and Community
Heritage, Education, and Urban Resilience: Building Alternative Futures in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Fall 2017
Heritage, Tourism and Urbanization in Lalibela, Ethiopia; Fall 2016
The Gingerbread Houses of Port-au-Prince
Eero Saarinen US Embassy in Oslo
Borders, Boundaries, and Exchanges Between People and Things Advanced V Studio; Fall 2018
NEW YORK-BASED STUDIOS

Browse the map below to view studio reports focusing on locations in New York.


Spring 2022 Courses

Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
A4080‑1 Spring 2022
HP Elective Internship
FULL SEMESTER
1.5 Points
14356
A4334‑1 Spring 2022
Modern American Architecture
Jorge Otero-Pailos
300 BUELL SOUTH/300 BUELL NORTH
M + TH 11 AM - 1 PM
SES A
3 Points
15510
A4825‑1 Spring 2022
Preservation and Sustainability
Erica Avrami
409 AVERY
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14365
A4839 Spring 2022
Building Conditions Assessment
Kyle Normandin
CONSERVATION LAB - 655 SCHERMERHORN
M 2 PM - 5 PM (3/21, 3/28, 4/4, 4/11, 4/18)
SES B
1.5 Points
14366
A6417‑1 Spring 2022
National Register of Historic Places
Andrew Dolkart
200 BUELL NORTH
TH 9 AM-11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14369
A6712‑1 Spring 2022
Conservation of Architectural Finishes
Mary Jablonski
200 BUELL NORTH
TU 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14373
A6717‑1 Spring 2022
Comparative Hertitage Management
Carolina Castellanos
203 FAYERWEATHER
M + W 9 AM - 11 AM
SES A
3 Points
14375
A6750‑1 Spring 2022
HP Studio II
Hp kerrianfrance sp22 01 site marker
Hp ninanahitchevansky shannontrono sp22 01 exhibition sketch
Hp shuyazhao sp22 01 insulation comparison
Erica Avrami, Morgan O'Hara
301 FAYERWEATHER
TU + TH 2 PM - 6 PM
FULL SEMESTER
6 Points
14377
A6753‑1 Spring 2022
Thesis II
Jorge Otero-Pailos
BY APPOINTMENT
FULL SEMESTER
4 Points
14379
A6856‑1 Spring 2022
Master Class: Public Memorials Reimagined
Aleksandr Mergold
CONSERVATION LAB - 655 SCHERMERHORN
M 9 AM -1 PM: 3/7, 3/21, 3/28, 4/4, 4/11
SES B
1.5 Points
14387
A4124‑1 Spring 2022
Modern Building Technology
Theodore Prudon
CONSERVATION LAB - 655 SCHERMERHORN
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14358
A6702‑1 Spring 2022
Investigative Techniques
Amanda Thomas Trienens
CONSERVATION LAB - 655 SCHERMERHORN
W 1 PM - 3 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14370
A6705‑1 Spring 2022
Housing Depression-Era New York
Andrew Dolkart
200 BUELL NORTH
W 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14372
A6414‑1 Spring 2022
Digital Heritage Documentation
Hp kose shivanirajwade sp22 01 storymap
Hp kose mimirookvaughan sp22 01 storymap
Hp kose meghanvondensteinen sp22 01 storymap
Bilge Kose
CONSERVATION LAB - 655 SCHERMERHORN
W 4 PM - 6 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14367
A4047‑1 Spring 2022
Immeasurable Cities
Inter admassu genehan govardanumashankar 02 jafajeyifous
Inter admassu yasminekathuda avaniagarwal sp22 01 rowlanddaar
Emanuel Admassu
504 AVERY
W 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
15212
A4890‑1 Spring 2022
Conflict Urbanism
Hilary ho sarah abdallah moses narayan levich 1
Jean kim
Mekarem eljamal and stefan norgaard
Laura Kurgan
200 BUELL NORTH
W 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14267
A4063‑1 Spring 2022
Points Unknown: Cartographic Narratives
Vs saldarriagakrisch galinanovikova linruwang sp22 01 video cover
Vs saldarriagakrisch yihyunkim shenxin jacksonfordham sp22 01 video cover
Juan Saldarriaga, Michael Krisch
WARE LOUNGE
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14302
A4122‑1 Spring 2022
Mapping For Architecture Urbanism and Humanities
Arch eleanorbirle sp22 01 map page 1
Arch jonghoonpark sp22 01 map
Juan Moreno
408 AVERY
F 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14314
A4135‑1 Spring 2022
Urban Ecology + Design
Gena Wirth, Matt Palmer
311 FAYERWEATHER
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
15539
A4407‑1 Spring 2022
Methods in Spatial Research
Vs brawley yasminekatkhuda atlas sp22 cover
Vs brawley emilyconklin atlas sp22 cover
Vs brawley yanigao satellite grids sp22
Dare Brawley
WARE LOUNGE
F 9 AM - 11 AM
SES A
1.5 Points
15214
A4861‑1 Spring 2022
Footprint: Carbon and Design
Bst davidbenjamin lucascoelhonetto sp22 04
From radar to radio (1) page 5
05  labor footprint  comparisons in clt   steel    concrete
David Benjamin
409 AVERY
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14350
A6886‑1 Spring 2022
Building the Engine: Industry + the African Urban Agenda
Fatou Dieye
409 AVERY
F 9 AM - 1 PM
SES B
3 Points
15213
Recent News

Conferences

2022 Fitch Colloquium: Preservation in China’s Future: Day 1

Student Portfolios

Tonia Sing Chi ‘18 MArch/MSHP
Award-Winning Graduation Portfolio
Toniasingchi
Andrea Tonc ‘16 MArch/MSHP Award-Winning Graduation Portfolio
Andrea tonc portfolio update