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M.S. Historic Preservation

Overview
The Historic Preservation Program focuses on creating new roles for architectural and cultural heritage to promote inclusive and resilient communities through the design of technological and aesthetic adaptations, planning and policy innovations, and social and historical research. 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 social, material and environmental process; as a way thinking and acting through buildings and places of cultural significance to improve the built environment and people’s quality of life.

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, research, public lectures and events such as the annual Fitch Colloquium.

Columbia GSAPP Preservation Technology Laboratory
Jorge Otero-Pailos, Director of the MS Historic Preservation Program at Columbia GSAPP introduces the School’s newly renovated Preservation Technology Laboratory. The lab re-opened in 2019 as a resource for Historic Preservation students and faculty, enabling cutting-edge research in preservation digital technology, materials science, and aesthetics. 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.

GSAPP Conversations

Historic Preservation Program Director Jorge Otero-Pailos speaks with Carlos Bayod Lucini and Adam Lowe of Factum Arte. Lowe and Bayod Lucini jointly taught an advanced preservation studio in the Fall of 2016, which involved the documentation of the medieval church of San Baudelio de Berlanga in Spain, as well as some of its paintings in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Cloisters. Based in Madrid, London and Milan, Factum Arte was founded by Lowe and has become internationally renowned for setting new standards in digital documentation and redefining the relationship between originality and authenticity.

Historic Preservation Program Director Jorge Otero-Pailos speaks with Robert Hewison, who taught the course “John Ruskin and the 19th Century” in the Spring 2017 Semester. They discuss Hewison’s life-long fascination and study of Ruskin, teaching students to draw as means of exploring truth, and the influence of Ruskin’s thinking on the field of preservation in particular through his study of Venice.

International Studios

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 Region
Studio Reports

Current Faculty
Michael Adlerstein
Carlos Bayod Lucini
Francoise Bollack
Barbara Campagna
Carolina Castellanos
Belmont Freeman
Claudia Kavenagh
Christopher Neville
Theodore Prudon
William Raynolds
Laurajane Smith
Amanda Thomas Trienens

Spring 2020 Courses

Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
A4080‑1 Spring 2020
HP Elective Internship
Meredith Brull
FULL SEMESTER
1.5 Points
11471
A4825‑1 Spring 2020
Sustainability and Preservation
Erica Avrami Syllabus
409 AVERY HALL
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11623
A6414‑1 Spring 2020
Digital Heritage Documentation
Bilge Kose
CONSERVATION LAB - 655 SCHERMERHORN
W 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11474
A6417‑1 Spring 2020
National Register of Historic Places
Andrew Dolkart
200 BUELL
TH 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11624
A6702‑1 Spring 2020
Investigative Techniques
Norman Weiss, Amanda Thomas Trienens
CONSERVATION LAB - 655 SCHERMERHORN
W 2 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11475
A6705‑1 Spring 2020
Housing Depression-Era New York
Andrew Dolkart
200 BUELL HALL
W 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14017
A6712‑1 Spring 2020
Conservation of Architectural Finishes
Mary Jablonski
200 BUELL HALL
TU 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14016
A6717‑1 Spring 2020
Comparative Hertitage Management
Carolina Castellanos
203 FAYERWEATHER
M + W 9 AM - 11 AM
SESSION A
3 Points
14019
A6750‑1 Spring 2020
HP Studio II
Erica Avrami, Tim Michiels, Bryony Roberts Syllabus
301 FAYERWEATHER
TU + TH 2 PM - 6 PM
FULL SEMESTER
6 Points
11476
A6753‑1 Spring 2020
Thesis II
Jorge Otero-Pailos
BY APPOINTMENT
FULL SEMESTER
4 Points
11477
A6856‑1 Spring 2020
Master Class A
Laurajane Smith MINI SESSION
CONSERVATION LAB - 655 SCHERMERHORN
2/21/20- 2/28/20
SESSION A
1.5 Points
20115
A4124‑1 Spring 2020
Modern Building Technology
Theodore Prudon
CONSERVATION LAB - 655 SCHERMERHORN
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11472
A4341‑1 Spring 2020
Modern American Architecture
Jorge Otero-Pailos Syllabus
300 BUELL SOUTH
M 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11473
A4694‑1 Spring 2020
Reading Buildings, Writing Buildings
Mark Rakatansky Syllabus
505 AVERY
W 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11621
A4890‑1 Spring 2020
Conflict Urbanism
Laura Kurgan Syllabus
300 BUELL SOUTH
W 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11361
A4122‑1 Spring 2020
Mapping For Architecture Urbanism and Humanities
Emily Fuhrman Syllabus
WARE LOUNGE
F 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14051
A4407‑1 Spring 2020
Methods in Spatial Research
Carsten Rodin
200 BUELL
F 9 AM - 11 AM
SESSION A
1.5 Points
14040
A4063‑1 Spring 2020
Points Unknown: Cartographic Narratives
Juan Saldarriaga, Michael Krisch
WARE LOUNGE
F 11 AM -1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14014
A4552‑1 Spring 2020
Dark Space: Architecture Representation & Black Identity
Mario Gooden Syllabus
504 AVERY
TU 11 AM-1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11359
A4898‑1 Spring 2020
(Re)Programming - Museums
David van der Leer
505 AVERY
F 12 PM - 2 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14042
GR6892‑1 Spring 2020
Spatial Inequity: Subaltern Urbanism
TBD
TU 6:00  PM - 8:00 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
15776
PLAN4059‑1 Spring 2020
Circular Cities: A New Urban Future
Malo Hutson Syllabus All GSAPP Interdisciplinary
209 FAYERWEATHER
F 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
16341
Recent News
2019 Fitch Colloquium
Record/Replay: Data, Technology and Experimental Preservation
Panel Discussion 1
Introduction by Erica Avrami

Participants: Yves Ublemann, David Gissen, Hannah Lewi, Anaïs Aguerre
Tonia Sing Chi ‘18 MArch/MSHP
Award-Winning Graduation Portfolio
Toniasingchi
Andrea Tonc ‘16 MArch/MSHP Award-Winning Graduation Portfolio
Andrea tonc portfolio update
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