Historic preservation is a pervasive, enduring national movement driven by the public’s fascination with the past in the form of old buildings, neighborhoods, Main Streets, and landscapes. Rather than focusing on preserving houses or villages as museums, the modern preservation profession emphasizes adapting old buildings to new uses.
There’s more to the historic built environment than the “plus factor”—features people admire, such as high ceilings, elaborate or simple woodwork, decorative tile, and fireplaces that are works of art in themselves. Beyond this aesthetic is an emotional attraction. Living in an old house or working in an old building provides a sense of heritage and connects individuals to the past.
The nation’s interest in historic preservation is growing, and today it is a living, breathing, and functional way of life. Historic preservation professional skills are needed by communities across the country that want to preserve their built heritage for future generations.
Types of Projects Professionals in this field deal with the complex challenges of rejuvenating the historic core districts of cities, maintaining a sense of identity in small towns, revitalizing neighborhoods, preserving rural areas, and restoring historic landmarks and landscapes.
This diverse discipline focuses on preserving a variety of historic places where people live and work, including:
Project Roles Historic preservationists try to find ways to preserve historic features of an old building while making changes needed for new life.
Job Opportunities Preservation professionals take a wide variety of positions in the public and private sectors.
For more information, contact Duncan Campbell, director, graduate program in historic preservation.
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