HP 304 Contemporary Preservation Planning and Policy Seminar

Spring 2017

Tuesdays from 1:15 – 4:15, Wheeler House, Room 101

Professor Thomas Visser, Historic Preservation Program, University of Vermont
Office hours: Mondays 3:15 to 5:00 PM, Tuesdays 10:00 AM to 12:00
Contact: Thomas.Visser@uvm.edu
Course web site: http://www.uvm.edu/histpres/304/2017.html

Course description

This seminar course explores the history, theory and practice of historic preservation planning and policy through seminars, research and readings. Course goals include addressing such questions as: What is the history of historic preservation, heritage conservation and cultural resource protection locally, nationally and globally? How have the associated theoretical frameworks evolved and where are they headed? What are some of the most common contemporary preservation challenges and issues? What preservation planning and policy strategies are effective and appropriate? How are preservation planning and policy goals addressed by professionals in the field?


Students are expected to attend all classes unless excused in advance. Use of cellphones, texting, e-mail, and web surfing should not be done during classes. All students are expected to do individual work and each will be graded separately. Written assignments are to be submitted at the beginning of class on the due date. All written assignments should be done on a computer and be double-spaced. Multiple page submissions should be securely bound together. It is expected that all work will be produced in a professional manner and will be thoroughly proof-read and checked for spelling and grammatical errors. All writing must be authored directly by each student and all sources of information and ideas that are not common knowledge must be identified through attributions in the text or citations using notes. The Chicago Manual of Style is the preferred style guide for note citations in the historic preservation field. It is available for consultation in the reference section of the UVM Library or is available for purchase. Plagiarism is not tolerated. For guidance on this, see Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It at http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/plagiarism.shtml. Please also review the University of Vermont's Code of Academic Integrity at http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmppg/ppg/student/acadintegrity.pdf.

Course readings

The assigned readings for this seminar are excerpts from a variety of books and articles selected to provide an overview of the history, theory and activities of historic preservation, while supplementing the planning and policy topics that will be discussed in class. All students are expected to complete the required readings before class and to be prepared to discuss them in class. The syllabus also lists links to web sites and articles for review, which should be browsed before class, and resources that provide information on the topics in greater depth.

The core readings are Historic Preservation by James Marston Fitch, Heritage Planning by Harold Kalman, and A Richer Heritage: Historic Preservation in the Twenty-First Century by Robert Stipe. These are supplemented by excerpts from works by Charles Hosmer, James Glass and Dolores Hayden and various articles. Several copies these supplemental readings are on reserve in the Historic Preservation Library in Room 103, Wheeler House. These should remain in Wheeler House.

Class schedule (Subject to availability of invited guests)

1. January 17 - Introduction - Historic Preservation Planning & Policy

2. January 24 - Cultural Heritage, Memory & Historic Preservation

Due: Assignment 1a. Public meeting proposal

Readings: James Marston Fitch, Historic Preservation, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Robert E. Stipe, et al., A Richer Heritage, Prologue; and Chapter 1: "Some Preservation Fundamentals;" and Chapter 2, "The Federal Preservation Program; Chapter 11: "Historic Preservation in a Global Context. An International Perspective."


3. January 31 - History, Theory and Practice of Historic Preservation (before 1960)

Due: Assignment 2a. Field research project proposal

Readings: James Marston Fitch, Historic Preservation, Chapters 7, 8, 9
Robert E. Stipe, et al., A Richer Heritage, Introduction


4. February 7 - History, Theory, and Practice of Historic Preservation (1961-1987)

Readings: Readings: James Marston Fitch, Historic Preservation, Chapters 10, 11, 12, 14

Recommended: Charles B. Hosmer, The Presence of the Past. Chapter 5: "New England, the Home of Militant Private Preservation Organizations. Chapter 7; "National Preservation Organizations Working Locally."
Charles B. Hosmer, Preservation Comes of Age. Chapter 4: "Preservation Organizations." Chapter 10: "The Formation of the National Trust for Historic Preservation."


5. February 14 - Managing Nonprofit Preservation Organizations

Guest: Judy Hayward, Executive Director, Historic Windsor, Inc.

Readings: A Richer Heritage. Chapter 9: "Private Sector Involvement in Historic Preservation," and Chapter 10: "Nonprofits in the American Preservation Movement."

6. February 21- History, Theory, and Practice of Historic Preservation (1988-2010)

7. February 28 - History, Theory, and Practice of Historic Preservation (2010-present)

Readings: A Richer Heritage. Chapter 7: "The Natural Environment"
Carl Elefante, "The Greenest Building is...One That Is Already Built," Forum Journal, Fall 2012 Vol. 27 No. 1, page 62.
Carol Shull, The Future of the National Register," Forum Journal, Fall 2012 Vol. 27 No. 1, page 5.


