Research is essential to the Center’s contributions as an academic partner working with other preservation, stewardship, community, and scholarly organizations. Research is also key to making space for creativity in thought and practice. 

CPCRS contributes to research about civil rights histories and heritage preservation through support of emerging scholars and practitioners in the preservation field with fellowships that allow them to pursue a diverse range of topics. They have the opportunity to publish issue papers and contribute to scholarly discourse through public presentations. We also invite preservation experts and thought leaders to share their work with the general public through in-person and online lectures.


CPCRS builds on a long legacy of preservation education at the Weitzman School of Design and within the Graduate Department in Historic Preservation. Students and educators collaborate in classrooms, studios, labs, and in the field to bring preservation philosophies and principles to practice.

Applied learning is central to our praxis, and classes offered in concert with CPCRS projects and initiatives are the perfect way for students to gain experience using the theories and methods of research and documentation in service to community partners.


CPCRS organizes field projects to apply research and teaching to the practical challenges faced by sites, their organizations, and stakeholders. Fieldwork provides essential learning and research opportunities: testing replicable models, mapping out ideal processes, revising and redesigning policies, and practicing collaboration.

All our efforts are directed to holistic approaches to preservation – in terms of scale, community needs, material realities, creative opportunities, management, and financing. To advance these goals we create opportunities for students to gain fieldwork experience in class and through paid internships


tanner house

Henry Ossawa Tanner House


Preservation effort to stabilize and preserve the 19th century painter's Philadelphia home. Project in partnership with the Friends of Henry O. Tanner House, Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, and Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.

Armstrong School

Preserving the St. Paul Baptist Church and The Armstrong School

A Tuskegee x Penn preservation effort to stabilize, preserve, interpret and sustain the a rare cultural landscape in Macon Co, AL.

Bayard Rustin

National Register Research

Documentation of significant Black heritage sites in the Philadelphia region and state of Alabama.

students on site

Civil Rights Heritage Courses

Learning from Civil Rights heritage in the classroom

Each semester CPCRS engages students with our partners in Alabama and Philadelphia through the Historic Preservation curriculum. In classrooms, studios, labs, and in the field, Weitzman School of Design educators and students collaborate to bring the preservation philosophies and principles of CPCRS “down to the ground.” 

students and professor

Tuskegee University, Department of Architecture, Teaching Collaboration

Weitzman’s Graduate Program in Historic Preservation continues its collaboration with Kwesi Daniels and colleagues at Tuskegee University’s Department of Architecture on courses focusing on historic preservation planning at sites in Alabama.

gas station

Picturing Civil Rights

CPCRS's official instagram account

A public visual archive of Black heritage situated in the vernacular American landscape.


Sustainable Site Management Assessments

In Partnership with the Alabama African American Civil Rights Heritage Site Consortium

An initiative to support managers of highly significant civil rights heritage places by identifying key challenges and how to address them.