James Buckley joined the University of Oregon in 2016 as the inaugural Venerable Chair in Historic Preservation. He oversees the Historic Preservation program and teaches courses in architectural history, city planning, and urban development.
Buckley is a practicing city planner and an urban historian with more than 25 years of leadership in the fields of housing and community development and historic preservation. As a builder with non-profit organizations, he has completed more than 4,000 housing units in several award-winning developments. These projects have included adaptive reuse of historic buildings, mixed-use low-income housing with community-serving commercial space, and supportive housing for homeless households.
Prof. Buckley’s academic interests include the study of vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes. His previous research includes an investigation of urban development related to the redwood lumber industry in 19th-century California and a study of the built environment of Latinos in California’s Central Valley. In 2015, he served as a Fulbright Senior Fellow at the Universidad Politécnica Madrid studying new approaches for “urban regeneration” in historic neighborhoods in Spanish cities. Current research projects include the design of public buildings and spaces in the mid-20th century and the use of historic preservation approaches to assist minority and low-income communities.
Buckley holds a BA from Yale University in Art History and American Studies and has both a Master's Degree in City and Regional Planning and a PhD in Architecture from U.C. Berkeley. He previously served as a member of the San Francisco Historic Preservation Commission, and has been a board member of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History and of the Vernacular Architecture Forum, where he was 1st Vice President.