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.
In addition, the Heritage Conservation programs are linked to two significant historic houses owned and managed by the USC School of Architecture: The Gamble House (Greene and Greene, 1909) and the Freeman House (Frank Lloyd Wright, 1924).
For an idea of what our students and alumni are talking about right now, visit the USC Heritage Conservation Network Facebook page or follow #uscmhc on Instagram!
The USC Master of Heritage Conservation program is a proud member of the National Council for Preservation Education.
The Heritage Conservation programs at USC include:
- Rachel Trombetta - Beit Olam — a Home Everlasting: The Jewish Cemeteries of East Los Angeles
- Margaret Roderick - Russell Forester, F.A.I.A: "Skin and Bones Architecture" in San Diego
- Andrea Dumovich - Seeing Beyond the Fog: Preserving San Francisco’s Cultural Heritage in the Clement Street Corridor
- Jonathan Kaplan - From Ramona to the Brady Bunch: Assessing the Historical Significance of Sites Used in Movies and Television Shows
- Lisha Yang - Would a Community Design Overlay (CDO) be a tool for revitalizing Los Angeles’ Chinatown?
- Melanie Emas - Preserving Street Names in Los Angeles California
- Laura MacDonald - The Iconic Millard Sheets Designed Scottish Rite Masonic Temple of Los Angeles, California: Reuse of a Mid-Century Modern Fraternal Building
- Chris Conradt - The Early Career of Robert Henry Ainsworth: From Draftsman to Practitioner
- Brandy Lusvardi -The Schindler Terrace, An Early Modern Garden: A Case for Conservation
- Sarah Locke -- Beyond Significance: Integrity Analysis Considerations for Modern Residential Tracts of the San Fernando Valley
- 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
- Jill Vesci -- Preserving Modernist Architecture
- Vanessa Wexler -- Planning For Preservation: Exploring The Designation Of Historic Districts In Monrovia, CA