Home Preservation


Building Technology 2 (2019)


    This series of video lectures is intended for stage 1 undergraduate Architecture, Architectural Technology, Construction management and Surveying students. It is intended to give a very basic view of masonry construction. The information provided is geared towards Scottish construction.

    Topics covered include:

    • Scottish Built Heritage
    • Scottish Heritage
    • Working with existing buildings
    • Historic Foundations
    • Historic Walls
    • Stonework
    • Brickwork
    • Mortar
    • Lime Mortar
    • Stonework Details
    • Cavity wall basics
    • Cavity wall Construction
    • Ventilation of cavity walls
    • Cavity wall insulation
    • Brickwork coordinating sizes
    • Cavity closers and barriers
    • Window Cill Detail
    • Window Head Detail
    • Door threshold detail
    • U value calculations
    • U value BRE Calculator
    • Simple U-value example
    • Noise Reduction
    • Non loadbearing partitions
    • Internal Partitions
    • Loadbearing partitions
    • Intermediate floor
    • Stair geometry
    • Barriers and Handrails


    2019 Fitch Colloquium: Record/Replay


      Can digital technologies for capturing and reproducing reality deepen our understanding and enrich our experience of built heritage? Can these new technologies not only improve the daily practice of preservation but effectively inform a new paradigm of cultural heritage? The 2019 Fitch Colloquium will explore the future of Historic Preservation through the lens of experimental approaches to digital documentation, analysis, interpretation, archiving, sharing, visualization and re-materialization of data.

      The symposium will examine cutting-edge processes involving the development and application of digital tools to projects of all scales, including high-resolution 3D scanning, gaming, computer-based visual pattern recognition, blockchain encryption, behavioral geo-tracking or interactive projection mapping among others. Internationally recognized experts from a varied range of disciplines will unpack their work and speculate on the conceptual changes that might emerge in response to the current upheaval in technology.


      • David Gissen, PhD, Professor & Associate Chair, Graduate Programs Division of Architecture, The California College of the Arts
      • Dr. Pilar Bosch Roig, Associate Professor and Researcher at the University Polytechnic of Valencia, Spain
      • Dr. Frédéric Kaplan, Assistant Professor, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
      • Dr. Hannah Lewi, Professor of Architecture, University of Melbourne
      • Ian Bogost, Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies, Professor of Interactive Computing Professor, Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology
      • Carlos Bayod, Factum Foundation, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Columbia GSAPP
      • Arnaud Baernhoft, Digital Producer, Alchemy VR
      • Carlos Benaïm, Perfumer, International Flavors and Fragrances
      • Yves Ubelmann, Digital Architect for Cultural Heritage, ICONEM
      • Emily L. Spratt, PhD Candidate, Princeton University
      • Chance Coughenour, Digital Archaeologist, Google Arts & Culture
      • Farzin Lotfi-Jam, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture, Columbia GSAPP
      • Caitlin Blanchfield, PhD Candidate, Columbia GSAPP


      • Erica Avrami, PhD, James Marston Fitch Assistant Professor, Columbia GSAPP
      • David Benjamin, Founding Principal of The Living, Assistant Professor, Columbia GSAPP
      • Organized by Jorge Otero-Pailos and the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia GSAPP.

      CHC symposium focused on African-American heritage (2018)


        Preservation of Texas’ historic African-American communities, repositories of black heritage and culture that are increasingly imperiled by natural and economic threats, was the focus of the Feb. 16-17 Texas A&M Center for Heritage Conservation’s 19th Annual Historic Preservation Symposium at Texas A&M University.

        “Many historically significant African-American communities are at risk because they are located in areas susceptible to flooding, chronic disinvestment, and gentrification,” said Andrea Roberts, a symposium lecturer and Texas A&M assistant professor of urban planning who is creating a statewide black settlement inventory.

        Symposium speakers discussed why preserving these communities requires a “full court press” — an interdisciplinary approach that addresses historic sites and buildings and promotes their sustainable development, equity, and resilience.

        None of these issues can be discussed in isolation if African-American communities in Texas are to survive and thrive, said Roberts.

