Historic Preservation and Adaptive Use

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Historic Preservation and Adaptive Use
Historic Preservation is at the center of discourse about stewardship and the environment. Miami is an excellent laboratory of contemporary preservation and adaptive use strategies, including preservation of modern architecture and the use of historic preservation as community planning. In addition, the School’s location makes it an excellent base to examine of cultural heritage of Cuba and the Caribbean.

Building on the practice and research of several faculty members, U-SoA initiated in 2008 the Certificate in Historic Preservation.

Ongoing Projects and Resources:

Concentration in Preservation Planning within the Master of Science in Architecture program. The curriculum is being developed in connection with the Universidad de Alcalá, Spain, and their newly created Master Propio en Arquitectura y Patrimonio del Caribe (Master in Architecture and Heritage of the Caribbean). The collaboration will include joint seminars in Madrid and Miami, as well as a collaborative studio in Havana or else in the Spanish Caribbean.

DoCoMoMo Florida. Faculty members of the School founded DOCOMOMO (Documentation and Conservation of the Modern Movement)-Florida in 2007 and have been actively involved in national and international conferences on the documentation and conservation of modern architectural heritage. Recent scholarship includes the Miami Marine Stadium, the Bacardi Building, and Tropical Brutalist structures in Miami and Fort Lauderdale

Havana Preservation Studio. Initiated in 2004, the yearly preservation studio in Havana, Cuba combines preservation and sustainable design objectives in the design of a complete urban block within a historic neighborhood.

Preservation at the Center for Urban and Community Design (CUCD). In collaboration with the University’s Center for Computational Sciences (CCS), the School continues to map Miami’s future historic preservation districts. In 2015, the School used a novel mobile application to mirror the State-issued sidewalk survey for historic buildings. Over 300 students participated in surveying nearly 30 blocks of East Little Havana, where a small historic district was soon after established. In 2016, that technology was improved and put to use in Coral Gables in an effort to survey the city's mid-century housing stock; this effort will extend to nearly 7000 homes. The School’s custom "viewer" anticipates integrating all of the City’s building archives, facilitating the work of the preservation office and becoming a digital repository for professionals, academics, and visitors.

Historic American Building Survey (HABS). The School’s HABS course regularly produces field drawings and measurements for submittal to the Library of Congress HABS Archive. The course is also a platform for the integration of digital technology into preservation documentation; in collaboration with the University’s Center for Computational Sciences, students utilize aerial and frontal orthophotos as well as a 3D point cloud to complement traditional techniques. In the past year, HABS classes have documented the H. George Fink Studio Building in downtown Coral Gables, the historic wooden church of Santa Lucia in Santiago, Cuba, and "The Residency" in Dunmore Town on Harbor Island (supported by the Antiquities Monuments and Memorials Corporation of the Bahamas).