The design and planning professions are rapidly changing, and even professionals with what seemed to be secure careers are discovering a need for new skills to remain informed and competitive in the job market. It will always be a more sustainable practice to reuse existing buildings than to tear them down and harvest or manufacture new materials. An increasingly larger percentage of the money spent on construction (and by extension, design work, and planning approvals) is in reuse and renovation of existing structures. As many of these projects are either themselves historic or in areas that may impact historic environments, design, and planning professionals are realizing the importance of knowledge and skill in this field. This is a program designed to prepare students for a 21st Century career.
Employment opportunities for graduates in historic preservation are with state historical societies and preservation offices, historic sites and museums, conservation societies, city and state governments, heritage trust and nonprofit organizations, and environmental and design consulting firms.
Our MSHP Program graduated its first class in 2011. Some alumni are now intern architects or designers, completing the “experience” requirement for architecture licensure. Others work for the National Park Service, with the title project specialist or cultural resource specialist.
Historic preservation has become an integral part of such diverse practices as local planning, architectural design, environmental permitting, and real estate development tax credits, in addition to the conventionally conceived roles specifically related to historical analysis. Today professionals often combine skills in the planning and design fields with those in preservation.
"I started the Historic Preservation program hoping to learn how to save, restore and adapt historic buildings. It IS all that, but the experience was so much richer than I ever predicted. Every place also tells a story about the people who lived or worked there and their unique experiences. The history and preservation of a place is very multi-dimensional -- it is not only about an architect or period style but about the history of the materials that were used, culture, landscape, historic era and its place in the urban or rural context.”
Suzanne LarimerHIPR Student
"What has made my experience in the HIPR program so valuable is the interdisciplinary nature of its courses. This program is unique because it gives students from all CAP disciplines the opportunity to collaborate with one another, allowing for new perspectives to flourish. Being around both peers and professors with diverse backgrounds has enriched my own education by expanding my knowledge on familiar topics while also introducing me to new ones. I feel that everyone I’ve interacted with during my time at CU Denver has been so passionate about why they are there, and because of that, I know I will graduate feeling inspired and ready to take on a new career.”
Michelle MikoniHIPR Student