        “Speakers also addressed fundamental issues of why we preserve, what we preserve, and the best ways to do that both now and in the future,” said Kevin Glowacki, interim director of the CHC. “The symposium, which showcased several CHC faculty fellows’ research and teaching projects, is the start of a much larger conversation about the entire state’s history and heritage.”

        Keynote open to public

        The symposium’s keynote address, “African-American History in Texas: Context for Preserving and Conserving Culture and Place,” was presented by Everett Fly, an award-winning, San Antonio-based architect, landscape architect, preservationist, and nationally recognized leader in the drive to preserve the integrity of African-American-associated structures and history.

        Presenters discussed events in Houston’s Third Ward, a predominantly African-American community that traces its origins to Houston’s founding in 1836.

        Roundtable discussion

        The symposium also included “The Brazos Valley Manifesto: What’s Next for Preservation of African-American Places in Texas?” a roundtable discussion moderated by Andrea Roberts and Brent Fortenberry, Texas A&M assistant professor of architecture.

        Fitch Colloquium Ex-Situ (2017)


          The act of moving historical buildings to new locations has been part and parcel of modern preservation practice since its origins in the early 19th century, when fragments of some of the great monuments of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt were relocated to Europe. Although the practice never quite stopped, 20th century preservationists demoted it to a preservation solution of last resort. Today, various external pressures, from rising sea levels to economic pressure, are making preservationists reconsider the practice of ex-situ preservation.

          As a result, a new critical engagement with preservation’s colonial history is emerging. Core concepts, such as the primacy of context, are being reconsidered. Fundamental practices such as the archiving of architectural fragments are being redefined. And new technologies are being developed. The 2017 Fitch Colloquium examines these and other emerging philosophical, social, technical and environmental questions raised by moving buildings.


          Panel 1: Urban Moves

          • Tony Mazzo, Urban Foundation/Engineering, LLC
          • Krister Lindstedt, White Arkitekter
          • Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi, SLO Architecture
          • Mary Ellen Carroll, MEC, studios
          • Moderated by Erica Avrami, Columbia GSAPP

          Panel 2: Political Moves

          • Constance S. Silver, Preservart, Inc.
          • Dean Sully, University College London, Institute of Archaeology
          • Mabel O. Wilson, Columbia GSAPP
          • Ryan Mendoza, Artist
          • Moderated by Jorge Otero-Pailos, Columbia GSAPP

          Panel 3: Archival Moves

          • Janet Parks, Columbia University
          • Maite Borjabad López-Pastor, The Art Institute of Chicago
          • Can Bilsel, University of San Diego
          • Mari Lending, The Oslo School of Architecture and Design
          • Moderated by Andrew Dolkart, Columbia GSAPP


          Fitch Colloquium: Preservation and War (2016)


            What are the moral limits to war? The destruction of heritage has, at least since the Enlightenment, been considered a threshold beyond which military action becomes unjust, even criminal. Centuries before modern preservation laws, it was military jurists like Emmerich de Vattel who helped establish the notion that governments at war had a legal duty to protect heritage—including that of their conquered enemies. The regulation of modern warfare in many ways preceded and shaped that of modern preservation.

            Military codes of conduct, such as the pioneering 1863 US Lieber Code, became the basis and inspiration for national and international preservation laws. The experience of World War II, and the now famous work of the Monuments Men, was a powerful catalyst for the creation of preservation institutions during peacetime, from the National Trust of Historic Preservation to UNESCO. Their aim was not so much to abolish war, but rather to fight more just wars in the future, to correct the moral transgressions of the past.

            Preservation, in other words, is not conceptually outside of war, but very much embedded in it, where it can more effectively monitor, report on, influence and limit bellicose action. Military thinking is second hand to preservation: we organize as one would an army, around notions of readiness for battle, defensibility of assets, planned campaigns, managing trauma, and reconstruction.

            To what degree, we may ask, is preservation thinkable outside of militarization, and its prewar—war—postwar continuum? What is the range of acceptable preservation actions and non-actions in the face of today’s wars, when spectacles are made of the dynamiting of monuments, and the killing of preservationists?

            The 2016 Fitch Colloquium brings together some of the world’s leading experts in the spirit of dialogue and common pursuit of answers to these urgent questions.


