Historic Preservation

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Manhattan Bridge

The M.S. degree in Historic Preservation at Pratt, a 44-credit, four-semester program, uniquely addresses both the physical aspects of preservation and the role this discipline plays within a larger context of design, community revitalization, redevelopment and adaptive reuse, and sustainability. The curriculum builds on the energy of New York City as an important epicenter of historic preservation in the United States, and the program is located in Brooklyn—a longtime bastion of civic engagement and innovation around preservation issues. Classes take place on Pratt’s historic Brooklyn campus and are concentrated on two days a week to make internships and employment easier.

The Historic Preservation program creates and sustains a learning community of students, faculty, and alumni that is characterized by studio-based learning and the wealth of internship opportunities that only New York City has to offer.  The coursework places equal emphasis on theory, knowledge, and best practices. The program attracts a "who’s who" of preservation and urbanism practitioners as faculty.

Historic Preservation students spend their first year in intensive coursework focused on the core elements of preservation practice and their second year specializing in a particular aspect of urban preservation and built environment management. There are three areas of focus within the program: Design, Conservation and Sustainability, Historic Resource Management, and Preservation Planning and Development. These three areas of focus will cover many crucial aspects of preservation, including Main Street revitalization, adaptive reuse, and the nexus of preservation and sustainability in order to better protect our historic resources while fostering innovation in the field.

Upon successful completion of a thesis, students become qualified historic preservation practitioners with a focus that broadens their knowledge base and deepens their expertise—thus enhancing their skills and the range of work that they are equipped to handle as they enter this transdisciplinary field. A required internship in the field of historic preservation rounds out the program and ensures that students leave Pratt with relevant “real world” work experience as well as a network of professionals in preservation.

The program resides within the Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development (PSPD) in the School of Architecture. The PSPD is an alliance of programs including City and Regional Planning, Facilities Management, Real Estate Development, Sustainable Environmental Systems, and Urban Placemaking and Management (including aspects of urban design), with further relationship with Pratt’s new geographic information systems lab (SAVI) and Brooklyn Law School—allowing students easy access to a wealth of urbanism-related elective courses.