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Jefferson Launches M.S. in Historic Preservation Program

The mid-20th-century Hassrick House, designed by modern architecture icon Richard Neutra, sits adjacent to Jefferson’s East Falls Campus. The University recently purchased the home.

The University’s just-announced M.S. in historic preservation program focuses on the preservation, restoration, rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings and sites, as well as revitalization strategies that value community assets. The program will launch fall 2019 at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University).

Students will master skills fundamental to assess the condition and evolution of buildings and promote the ways historic structures order the urban fabric, contribute to healthy communities and facilitate “place-making” as a catalyst for community revitalization.

“The curriculum addresses several intersecting issues facing preservation today, particularly the adaptive reuse of historic buildings as both a sustainable practice—constituting recycling on a grand scale—and as repositories of cultural memory,” said Suzanne Singletary, director of the historic preservation program, noting students will apply new and rapidly evolving digital technologies for managing, documenting and interpreting culturally significant structures and places.

As the first UNESCO World Heritage City in the United States, Philadelphia is a living laboratory of architectural styles and periods, offering a wealth of real-world projects and internship opportunities utilizing buildings and technologies, dating from 18th-century Georgian through mid-20th-century modern.

At Jefferson’s new Center for the Preservation of Modernism, students will develop preservation protocols tailored to the unique character of early and mid-century modern architecture, the next preservation frontier as these buildings age, and may study the preservation of modernist architecture abroad at the iconic Bauhaus Building in Dessau, Germany, or at the Giuseppe Terragni Archive in Como, Italy. Students also may pursue research at the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles.

“We’re pleased to extend such rich study-away opportunities to our students,” said Barbara Klinkhammer, executive dean of the College of Architecture and the Built Environment. “The Center for the Preservation of Modernism positions Jefferson at the forefront in preserving our modern heritage, nationally and internationally.”

Students customize their course of study by selecting one of two tracks—Research and Documentation or Preservation Design, Singletary said. “These two tracks will appeal to students from a broad spectrum of undergraduate disciplines, such as architectural history, archeology and urban planning. The Preservation Design track, in particular, is distinctive to our program and is geared toward the unique role in preservation played by architects and designers.”

Students also specialize in a field compatible with their track drawn from the College of Architecture and the Built Environment’s graduate offerings, including sustainable design, geographic information systems, façade technologies, architectural history or real estate development, Singletary said. The curriculum affords students the freedom to explore topics that suit their interests and further their professional goals.

Visit here for more info about Jefferson’s M.S. in historic preservation program, including the curriculum and admissions requirements.