            Panel 1: Pre War

            • Tim Winter, Research Chair of Cultural Heritage, Deakin University
            • Laurie Rush, Cultural Resources Manager and Archaeologist, US Department of Defense
            • Leila A. Amineddoleh, Founding and Managing Partner at Amineddoleh & Associates
            • Lucia Allais, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Princeton University
            • David Gissen, Professor of Architecture, California College of the Arts
            • Moderated by Erica Avrami, James Marston Fitch Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation, Columbia GSAPP

            Panel 2: At War

            • Julián Esteban-Chapapría, Associate Professor, Universitat Politècnica de València
            • Zaki Aslan, Director of ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre, UAE
            • Laura Kurgan, Associate Professor of Architecture, Columbia GSAPP
            • Zainab Bahrani, Edith Porada Professor of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University
            • Moderated by William Raynolds, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation, Columbia GSAPP

            Panel 3: Post War

            • Nikolaus Hirsch, Städelschule, Frankfurt
            • Mark Jarzombek, Professor of History and Theory of Architecture, MIT
            • Rodney Harrison, Professor of Heritage Studies, University College London
            • Azra Akšamija, Associate Professor, MIT
            • Clive Van Den Berg, Artist and Managing Partner, Trace
            • Moderated by Rosalind C. Morris, Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University


            The Fitch Colloquium: Beyond the Five Boroughs: International Preservation Insights (2015)


              As Columbia University’s contribution to the Landmarks 50 celebration—the recognition of the fiftieth anniversary of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission—this year’s Fitch Colloquium looks beyond the laws of New York City to preservation frameworks elsewhere in the world. With the understanding there much New Yorkers can learn from international practice and problems, we gather leading preservationists from London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Oslo, Puerto Rico, and Rio de Janeiro, to speak about their local perspectives. An introduction provided by Will Cook of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s legal staff will set up the discussion for comparative practices around the country and world.

              10:00am Introduction

              • Andrew Dolkart Director, Historic Preservation Program, Columbia University GSAPP

              10:15am Creative Approaches to Using Law to Protect Historic Places

              • Will Cook, Associate General Counsel, National Trust for Historic Preservation

              10:45am Preserving Historic Los Angeles

              • Ken Bernstein Manager, Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources

              11:15am Remembering & Forgetting: Historic Preservation in Puerto Rico

              • Nadya Nenadich Academic Coordinator, Adjunct Associate Professor Historic Preservation Program, Pratt Institute

              11:45am Discussion Led by Anthony C. Wood Director, New York Archive Project

              12:30pm Lunch

              1:30pm London: Progress versus Preservation

              • Doug Black Delivery Lead, Conservation & Urban Design London Borough of Lambeth

              2:00pm Mumbai: Two Decades of Urban Conservation

              • Abha Narain Lambah Principal Architect, Abha Narain Lambah Associates

              2:30pm Break

              2:45pm High Change – High Preservation

              • Washington Fajardo, President, Institute Rio Heritage Special Advisor for Urban Affairs, Mayor’s Office City Hall of Rio de Janeiro

              3:15pm Oslo by Nature

              • Erik Fenstad Langdalen, Professor and Head of the Institute of Form, Theory and History at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design Principal Architect, Erik Langdalen Architect

              3:45pm Discussion Led by Lisa Ackerman Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, World Monuments Fund


              The Fitch Colloquium: Transformative: Seven Ideas for a New Preservation (2014)


                In celebration of its 50th anniversary, GSAPP’s Historic Preservation program is convening extraordinary figures to re-imagine the future of preservation. The works of Michèle Pierre Louis, Tim McClimon, Adam Lowe, John Ochsendorf, Ilaria Cavaggioni, Gunny Harboe, and Peter Mullan challenge us to rethink our assumptions about what preservation is and can do. Their unique perspectives on preservation are informed by their deep knowledge and engagement with fields as diverse as politics, finance, art, engineering, design, planning and information technology.

                Each speaker will explore one idea, a new and unexpected way in which preservation may engage with the urgent challenges of our time, from social inequity to climate change, from the digital revolution to the limits of government. Collectively, they will offer a view of preservation’s emerging potential.


