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Thread: Historic Preservation Planning

  1. #1
    Member trishm1's avatar
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    Historic Preservation Planning

    I have been surfing the web all day long looking for information about Historic Preservation Planning.
    I am currently a Community Development major/Architectural Studies minor undergrad and want to continue to grad school for a Masters in Planning with some sort of historic preservation/neighborhood and downtown revitalization concentration. I am passionate about old buildings and hate to see them be torn down to make way for an ugly fast food joint. I also grew up in a small town whose downtown died when the "mall" was built.

    What I'm getting at is...I have found very few grad programs that offer anything similar to my interests and no way of really knowing if the program(s) will prepare me for the "real world". I've looked at Ball State, U of Arizona, Arizona State,U of Oregon, U of NM and some of the NY schools. I really want to get away from snow and the humid south does not interest me either. Any suggestions?????

    I also am wondering if there are any sites for jobs in the Historic Preservation Planning field out there. Seen any????

    I would love to talk to anyone who is in the field...Hellooooo, anyone out there???

    Please advise.

  2. #2
    Member StGeorge's avatar
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    Historic preservation Planning

    Trishm1

    Have you tried the University of Delaware? I am an intern working in Historic Preservation at the Delaware County Planning Department in Pa. One of my fellow interns is a grad student at the University of Delaware and i believe she is studying public administration with a concentration in Historic Preservation. She also works for Main Street, an organization that is involved with the restoration and revitalization of downtown areas. You should check both of those out and you might find somethhing of interest to you.

    While i'm here....i need a job!! If anyone has any info about jobs in the Philly/South Jersey area please let me know. I just graduated with a BA in Geography/Urban & Regional Planning. Thanks.

  3. #3
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    other schools

    I don't know about where to go for Historic Preservation, since that topic never has really interested me. However, if you want to avoid cold weather, the University of Texas at Arlington and Texas A & M both have good planning programs. I think UT Austin also has a planning program. Trust me, it rarely snows in Texas.

    For a focus on Historic Preservation, I figure you would need to look for schools in older parts of the country. If you want a good climate too, then perhaps a school in Florida, or Southern California might be what you need.

    I know that in the Dallas/Fort Worth area where I am, there is history, but the number of remaining historical structures seems insignificant when compared to older cities like New Orleans, Boston, New York, or even San Antonio. Still, a lot of cities are doing great things with what remains of their past.

    For practical job experience, I am glad that I went to UTA. There are plenty of cities of varying sizes around the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Most of the people in the Masters program are already working in the field, and those who aren't can easily find internships or entry level positions in the surrounding community. Additionally, at least half of my classes had some sort of real life project component to them, where the school was serving as a consultant for a local government or group, and that carrying out that particular project was the focus of the class.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian poncho's avatar
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    Schools

    You should look at Southwest Texas, they have an excellent Geography and Planning program and the climate is wonderful.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    Ball State

    Ball State has a very good historic preservation program. I got my minor in HP while earning my BUPD. It does snow occasionally in Muncie though.

    The only schools I know of that really do historic preservation planning as one program are U of New Orleans (actually a planning degree with a certificate in historic preservation planning, if I remember correctly) and Cornell (snow's in Ithaca).

    You may want to see about schools with dual degree programs, where you could earn both Planning and HP degrees. Might give you some more choices.

    Good luck.
    JOE ILIFF
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  6. #6
    Member trishm1's avatar
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    Thanks for the help...considering all

    I appreciate all the suggestions.
    I did some more surfing from links I got at APA and Peterson's Grad page and found some more info I can use maybe someone else too. Here we go...

    Arizona State in Tempe, AZ offers a Ma in Environmental Planning w/Urban and Regional Dev. specialization w/ an elective concentration in Preservation Planning. Sounds ok. But they have a limited course offering in preservation planning.

    University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ offers a MS in Planning w/3 dif. concentrations:Community Design;Land Use & Community Development; International/Borderlands Planning. U of AZ offers a certificate in Preservation Studies. Sounds ok. Which is better, a concentration or a certificate?

    I did look into University of Delaware (thanks for the suggestion StGeorge). They offer a MA in Urban Affairs & Public Policy with a concentration in Historic Preservation. Sounded real good but the tuition, etc...was about $1k more than the others per sem. Do you get what you pay for?

