The Summer Short Course in Heritage Conservation offer clusters of lecture and field-based learning sessions about the fundamentals of the discipline in an intensive two-week format. Taught by a team of practicing professionals in fields ranging from conservation and engineering to economics and law, the course also includes visits to historic sites, such as the Gamble and Freeman Houses, the laboratories of the Getty Conservation Institute, and current rehabilitation projects. Designed for those interested in a career change, city officials needing to brush up on the basics, or students interested in learning more about the field, the Summer Short Course can be taken in sections or as a complete for-credit course.
Summer 2020 (May 18-30, 2020)
In 2020, the USC School of Architecture will host its 28th annual summer program devoted to the conservation of the historic built environment.
This intensive program introduces the principles and practice of historic preservation/heritage conservation in the United States and abroad. Classes are taught by noted experts from Southern California and can be taken as individual topic seminars or as a whole series. In addition to examining the history and philosophy of the conservation movement, lectures and field trips to historic sites throughout the Los Angeles area introduce participants to a broad range of legal, economic, aesthetic, and technical issues associated with the documentation, conservation, and interpretation of historic structures, landscapes, and communities. Sites to be visited and studied include the 1924 Frank Lloyd Wright Freeman House, historic downtown Los Angeles, The Getty Conservation Institute, and more!
This course has been designed for students, design professionals, community leaders, preservationists, planners, and developers seeking a greater understanding of heritage conservation concepts in a contemporary context. Classes may be taken in themed clusters or as a sequence, and the entire course can be taken for academic credit. Some classes also earn professional continuing education units.*
Students taking the course for academic credit (Arch 549) must attend the full program, complete additional assignments and testing, and pay standard USC tuition. If you are not currently a USC student but still wish to take the course for academic credit, you may enroll as a "limited status student" - please visit http://arr.usc.edu/services/registration/limitedstatus.html to learn more.
Classes will be held on the University of Southern California campus, unless otherwise noted. Summer guest housing for non-local participants may be available - please visit https://housing.usc.edu/index.php/summer-guest-housing/ for more information.
If you are interested in adding your name to the interest list for 2020, please contact the program director Trudi Sandmeier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trudi Sandmeier – Director, USC Graduate Programs in Heritage Conservation
Vinayak Bharne – Director of Design, Moule & Polyzoides Architects and Urbanists; Adjunct Associate Professor, USC
Ken Bernstein – Manager, Office of Historic Resources, City of Los Angeles
Peyton Hall, FAIA – Principal Architect, Historic Resources Group; Adjunct Professor in Heritage Conservation, USC
Adrian Scott Fine – Director of Advocacy, Los Angeles Conservancy
Christine Lazzaretto – Managing Principal, Historic Resources Group
John D. Lesak, AIA, LEED AP – Principal, Page & Turnbull; Lecturer in Heritage Conservation, USC
Jay Platt - Senior Urban Designer, City of Glendale; Adjunct Associate Professor in Heritage Conservation, USC
Sian Winship – President, Society of Architectural Historians/Southern California Chapter; Independent Consultant
* AICP Certification Maintenance (CM) credits, ASLA Continuing Education credits, and AIA Continuing Education Units may be available for some sessions.
** Preliminary list of faculty - subject to change.
The course can be taken in its entirety, in multi-day thematic clusters, or as individual sessions on various topics. Individual days are $200 each. Special discounted prices for the entire course or multi-day thematic clusters are listed below.
May 18 - 1.1 – INTRODUCTION TO CONSERVATION I
Examine the history and philosophy of historic preservation, and learn basic concepts, guidelines, and methods currently being used to preserve, rehabilitate and restore cultural artifacts, buildings, districts, and landscapes in the United States. Take a crash course on the history of southern California architecture and its unique architectural legacy.
May 19 - 1.2 – INTRODUCTION TO CONSERVATION II
Explore the fundamental concepts of integrity, significance, and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards through classroom lecture and a site visit to the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Freeman House.
May 20 - 1.3– INTRODUCTION TO CONSERVATION III
Get an overview of the basic nuts and bolts of conservation economics, including tax credit programs, Los Angeles’ Adaptive Reuse Ordinance and other incentives for conservation of historic properties. The day also includes an exploration of historic downtown Los Angeles.
May 21 - 1.4 – CONSERVATION POLICY AND PLANNING I
Intended as an overview of the legal strategies for protecting historic resources in California, topics covered will include federal, state, and local preservation legislation, including discussions of Section 106 review, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs), and advocacy.
May 22 - 1.5 – CONSERVATION POLICY AND PLANNING II
Learn about political strategies for protecting historic resources. Topics covered will include federal, state, and local preservation entities, certified local governments, historic resource surveys, preservation commissions and advocacy.
May 26 - 2.1 – MATERIALS CONSERVATION I
Understanding the materials that may be encountered in a historic building project is an essential part of the conservation process. This session examines commonly used materials, potential failure of those materials, and best practices for repairing/replacing or preserving them. The morning session is a lecture, while the afternoon session will be a forensic tour of the USC campus with discussion of case studies.
May 27 - 2.2 – MATERIALS CONSERVATION II
Visit the Getty Conservation Institute and learn about the technical conservation work they perform as well as their global conservation efforts. View ongoing research and learn about the challenges of conservation fieldwork conducted around the globe. Also includes a visit to the Getty Research Institute to learn about research collections and archives.
May 28 - 2.3 – MATERIALS CONSERVATION III
Learn firsthand about the challenges of rehabilitating a building, dealing with materials and hidden issues, and forensic investigation of as-built plans versus actual building. This day-long, in-depth session will cover materials and documentation, interpreting a Historic Structures Report, curatorship, and strategies for balancing conservation with active use.
May 29 - 2.4 – SUSTAINABLE CONSERVATION & Documentation Techniques
The greenest building is the one already built – learn how historic buildings can “LEED” the way in sustainable design. Explore cutting-edge technology used in the contemporary investigation and documentation of historic sites: GIS, NDE, HABS/HAER/HALS, and 3D laser scanning.
May 30 - 2.5 – Advanced Topics In The Field
Look beyond ye olde building to explore issues of cultural landscape conservation, intangible cultural heritage, and challenges of recent past resource protection.
In general, the course can be taken in its entirety, in multi-day thematic clusters, or as individual sessions on various topics.
- Full course (10 days) - $2000
- Fundamentals cluster (3 days - 5/18-5/20) - $610
- Policy and Planning cluster (2 days - 5/21-5/22) - $410
- Materials cluster (3 days - 5/26-5/28) - $610
Individual days are $225 per day.