University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of History


Emeriti Faculty - Chester H. Liebs

Chester H. Liebs, Professor Emeritus of History

Area of expertise

Historic Preservation

Contact Information

Email: Chester Liebs

Chester H. Liebs is Visiting Professor in the Graduate School of Conservation at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, Adjunct Professor, Department of Urban Planning, Tokyo University, and Senior Advisor, Japan National Trust for Natural and Cultural Heritage Conservation.

University of Vermont Professor Emeritus of History (1996-), he was founding director (1975-94) of the school's Historic Preservation Program. He also served as chair of Columbia University School of Architecture's Division of Historic Preservation (1984-85), Vermont Supervisor of Historic Sites (1971-74), and Curator of History, New York State Historic Trust (1970-1971). He is an Advisor Emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and past president of the Society for Industrial Archeology and the Society for Commercial Archeology. He was also a founding board member of the National Council for Preservation Education, the Preservation Trust of Vermont, and the Glynwood Center (home of the International Countryside Exchange). He is also a Trustee Emeritus of the United States Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (US/ICOMOS), and a former Trustee of the Vermont Historical Society and the Vermont Council for the Humanities.

Liebs is known for his two decades of work in national and international cultural heritage conservation. As both an educator, and scholar, he has helped expand the definition of what is worth studying and conserving in the United States and abroad. He has published and lectured extensively, and his book Main Street to Miracle Mile has become a standard reference work on the evolution of 20th-century commercial architecture in North America.

Liebs' recent work has been involved with encouraging greater cultural connections between the United States and Japan. He was awarded a Senior Fulbright Research Fellowship (1994-95) for a project titled: "Learning from Everyday Places: A Bridge to Japan / U.S. Understanding." This work continues as he helps in the development of Japan's first university graduate-level heritage conservation education program. In the United States he also continues as a commentator on Vermont Public Radio and is a major contributor to the Buildings of Vermont (to be published by Oxford University Press in 2003), a volume of the 58-volume series Buildings of the United States.

Liebs has received awards for his work in heritage education from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Eva Gebhard-Gourgaud Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Preservation Trust of Vermont, and the Vermont Council on the Arts.


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