Programs

Master of Heritage Conservation

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Los Angeles provides a unique laboratory in which to learn and challenge conservation issues.  As a relatively young and diverse global city, it is the ideal place to explore a relatively young and diverse global discipline. Our wealth of recent past resources raise a new set of research challenges and the city’s richly diverse communities woven throughout the tapestry of the built environment push us to acknowledge the many layers of history and meaning revealed in the city. It is also a place forever seeking the new, providing opportunities to protect the best of the past while embracing the landmarks of the future.

 

Embedded in the School of Architecture at USC, heritage conservation students are instantly part of a multidisciplinary environment, linking landscape architecture, building science, architecture, and conservation. As such, the program curriculum is designed to expose students to a broad range of topics including materials conservation, policy and planning, conservation theory, global conservation efforts, architectural and landscape history, best-practices in resource documentation and evaluation, sustainability, and historic site management. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the many academic resources in the broader university, including taking courses in real estate, regional history, urban planning, and spatial sciences. Program faculty are leaders in the field, a blend of academics and practitioners that grapple with conservation in real time, seeking creative solutions that balance the integrity of the past with a sustainable future. Through this broad exposure, students begin to formulate their professional path within the discipline.

 

The creation of a graduate thesis enables students to stretch themselves in the direction of their choice. Topics are chosen based on the interests of the student and vary from architectural and landscape history to policy analysis, from materials-based inquiry to industrial archaeology, and beyond. Below is a list of theses completed by our program graduates organized by year completed.  The typical program length is two years, although students may apply for advanced standing.

 

 

2014      

  • Dan Herrick -- SoCal Ski Hills: A Typological Analysis of a Cultural Landscape
  • Lindsey Miller -- Isolation and Authenticity in Los Angeles’ Arts District

2013

  • Ruth Wallach -- Preserving Architect-Designed Functional Spaces; The Case of the Helen Topping Architecture and Fine Arts Library, USC
  • Jenny Cowell -- Keeping a Historic Collegiate Stadium Viable: Best Practices for the Historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Rehabilitation
  • April Rabanera -- Success Stories: An Exploration of Three Nonprofits Working in Preservation, Affordable Housing, and Community Revitalization
  • Andrew Goodrich -- Heritage Conservation in Post-Redevelopment Los Angeles: Evaluating the Impact of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles on the Historic Built Environment
  • Colleen Horn -- Sawtelle Reexamined: A Preservation Study for a Historic California Japantown
  • John LoCascio -- A Different Kind of Eden: Gay Men, Modernism, and the Rebirth of Palm Springs
  • Isabel Rutherfoord -- Defining the City of Gardens: The Conservation of Pasadena’s Bungalow Courts
  • Lenore Lowen -- One Foot In The Past, One Foot In The Future: Japanese Cultural Identity and Preservation Law 1871-1950
  • Ivy Amable -- Citius, Altius, Fortius: Filling a Void in the Identification and Designation of Historic Venues from the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics

2012

  • Neha Jain -- Conservation Practices in India – A Case Study of Jaisalmer Fort
  • Jonathan Froines -- Society's Child: The Gardens of the Filipe de Neve Branch Library
  • Loretta Cimmarusti -- Maintaining Historic Integrity and Solving a Rehabilitation Dilemma: The History of Hollow Clay Tile and an Argument for its Preservation
  • Heather Goers -- A Life in Landscape: Howard Oshiyama and the Gardens of Buff & Hensman's King Residence
  • Laura Dominguez -- Este lugar si importa: Heritage Conservation in Unincorporated East Los Angeles
  • George Credle -- Claud Beelman’s Corporate Modern Style 1951-1963
  • Steven Treffers -- The Dingbat Apartment: The Low-Rise Urbanization of Post-World War II Los Angeles, 1957-1964
  • Carla Sotelo -- Cuerda Seca Ceramic Tiles:  Explorations of Resist Formulas in Various Firing Ranges
  • Dana Marinin -- Mussolini's Rome: How the City Changed with the Rise and Fall of the Duce
  • Mary Ringhoff -- Life and Work in the Ryan District, Death Valley, California, 1914 - 1930: A Historic Context for a Borax Mining Community

2011

  • Ellen Knowles -- A Unifying Vision: Improvement, Imagination and Bernhard Hoffmann of Stockbridge (New England) and Santa Barbara (New Spain)
  • Sian Winship -- Quantity and Quality: Architects Working for Developers in Southern California, 1960-1973
  • Arash Kalantari -- Persian Paradise Gardens: History, Elements, Influences
  • Huiqian Chen -- Preservation and Rehabilitation of Lilong in Shanghai: from Guidelines to Practice
  • Cheng Yang -- Mining the Intangible Past of Virginia City’s Chinese Pioneers: Using Historical Geographic Information Systems to Document, Visualize and Interpret the Spatial History of Chinese in the Mining Camp of Virginia City, Montana (ca 1863 - mid-20th century)