                • Ilaria Cavaggioni, Architect Director and Coordinator, Architectural and Landscape Heritage of Venice and Lagoon
                • Gunny Harboe, Principal, Harboe Architects
                • Adam Lowe, Founder, Factum Arte
                • Tim McClimon, President, American Express Foundation
                • Peter Mullan, Executive Vice President, Friends of the High Line
                • John Ochsendorf, Professor of Engineering and Architecture, MIT
                • Michèle Pierre-Louis, Founder and President of the Knowledge and Freedom Foundation, Former Prime Minister of Haiti

                Organized by Jorge Otero-Pailos and introduced by Andrew Dolkart, Columbia GSAPP, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Historic Preservation Program.

                Carpenter: The Fitch Colloquium (2013)


                  The annual James Marston Fitch Symposium hosted by the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning, and Preservation explores the question: Is there an East and West in Preservation? An examination of preservation practice in contexts of engagement between East and West seems to suggest there is dissonance between projected rhetorical positions and what occurs “on the ground.” In these engagements is preservation largely enacted on a set of consensus and globally forged principles tempered by national or regional customs or primarily on indigenous principles? Or, is the spectrum of practice even broader and more deeply colored by local contexts?


                  10:00 am

                  Anton Schweizer: How to deal with short-lived splendor? The concept of originality in Japanese lacquered architecture

                  10:30 am

                  Theodore Prudon: Preserving Modern Architecture in the East: Old Concepts, New Challenges

                  11:00 am

                  Vincent Michael: Conserving Cultural Heritage in the 21st Century: East Meets West

                  11:30 am

                  Lee Ambrozy: At the Midpoint: Negotiating Sustainability in the Old Town of Shaxi – Yunnan Province, China

                  2:00 pm

                  Lisa Ackerman: More than Mortar Analysis and Measurement: the Art of Conservation Across the Globe

                  2:30 pm

                  Grace Jan: Traditions and Cultures Matter: Reflections of a Conservator Training in Chinese Painting Conservation

                  3:00 pm

                  Simon Warrack: Conserving what? Western conservation approaches and their impact on heritage in Asia

                  3:30 pm

                  John G. Waite: Yin Yu Tang: an 18th Century Chinese House Meets American Preservation Technology

                  The Fitch Colloquium: Why preserve public housing? (2012)


                    Themes will revolve around “The Architecture of Public Housing: Preserving a Post-War Legacy.”

                    Program as follows:
                    9:00-9:30 | Welcome and Opening Remarks | Andrew Dolkart
                    9:30-10:00 | Preserving Public Housing: Dilemma or Opportunity? | Theodore Prudon
                    10:00-10:30 | What do we preserve? Lessons from 75 years of public housing in America? | Joseph Heathcott
                    10:30-11:00 | Mid-morning break
                    11:00-11:30 | The Preservation of Form and Function in American Public Housing | Elizabeth Milnarik
                    11:30-12:00 | Recording our Recent Past: Scotland’s survey and preservation initiatives of Post-War Sites and Monuments, 1985-2012 | Diane Watters
                    12:00-12:30 | Panel discussion and summary
                    12:30-1:30 | Lunch
                    1:30-2:00 | Public Housing in France | Jean-François Briand
                    2:00-2:30 | The Netherlands: Housing before and after WWII and their appreciation
                    2:30-3:00 | Mid-afternoon break
                    3:00-3:30 | Modern Housing in Rio de Janeiro: the Pedregulho Residential Estate | Flavia Brito
                    3:30-4:00 | Soviet era Housing in Georgia | Levan Asabashvili
                    4:00-4:30 | Preserving the social housing experiences in Casablanca | Abderrahim Kassou
                    5:00-5:15 | Sunny Fischer
                    5:15-5:30 | Summary and Closing | Joseph Heathcott

                    Conference on Preservation and Climate Change (2010)


                      How can old buildings contribute to New York City’s sustainable future? On Saturday, October 16th, 2010 policy makers, architects, environmentalists, planners, preservationists and others gathered at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation to explore how preservation can be integrated into New York City’s climate change, green building and sustainability agendas. The goal of the conference was to find common ground across disciplines and seek to advance both the fields of sustainability and preservation.


                      • David Bragdon
                      • Andrew Dolkart
                      • Lisa Kersavage
                      • Charles Platt
                      • Emily Wadhams