    Now...Ball State has Planning, Historic Preservation and Architecture programs, so the options are pretty well covered there. And....Dave Letterman is an alumni....need I say more?

    U of TX....I saw that they have decent Planning programs, but not much in the way of architecture/historic preservation. At least not that I can remember. My mind has been going lately. It's the HEAT!!!

    All of these are ACSP certified schools. Whatever that is worth.

    I am wondering if any of these schools have better "reputations" than the others. I know there is no rating for planning schools, wish there was. Maybe that's something we can do here.

    I am seriously considering all of these grad programs. I still have a few months before I really have to decide which I want to apply to so keep up the suggestions.

  7. #7

    Graduate degrees

    You might also want to consider a graduate degree in Historic Preservation rather than Planning. If you are really interested in HP, you will get a much better education from a school that offers a degree in it. Planning programs tend (not always however) to feature HP as very minor. There are many jobs in HP planning, and most require much more knowledge about preservation than planning. I am sure there is disagreement to this statement, but I find it is easier to learn the planning "on the job" than preservation.
    There are many excellent HP programs in a variety of locations around the state. I believe that the National Trust for Historic Preservaiton has a list on their website of schools. (nthp.org). You said no hot and humid, so that rules out the Savannah College of Art and Design, but Georgia also has UGA in Athens and GSU in Altlanta-both of which are hot, but not too bad. Middle Tennessee State University also has a good program.

  8. #8

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    You might want to look into the web site for the MSHP program at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. They offer a decently balanced program.

  9. #9

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    I would suggest thinking about what you really want to do. If you want to be a planner and take some historic pres. classes, consider getting a degree in Urban Planning and make sure that the school has a concentration in historic preservation (look at Michigan State - but maybe too cold and snowy for you). Maybe look at schools that have both degrees in urban planning and historic preservation, so that you can be sure there are enough preservation classes. The one or two preservation classes offered in many schools of planning, in my opinion, does not even scratch the surface of historic preservation. On the other hand, if you want to work as a preservationist more than a planner, you may want to check out a degree in historic preservation. A degree in historic preservation will cover not only preservation planning (as many planning schools do), but also architectural history, construction techniques and materials, funding.... There are many schools out there - School of the Art Institute of Chicago, U of Penn, Savannah, Ball State, Cornell... the list goes on and on. I think that there is a assocation of schools of historic preservation education that has a list of schools on the web. As for jobs, try looking at the web sites for the international downtown association, National trust forum (which requires a fee, but is has lots of jobs), epreservation.net, preservnet (or something like that), I think that I saw a job listing for main street jobs at the national main street center (may be th wrong name).

  10. #10
    I see you have had a lot of replies to your inquiry.. here is a page I used to find my graduate program and am currently using in my search for a historic preservation program. It lists all the schools with post-bacc degrees in HP. You might consider a planning/geography degree and do your thesis work in HP. A friend of mine recently graduated with a MA in geography doing her thesis on HP and got a job very quickly in an architecture firm doing historic preservation planning.
    http://www.gradschools.com/listings/...servation.html

  11. #11
    The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has a very good program. Preservation seems to be such an unpredictable, underpaid area of planning. I'd recommend that you supplement your studies to enhance your ability to get a job--have design skills or knowledge of economic development. And you must intern and volunteer before graduating to obtain experience and contacts.

  12. #12

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    Check out Eastern Michigan University's program in HP, it is one of the oldest in the country, has profs who are leaders in the field not only in the Midwest, but nationwide, and has a series of excellent programs within the program, one is Preservation Planning, specifically. My girlfriend is currently completing her Pres Planning Masters and she is just as proficient in planning as pres., and they have an excellent employment network. They focus on professional experience and have a challenging curriculum. I went to U of Michigan just down the road in Ann Arbor for my MUP and worked with the folks over there more than once, they are good. They also have concentrations, materials conservation, preservation tourism, and lots of other good stuff. Check them out, the website and materials are a bit lower budget than a lot of schools, but the people are great:

    www.emich.edu

    Later-

  13. #13

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    EMU

    I agree, Eastern has a really good program. My faher hires interns from there occaionally and he could not be happier with them. They seem to have a very good planning focus and a very good attitude about realistic preservation. Also, Ann Arbor is just down the road and is a very cool place to live

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