Assignment 2b. Research travel scholarship grant application deadline

March 7 - Town Meeting Recess - no class

March 11 - 19 - Spring Recess

8. March 21 - Preservation Plans

Due: Assignment 2c. Travel grant scholarship completion reports deadline for Spring Break travel*

Readings: A Richer Heritage. Chapter 3, "The States: The Backbone of Preservation;" and Chapter 4, "Local Government Programs: Preservation Where It Counts.
Harold Kalman, Heritage Planning, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


9. March 28 - Cultural Resource Management: Archaeological Resources

Due: Assignment 1b. Public meeting report

Guests: Jess Robinson, Vermont State Archaeologist, Vermont Division for Historic Preservation; Jeannine Russell-Pinkham, Archaeology Officer, Vermont Agency of Transportation; Brennan Gauthier, Archaeologist, Vermont Agency of Transportation

Readings: A Richer Heritage. Chapter 8: "Uncertain Destiny. The Changing Role of Archeology in Historic Preservation;" Chapter 13: "Native Americans and Historic Preservation;" and Chapter 14: "Folklife, Intangible Heritage, and the Promise and Perils of Cultural Cooperation."


10. April 4 - Impacts of Race and Diversity on Historic Preservation
Films: My Brooklyn, 2012 and The Champlain Street Urban Renewal Project, 2002

Readings: A Richer Heritage. Chapter 12: "The Social and Ethnic Dimensions of Historic Preservation"
Toni Lee, "Cultural Diversity in Historic Preservation: Where We Have Been, Where We Are Going," Forum Journal, Fall 2012 Vol. 27 No. 1, page 20.


11. April 11 - Transportation & Preservation Planning Perspectives

Guest: Kaitlin O'Shea, preservation planning consultant

Readings: A Richer Heritage. Chapter 5: "Preservation Law and Public Policy;" Chapter 6: "Preserving Important Landscapes."

Review: FHWA Historic Preservation and Archeology Program

Due: Assignment 2d. Field research report

April 12 - 8:30 to 4:30 - Vermont Preservation Consultant Training - Vermont Division for Historic Preservation - University of Vermont Davis Center

12. April 18 - Preservation Easements and Preservation Planning Career Trends Guest: Meg Campbell, Preservation Trust of Vermont

Readings: Robert E. Stipe, A Richer Heritage. Chapter 15: "Where Do We Go From Here?"
James Marston Fitch, Historic Preservation. Chapter 18: "Training for Professional Preservation: Preservationist, Conservationist, Craftsperson;" and Chapter 21, "Preservation in Tomorrow's World."


13. April 25 - Emergence of Cultural Landscapes and the Conservation of Place

Guest: Nora Mitchell, Rubenstein School of the Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont

Readings: James Marston Fitch, Historic Preservation, Chapters 13, 15, 16, 17


14. May 2 - Class Research Presentations & Discussions

Due: Assignment 2e. Field research presentation


Assignments will be due by the start of class on the following dates. Late submissions and missed classes will be penalized unless arrangements are made ahead and are due to circumstances beyond a student’s control.

Assignment 1- Preservation Planning and Policy Public Meetings

Each student should attend at least one local public meeting or hearing where preservation plans, reviews or issues will be addressed. This could be a meeting of a local design review board, a historic preservation review board, a planning commission, a development review board, a state advisory council meeting or a state environmental board district commission (Act 250) hearing. As public meetings are sometimes postponed or canceled with little notice, the meeting should be attended at least two weeks before the assignment due date.

Assignment resources:

Assignment 2 - Preservation Planning and Policy Field Research Project

Select a preservation planning or preservation policy initiative to research. This could be a planning project or a preservation program for a community, neighborhood or site. Research the history of the project or program, then study the actually place and/or interview people involved with the project or program. Alternatively, one could attend a professional conference or workshop where preservation planning or policy research is presented and interview people involved with the project or program.

Required Texts (available at UVM Bookstore)

  • Fitch, James Marston. Historic Preservation. Curatorial Management of the Built World. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1990. Originally published in 1982.
  • Kalman, Harold. Heritage Planning. New York: Routledge, 2014.
  • Stipe, Robert E. A Richer Heritage. Historic Preservation in the Twenty First Century. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.
  • Other Readings on Reserve

  • Forum Journal, Vol. 27, No.1, Fall 2012
  • Glass, James. The Beginnings of a New National Historic Preservation Program. 1957-1969. Foreword by Charles B. Hosmer, Jr. Nashville, TN: American Association for State and Local History, 1990.
  • Hosmer, Charles B., Jr. Presence of the Past. A History of the Preservation Movement in the United States Before Williamsburg. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1965.
  • Hosmer, Charles B., Jr. Preservation Comes of Age: From Williamsburg to the National Trust (1926-1949). Vols. 1 and 2. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia for the Preservation Press, 1981.
  • Recommended Additional Readings and Resources:


    Assignment grades will be calculated as follows:

    © T. Visser, UVM Historic Preservation Program, 4/14/17