Historic Preservation Program Research

Notable Faculty Research

Jessica Engeman, Instructor and Historic Preservation Specialist

For more than 10 years, Engeman has worked as a historic preservation specialist and project manager for Venerable Group, Inc.—a boutique real estate development firm in Portland that specializes in historic rehabilitation and adaptive reuse projects. She has particular expertise in historic preservation incentives, unique financing strategies, and feasibility assessment for historic building reuse. A recent publication includes “Meeting the Secretary’s Standards for Historic Rehabilitation: The Developer’s Perspective” in the Spring 2013 edition of Forum Journal.

Kingston Heath, Professor Emeritus

In addition to several articles and book chapters, Heath has authored The Patina of Place: The Cultural Weathering of a New England Industrial Landscape, winner of the 2002 Abbott Lowell Cummings Prize by the Vernacular Architecture Forum "in recognition of the outstanding work in North American vernacular studies," and Vernacular Architecture and Regional Design (2009). Heath recently served as co-editor of a special issue of the journal Industrial Archaeology on the industry of New Bedford, MA.

Thomas Hubka, Instructor

Hubka has been recognized for his study of 18th-century Polish wooden synagogues culminating in the book Resplendent Synagogue: Architecture and Worship in an Eighteenth Century Polish Community (Brandeis University Press and The University Press of New England, 2003), for which he received the Henry Glassie Award from the Vernacular Architectural Forum and an award from the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. His initial research on New England farm architecture resulted in the book Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn: The Connected Farm Buildings of New England (University Press of New England, 1984), for which he received the Abbot Lowell Cummings Award from the Vernacular Architecture Forum.

Hubka’s most recent book, Houses without Names: Architectural Nomenclature and the Classification of America’s Common Houses (University of Tennessee, 2013) examines the transformation of American housing and domesticity in dwellings such as workers' cottages, bungalows, and duplexes from 1900–30.

Laurie Matthews, Pro Tem Instructor

Matthews is a national leader in the evolving specialty of cultural landscapes and historic preservation. For the past 21 years, in private and public practice, teaching, lecturing, and writing, Laurie’s work has expanded the boundaries of cultural landscape documentation, analysis, planning, and design. She has creatively integrated landscape architecture values, systems and skills into traditional historic preservation tools and standards, advancing their resiliency and relevancy. Her work is guided by the principle that landscape preservation requires managing rather than halting change and works to achieve that by illuminating and revealing stories and processes inherent in landscapes and re-invigorating places by imagining their position in the present.

She is currently researching three primary subjects: a selection of British landscapes associated with four generations of 16th century women and how these places served critical roles in their lives as places of refuge, rebellion, and revelry; connections between English and Italian landscapes in the 16th century; and archetypal forms of pre-Christian landscapes in Great Britain and their relationship to other pre-Christian cultures. She is also exploring ways we document sense of place, experimenting with techniques for capturing color, and investigating landscape mythologies and their relationship to our perceptions.

Chad Randl, Art DeMuro Assistant Professor

Randl’s work explores cultures of building design, inhabitation, and conservation with a focus on change and the trajectories of popular taste. His current research projects include the history of plywood use, manufacturing, and conservation especially in the Pacific Northwest, the intersection of disability studies and historic preservation, and the history of remodeling in the Postwar United States. He is co-author, with Suzana Radivojevic, of the 2021 APT Bulletin article “Plywood in Twentieth-Century Built Heritage” and co-editor, with Medina Lasansky, of the book, Playing Place: Boardgames, Popular Culture, Architecture that MIT Press will publish in 2023.