Sites Map ACL Alphabetical Project List ACL Chronological Project List

Bar B C Header
Bar B C Summary

The Architectural Conservation Laboratory has cooperative agreements with many private and public agencies and educational institutions in the United States and abroad which provide opportunities for independent study, thesis work, and sponsored research for students from Penn and guest institutions. Selected projects also provide funded opportunities for post-graduate students pursuing the advanced study in Architectural Conservation. International and American Conservation summer programs co-sponsored with external partners respectively offer students unique opportunities in field experience.

gibbs image
Students working with professor and ACL director Frank Matero on assessing the historic fabric of Strawberry Hill in Twickenham England. Originally built by Horace Walpole in 1749, it is said to be the oldest Gothic Revival building in the world.
Student Opportunities
Developing and realizing mutual goals through partnerships and funding has allowed the Architectural Conservation Laboratory to create training programs for young conservators through funded conservation field schools in the United States and abroad. House museums, cultural landscapes, historic urban districts, and archaeological sites have provided the most interesting challenges, addressing stabilization, interpretation, preventive conservation, and management. Issues of culturally sensitive interventions for sites associated with indigenous peoples and the application of appropriate technology within traditional societies have expanded the definitions and practice of conservation.
Support for these and other field schools has been provided by The Getty Grant Program, The Samuel H. Kress Foundation. the J. M. Kaplan Fund and other granting agencies. International opportunities for a small number of students and graduates seeking Post Graduate Study have also been provided through the World Monuments Fund and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

historic image
A student and faculty member from the Penn Historic Preservation program working with thermal imaging to identify decay in native american wooden structures within one of our National Parks. 

All students are expected to participate in Preservation Praxis and a summer internship between their first and second year of study to actively bring them into the practice of preservation.  Conservation students are able to fulfill this need by attending one or more field schools where conservation projects are led by a team of faculty and associated professionals.  Field school programs extend to international sites, exposing students to a broad range of cultural and geographical contexts. The work is usually a direct application of conservation methods to a particular material, site, or issue. In all situations opportunities exist for a student to become involved in laboratory or documentary research before or after fieldwork.  Final reporting of a project - often including public presentation -  provides a complete learning sequence by the end of the internship.

At diverse sites such as Al Darb al Ahmar (Cairo), Gordion (Turkey) the Second Bank of the United States in Philadelphia, Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, Casa Grande Ruins in Arizona, and Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico, conservation plans including detailed conditions assessments and conservation treatments have been conducted with advanced computer-aided documentation. In addition, innovative environmental monitoring methods and treatments have been developed to determine appropriate stabilization and management strategies for such difficult sites. 
A student using a total station to capture the dimensions of an historic interior. These dimensions will be used in conjunction with high quality photography to develop a visual display of existing conditions as well as notations on historic evidence found in the building.