Our Program

Our program is named in honor of Dana Crawford, an award-winning preservationist, and pioneer for urban renewal in the United States. She paved the way for redevelopment in the City of Denver, most notably in the mid-1960s when she revitalized Larimer Square, which now serves as a prototype for redeveloping main streets and architectural landmarks nationwide.

Why Study Preservation?

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 the 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.

The Catherine and Alec Garbini Preservation and Placemaking Lecture

We opened the fall 2022 semester with the inaugural Catherine and Alec Garbini Lecture hosted by the Dana Crawford Preservation Program.

Laura Aldrete, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development, moderated a lively discussion about current issues and the future of preservation and placemaking with Charles Woolley, founding principal and president of St. Charles Town Company; Lucha Martinez de Luna, associate curator of Hispano, Chicano, Latino history and culture, History Colorado; Annie Levinsky, chief of staff, History Colorado; and Barb Pahl, former Vice President for Western Field Services for the National Trust at National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Preservation For Good

Preservation for Good is an initiative of CU Denver’s Dana Crawford Preservation Program within the College of Architecture and Planning to elevate the critical civic work of grassroots preservationists throughout the Rocky Mountain West. This story-sharing platform celebrates non-traditional, people-powered acts of preservation. As a collection of stories, the aim is to broaden the definition of preservation work, highlight who’s doing it, promote innovative strategies, and create a movement of change agents to broaden the impact, reach, and perception of preservation. If you have a Preservation for Good story, please send us your submission via the button below. 

Dana Crawford Preservation Program Contacts

Steve Turner

Steve Turner

Assistant Professor, Director of Historic Preservation & Classical Studies
Jodi Stock

Jodi Stock

Admissions Coordinator
Roxy New Headshot

Roxy New

Course Coordinator and Graduate Academic Advisor

Career Paths of Graduates

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 Larimer

HIPR 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 Mikoni

HIPR Student