Who reads Preservation Education & Research (PER)? Until recently we did not have a comprehensive answer. Now that PER is in its seventh year of publication, we have a detailed analysis of the journal’s readership. More than 97% of PER’s readers access articles from the National Council for Preservation Education’s (NCPE’s) web site (ncpe.us) where all but the most current volumes of the journal are freely available to download. Since November 2012, 53 articles and book reviews in volumes 1 through 5 of PER have been downloaded over 14,000 times by students and faculty from more than 250 academic institutions in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceana. Many practitioners in the United States also read PER as evidenced by downloads from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, General Services Administration, National Park Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. Employees from 17 state government agencies in the United States also downloaded articles, along with employees from the cities of New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Tempe, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Nashville. Teachers and administrators from 8 public school districts also accessed articles in PER, which would indicate that PER’s content is of interest to primary and secondary school educators as well as individuals from higher education.
With volume 7 of Preservation Education & Research (PER), we are introducing a new section that features the best submittals from the National Council for Preservation Education’s (NCPE’s) student paper competitions. Our goal, as editors of PER, is to help these nascent scholars refine their skills through an intensive process that focuses on developing organizational and writing skills. As such, these papers have not gone through the normal peer-review process; instead, we have mentored these bright individuals through the steps in creating a publication-ready paper. Students, such as the individuals featured in this volume, will be responsible for the inevitable evolution of practice and research in the historic environment through their particular ideas, values, and goals. PER is proud to help these inchoate professionals mature into leaders who will contribute to the intellectual growth of the field.
This volume of PER focuses on the topics of studio pedagogy, “future-proofing,” preserving public housing, making museums relevant for the twenty-first century, and the compatibility of additions. Our new book review editor, Gregory Donofrio, presents four book reviews: Weiming Lu’s The Tao of Urban Rejuvenation: Building a Livable Creative Urban Village; John H. Sprinkle’s Crafting Preservation Criteria: The National Register of Historic Places and American Historic Preservation; Thomas C. Hubka’s Houses Without Names: Architectural Nomenclature and the Classification of America’s Common Houses; and Robert A. Young’s Stewardship of the Built Environment: Sustainability, Preservation and Reuse.
The refereed articles begin with Jessica Goldsmith’s critique on studio practice in interior design programs; in her assessment, students are better able to design a “compatible” interior by interacting with the complexities of real-world problems, including understanding and applying aspects of various contexts in their work. Moving outside to what might be described as a less aesthetically pleasing object, Dawn E. Jourdan and Stephanie Zeier Pilat tackle the problems inherent in preserving public housing, especially in terms of how these resources are historically significant. Brian D. Rich uses a more theoretical perspective in his article that applies the concept of “future-proofing,” widely used in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry, to preserving buildings.
Our new student paper section features the work of Helen Nicola Blackmore and Brittany Wickham Walker, who originally presented their work at the NCPE session at the National Preservation Conference in 2013. Blackmore creatively addresses the very real problem of the relevancy of museums to local communities through case studies that use grassroots efforts and “abundance thinking” to reinvent a museum’s purpose. Walker’s article is a thoughtful analysis of the appropriateness of Norman Foster’s glass canopy addition to the Patent Office Building in Washington, D.C., via established preservation doctrine.
We would like to take the opportunity to remind our readership of PER’s Forum section, which was launched several years ago. This is an opportunity to respond to content in any previous volume of PER in order to foster a continuing constructive and scholarly dialogue. These essays should be a maximum of one thousand words and are normally not peer reviewed. Forum essays are accepted on a rolling basis, throughout the year, although submission by June 1 will help assure their consideration for possible publication in the next volume of the journal.
Looking forward to volume 8, we are pleased to announce that NCPE, PER, and Delaware State University are co-sponsoring a conference on the issues surrounding identification, documentation, and mitigation of Traditional Cultural Places. Titled “Learning from the Reservation: Using the Traditional Cultural Place Perspective for Better Decision Making in a Diverse Cultural Landscape,” the conference will be held in Dover, Delaware, April 24-25, 2015. Volume 8 of PER will feature papers presented at that conference, as well as a selection from the July 2014 NCPE conference held in Natchitoches, Louisiana.
Lastly, we would like to thank NCPE’s Executive Committee and the NCPE membership for their continued support of PER. In addition, we would like to thank all of the authors, reviewers, and past and present Editorial Board members for their contributions that helped make this volume of PER possible. We would also like to thank the people who helped produce volume 7: Maria denBoer, copy editor; Karen Ward, graphic designer; Cayuga Press; and Historic Urban Plans, Inc.
Special thanks also go to Dean Stephen White at the School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation at Roger Williams University and NCPE for helping to fund the publication of this volume of PER.
Jeremy C. Wells and Rebecca J. Sheppard
Editors, Preservation Education & Research
Preserving Public Housing: Federal, State, and Local Efforts to Preserve the Social and Architectural Forms Associated with Housing for the Poor
Dawn E. Jourdan and Stephanie Zeier Pilat
INVITED STUDENT PAPERS
A Shared Purpose: How Collaboration Can Enable a Wide Reaching Community Preservation Ethic
Helen Nicola Blackmore
Norman Foster’s Glass Canopy That Revitalized an American Cultural Landmark
Brittany Wickham Walker