Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Fitch Colloquium

HPP students, alumni, and Professor Jeffrey Chusid in front of Butler 
Library at Columbia University
On October 17, students in the Historic Preservation Planning Program attended the Fitch Colloquium at Columbia University in New York City. The Colloquium is held annually in honor of James Marston Fitch who founded Columbia’s Historic Preservation Program. This year’s program was special because it is the 50th anniversary of the New York City Landmarks Law. Preservation organizations across the city have been celebrating this anniversary through various events throughout the year such as exhibitions and symposia that have examined how preservation has affected the city. 

This year’s Fitch Colloquium “Beyond the Five Boroughs: International Preservation Insights,” turned the lens to focus on international issues. In regard to the preservation in the United States, Will Cook, Associate General Counsel for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, discussed how preservation laws have strengthened the the national preservation movement. Ken Bernstein, Manager of the Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources then spoke about about SurveyLA, the city’s first comprehensive survey of historic resources. In the afternoon, a series of lectures were focusing on international preservation. Representatives from a variety of different countries including Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, and Norway, discussed how preservation operates in their country. Washington Fajardo, president of the Rio World Heritage, discussed the successful removal of a highway along the coastline of the city. Both current students and alumni from Columbia University’s and the Pratt Institute’s Historic Preservation programs also attended the program. Erin Fredrickson, a second-year HPP student reflected upon the day noting, “I enjoyed the juxtaposition of domestic preservation projects in the morning and international projects in the afternoon.” The event provided an interesting look at the differences and similarities between local and international preservation, as well as a reflection on preservation in 2015.