Historic Preservation Studio

Core Second Year HSPV 701-201

Instructed by Pamela Hawkes and Randy Mason
Fall 2021


The Preservation Studio is a practical course making architectural, urban and landscape conservation operations, bringing to bear the wide range of skills and ideas at play in the field of historic preservation. In Fall 2021, second-year students in Weitzman's Department of Historic Preservation were devoted to working in depth on two heritage places - Paul Robeson House & Museum in West Philadelphia, and the Peacock Tract neighborhood & Loveless School in Montgomery Alabama.


Paul Robeson House
Philadelphia, PA

Students in Professor Pamela Hawkes’ studio created a Preservation Plan for the Paul Robeson House and Museum, located at 4951 Walnut Street in West Philadelphia. The twin rowhouses at 4951 and 4949 Walnut Street are significant in their historical connection to Paul Robeson and the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance (WPCA). The WPCA seeks to capture Robeson’s spirit and his life’s work by making the rowhouses a place where art and activism come together to inspire the community.

group of people in front of building in field

Peacock Tract Neighborhood
Montgomery AL

Highway construction purposefully destroyed big swaths of Peacock Tract on Montgomery’s west side in the 1960s-70s. Students are explored ways of using historic preservation to advance equitable redevelopment in this historically Black neighborhood. The principal focal point of the work was the Loveless Elementary School, a 1923 public school presently abandoned but in reasonably good condition. Henry Loveless was a Black businessman and community leader in Montgomery.

Advanced Studio: Reckoning With Civil Rights Sites

HSPV 705-001 

Instructed by Randy Mason and Brent Leggs
Spring 2021


This advanced research/studio course explored the presence of civil rights issues and stories, their heritage, and opportunities for reckoning at the scale of the site and the landscape. We will ask how sites of civil rights struggles, triumphs and other legacies should be recognized, interpreted, preserved, managed and otherwise made visible? What particular issues attach to civil rights – and specifically Black – heritage places? How must the practices and policies of historic preservation adapt to serve the public interest in recognizing the historical and cultural significance of civil rights in telling the whole spectrum of American stories?

For their final projects, students workshoped preservation plans for the Marian Anderson Historical Society and Museum in Philadelphia and The St Pauls Missionary Baptist Church and Armstrong School in Macon County, AL in collaboration with colleagues at Tuskegee University’s Department of Architecture.


The course drew on several professional and scholarly fields, including history, preservation, management, and design. It consisted of lecture/seminar sessions to outline and examine issues, case studies to understand contemporary responses and best practice, and practical workshops/studio exercises applying and exploring professional tools for designing, preserving and otherwise sustaining two particular heritage sites in different stages of development.

The goals in the practical studio work are twofold: creating compelling and practical pitches identifying opportunities and needs for the sites and their stewards); framing the design, preservation and management of these heritage sites holistically. 


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