2010      

  • Elysha Dory -- The Los Angeles African American Heritage Area: A Proposal for Development
  • Debi Howell-Ardila -- 'Writing Our Own Program’: The USC Experiment In Modern Architectural Pedagogy, 1930 to 1960

2009

  • Shayne Watson -- Preserving the Tangible Remains of San Francisco’s Lesbian Community in North Beach, 1933 to 1960
  • Susan Zamudio-Gurrola -- Housing Farm Workers: Assessing the Significance of the Bracero Labor Camps in Ventura County
  • Michael Gibson -- Creating Sacred Spaces in the Suburbs: Roman Catholic Church Architecture in Postwar Southern California

2008

  • Sharon Smith -- Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue's Military Commissions: Identity, Process, Importance and Stewardship of these Cultural Resources
  • James Strawn -- Who’s Park: An Architectural History of Westlake-MacArthur Park

2007

  • Brian Zachary -- The Enduring Evolution of Kuruvungna: A Place in the Sun
  • Marla Cowan -- California’s Golden Chain Highway 49 of the Mother Lode: A Case Study of Historical Significance and Qualification as a National Heritage Area Corridor
  • Alison Jefferson -- Lake Elsinore: A Southern California African American Resort Area During the Jim Crow Era, 1920s-1960s, and the Challenges of Historic Preservation Commemoration
  • Holly Kane -- Arriving in Los Angeles: Railroad Depots as Gateways to the California Dream
  • Christine Lazzaretto -- The Bungalow and the Automobile: Arthur and Alfred Heineman and the Invention of the Milestone Motel

2006      

  • Judy Marks -- The Freeman House : A Case For The Expansion Of Significance
  • Alice Gates -- Community Redevelopment Through Historic Preservation: A Case Study of the Casa de Rosas
  • Kathryn Horak -- Holiday Bowl And The Problem Of Intangible Cultural Significance : A Historic Preservation Case Study

2005

  • Jill Vesci -- Preserving Modernist Architecture

2004

  • Vanessa Wexler -- Planning For Preservation: Exploring The Designation Of Historic Districts In Monrovia, CA
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Completion of this degree requires 48 units and includes 18 units of specified courses, 8 units of thesis preparation and thesis, and 22 units of elective courses as approved by the program director. 

 

Requirements for Advanced Standing
Students must have one of the following: an accredited graduate certificate in historic preservation or heritage conservation; professional degree or professional registration in architecture or engineering; graduate degree in a related field, such as architectural history, planning or history; and at least five years of teaching or practice (may be combined). Each student will be considered individually. Qualified students will be admitted to a three-semester program at the time of review of admission. Students with advanced standing must complete 36 units.

 

Required Courses Units
404 Topics in Modern Architecture in Southern California 3
542 Research Methods 1
549 Fundamentals of Heritage Conservation 3
550 Heritage Conservation Policy and Planning 3
551 Conservation Methods and Materials 3
552 Introduction to Historic Site Documentation 2
553 History of American Architecture and Urbanism 3
691a Heritage Conservation Thesis Preparation and Thesis 2
691b Heritage Conservation Thesis Preparation and Thesis 6
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Following is the program curriculum for the 2014-2015 Academic Year.  For previous years, please consult the online USC Catalogue archive.

 

The USC Catalogue is the document of authority for all students. The program requirements listed in the USC Catalogue supersede any information which may be contained in any bulletin of any school or department. The university reserves the right to change its policies, rules, regulations, requirements for graduation, course offerings and any other contents of this catalogue at any time.

 

 

 

48-Unit Sample Curriculum

First Year, First Semester Units
549 Fundamentals of Heritage Conservation 3
552 Introduction to Historic Site Documentation 2
553 History of American Architecture and Urbanism 3
  Electives 4
    Total Units: 12

 

First Year, Second Semester Units
404 Topics in Modern Architecture in Southern California 3
550 Heritage Conservation Policy and Planning 3
691a Heritage Conservation Thesis Preparation and Thesis 2
  Electives 4
    Total Units: 12

 

Second Year, First Semester Units
  Electives 12
    Total Units: 12

 

Second Year, Second Semester Units
551 Conservation Methods and Materials 3
691b Heritage Conservation Thesis Preparation and Thesis 6
  Electives 3
    Total Units: 12

 

36-Unit Advanced Standing Sample Curriculum

 

First Year, First Semester Units
549 Fundamentals of Heritage Conservation 3
552 Introduction to Historic Site Documentation 2
553 History of American Architecture and Urbanism 3
  Electives 4
    Total Units: 12

 

First Year, Second Semester Units
404 Topics in Modern Architecture in Southern California 3
550 Heritage Conservation Policy and Planning 3
551 Conservation Methods and Materials 3
691a Heritage Conservation Thesis Preparation and Thesis 2
    Total Units: 11

 

Second Year, First Semester Units
691b Heritage Conservation Thesis Preparation and Thesis 6
  Electives 7
    Total Units: 13

 

 

 

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