M.S. Historic Preservation

Overview

The Historic Preservation Program prepares leaders to address the great challenges of protecting the world’s architectural, cultural, and historical heritage in the face of profound change. The multi-disciplinary program has set the standard in the dynamic field of historic preservation and heritage conservation since James Marston Fitch founded it in 1964 as the first such program in the United States.

The program’s renowned faculty uses the architectural and historic riches of New York City as its laboratory, while encouraging study throughout the United States and the world. The Columbia University curriculum stresses the development of analytical thinking and effective communication, coupled with a strong base of knowledge in history, theory, conservation science, planning and policy, and design. Students graduate with the necessary skills and knowledge to advance this rapidly evolving field and thus join the vibrant network of alumni who are already redefining the boundaries and practice of heritage conservation around the world.

Curriculum

The Historic Preservation Program offers a curriculum of extraordinary diversity. The curriculum includes a series of core courses, providing each student with basic knowledge of the field, and then broadens, allowing each student the opportunity to develop his or her own focus.

The core curriculum is the focus of a student’s first year. The centerpiece of the curriculum is studio. Students work individually and in groups within a studio environment, meeting one-on-one with each of the studio faculty. Key to the core curriculum is a course entitled “Theory and Practice of Historic Preservation” that provides each student with a grounding in the historical ideas behind the field. Students also take Preservation Planning and Policy, an introduction to planning as a preservation tool; Building Systems and Materials, which introduces building techniques and materials, and American Architecture I, a history of architecture in the United States through the 1880s. Several of the first semester courses continue into a student’s second semester.

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.

During the second year of study, students take Preservation Colloquium, a class that analyzes issues introduced in the first year and prepares students for the completion of a thesis. By the beginning of the second year, students have finalized their thesis topic. Preliminary thesis presentations will be made during the first semester, but the bulk of thesis work will occur during winter break and during the second semester. All other classes during the second year are electives that may be taken from the offerings of the Historic Preservation Program, the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation in general, or from classes in other departments and schools at Columbia.

Students are encouraged to focus their work, particularly in the second year, and to acquire depth in at least one of the following areas: Preservation, Design, History and Theory, and Planning and Policy.

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 Studio Field Projects Research Reports

Preservation as a Tool for Social Inclusion in Poughkeepsie, NY
Yangon at a Turning Point: Progress, Heritage, and Community
Heritage, Tourism and Urbanization in Lalibela, Ethiopia
The Gingerbread Houses of Port-au-Prince
Eero Saarinen US Embassy in Oslo

New York Region Studio Reports

Current Faculty
Michael Adlerstein
Carlos Bayod Lucini
Francoise Bollack
Carolina Castellanos
Belmont Freeman
Donald Friedman
Chris Gembinski
Claudia Kavenagh
Christopher Neville
Theodore Prudon
William Raynolds
Helen Thomas-Haney
Jessica Williams

Spring 2018 Courses

Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
A4080‑1 Spring 2018
HP Elective Internship
Devin Gray Open to HP II & UP II, With approval only - Via application
Full Semester
1.5 Points
86346
A6417‑1 Spring 2018
National Register Nominations
Andrew Dolkart
200 Fayerweather South
W 4 PM - 6 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
96346
A6510‑1 Spring 2018
Neighborhood Preservation and Zoning
Carol Clark
323 M Fayerweather
TU 6 PM - 8 PM
Session A: 1/16-3/2
1.5 Points
86846
A6705‑1 Spring 2018
Architecture & Development of NYC
Andrew Dolkart
300 Avery
W 11 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
80942
A6712‑1 Spring 2018
Architectural Finishes in America
Mary Jablonski
HP Lab-655 Schermerhorn
TH 9 AM - 12 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
88096
A6717‑1 Spring 2018
Comparative Heritage Management
Carolina Castellanos
300 Avery
M & W 9 AM - 11 AM
Session A: 1/16-3/2
3 Points
12846
A6727‑1 Spring 2018
Old Buildings, New Forms
Francoise Bollack
201 Fayerweather
TU 4 PM - 6 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
91796
A6750‑1 Spring 2018
HP Studio II
Liz McEnaney Required for 1st Year
301 Fayerweather
M & TH 2 PM - 6 PM
Full Semester
6 Points
93146
A6750‑2 Spring 2018
HP Studio II
Belmont Freeman Required for 1st Year
301 Fayerweather
M & TH 2 PM - 6 PM
Full Semester
6 Points
95796
A6750‑3 Spring 2018
HP Studio II
Bryony Roberts Required for 1st Year
301 Fayerweather
M & TH 2 PM - 6 PM
Full Semester
6 Points
96546
A6753‑1 Spring 2018
Thesis II
Jorge Otero-Pailos Required for 2nd Year
By Appointment
Full Semester
4 Points
97696
A6800‑1 Spring 2018
Drawing Ideology
Bryony Roberts
320M Fayerweather
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
77529
A6856‑1 Spring 2018
Caribbean Modernism as an Expression of Technological Evolution
Beatriz del Cueto
655 Schermerhorn
1/26, 1/29, 1/30, 1/31, 2/1, 2/2 - 6 PM - 8 PM
Session A: 1/16-3/2
1.5 Points
13780
A6859‑1 Spring 2018
Viollet le Duc
Aron Vinegar
655 Schermerhorn
3/23, 3/26, 3/27, 3/28, 3/29, 3/30 - 6 PM - 8 PM
Session B: 3/5 - 4/20
1.5 Points
96297
A4124‑1 Spring 2018
Building Systems and Materials
Tim Michiels Required 1st Year
655 Schermerhorn
W 1 PM - 4 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
72746
A6784‑1 Spring 2018
Brick, Terra Cotta + Stone
Norman Weiss, Daniel Allen
HP Lab-655 Schermerhorn
TU 1 PM - 4 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
98646
A4045‑1 Spring 2018
Questions in Urbanism
Vishaan Chakrabarti All GSAPP Interdisciplinary Workshop
115 Avery
F 10 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
63779
A4064‑1 Spring 2018
Informal Urbanisms: Incrementalism and Citizen Participation in the Built Environment
Cassim Shepard All GSAPP Interdisciplinary
408 Avery
F 11 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
67446
A4892‑2 Spring 2018
Data Visualization for Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities
Agnes Chang All GSAPP Interdisciplinary, GSAS
114 Avery Hall
W 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
18444
A4892‑1 Spring 2018
Data Visualization for Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities
Juan Saldarriaga All GSAPP Interdisciplinary, GSAS
600 Avery
F 9 AM - 11 AM
Full Semester
3 Points
81796
A4063‑1 Spring 2018
Points Unknown: Cartographic Narratives
Grga Basic, Michael Krisch All GSAPP Interdisciplinary, Joint Journalism
Ware Lounge (600 Avery)
F 11 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
66596
P4050‑1 Spring 2018
UP Elective Internship
Margaret Wiryaman
By Appointment
1.5 Points
15846
Recent News
2016 Fitch Colloquium: Preservation and War, Panel 1

Pre War

Tim Winter
Research Chair of Cultural Heritage, Deakin University
Laurie Rush
Cultural Resources Manager and Archaeologist, US Department of Defense
Leila A. Amineddoleh
Founding and Managing Partner at Amineddoleh & Associates
Lucia Allais
Assistant Professor of Architecture, Princeton University
David Gissen
Professor of Architecture, California College of the Arts

Moderated by Erica Avrami
James Marston Fitch Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation, Columbia GSAPP

Dual Degree graduate Andrea Tonc’s (M.Arch/M.S. HP ‘16) award-winning graduation portfolio
Andrea tonc portfolio