The Historic Preservation Program at the University of Oregon has a brand new home in Portland! With the help of a significant private gift, the graduate program has moved from UO’s Eugene campus to newly-renovated classrooms and offices in the White Stag Block, an award-winning renovation of historic commercial buildings along the Willamette River in Portland’s historic Old Town. The HP program joins UO’s existing architecture, law, and business programs in the expanding Portland nucleus.
The HP Program also has a new director, as James Buckley has taken over from the retiring long-time head, Kingston Heath. Heath, who guided the program for 13 years, worked with the donor to plan the new space and provide an endowed chair for the program. Buckley, whose background includes both development of historic properties and academic roles at UC Berkeley and MIT, expressed excitement about the opportunity that the move to Portland presents: “Our students will have state-of-the-art facilities from which to explore one of the most dynamic cities in the country, where intense development pressure threatens a remarkable physical and cultural heritage.” As part of the bequest, the program will be able to add another full-time tenure-track faculty position, with the search to commence in the Fall of 2016.
The program will continue to emphasize hands-on experience in preservation, offering Master’s degree students the chance to work with local professionals on actual sites and policies in the Portland Metro area and throughout the West. This summer, for example, students in UO’s flagship Field School joined National Park Service experts in a variety of restoration projects in Mt. Rainier National Park. Both Heath and Buckley are long-time members and former board members of the VAF, ensuring that vernacular perspectives will continue to be at the core of UO’s preservation program.
More information on the program is available at http://hp.uoregon.edu/historic-preservation-program.