Teaching > RWU HP301 Architectural Conservation > Syllabus

Saint Mary's Church, Henley-Upon-Thames, England.

Course Number and Title

Principles of Architectural Conservation (HP 301-01)
Fall 2013, lecture course, three (3) credit hours

Time and Location

Wednesday 2:00-4:50 PM
Architecture Room room to be announced


Lecture and field-based course


Philip C Marshall, Professor
email: Provided in class.

mobile 508.951.8562 (call, text any time)
office: SAAHP 247

Office Hours

Please sign up and bring an agenda. If you plan to discuss drafts, proposals, drawings, field notes, photographs, or similar material, please email me a copy at least two days before your meeting — to provide enough time to consider carefully your work before getting together.

Catalog Description

"Provides and overview of the professional role of the architectural conservator in the preservation of historic structures. Addresses architectural styles, construction technology, and dating techniques; the composition properties, uses, and conservation of traditional building materials (wood, metal, masonry, decorative finishes, and glass); and conservation standards and treatments. Site visits supplement lectures and readings." (3 credits) Roger Williams University Undergraduate Catalog

Course Description

The course addresses the professional role of the architectural conservator in the preservation of historic structures. The course begins with an overview of the process of preservation, as described by a model for heritage stewardship, in which a structure's significance and needs are assessed withing the context of the capacity (and needs) of its steward. Next, each component of an architectural conservation assessment is considered in the context of architectural styles, building technology, materials, geographical, consideration and other factors. Related assignments address styles, general conservation issues (through field work) and building-specific issues (through site work).Then, the physical properties, craft and production techniques, performance and conservation of specific material/systems are addressed. The materials/systems include wood, metal, masonry, decorative finishes, roofing, site work, and more. Work is placed in the context of conservation standards and treatments. Site visits supplement lectures and readings.


 HP324 or Junior standing.

Goals and Objectives

Through lectures, readings, assignments, and site visits this course will address:

  1. the role and training of the architectural conservator;
  2. professional and organizational resources in the field;
  3. the development of building technology, and inherent conservation issues of specific architectural styles;
  4. assessing historic structures (significance, style, date, condition, and treatment);
  5. preservation standards, philosophies, and treatments;
  6. conservation of traditional building materials and systems.

The course serves two purposes:

  1. it is an introduction to the field of architectural conservation for students who plan to practice in the a broader context, and
  2. it is the foundation course for the architectural conservation concentration. As such, the course does not purport to be a broad overview of the many aspects of conservation; rather, it provides a standard and means by which practitioners in the field of historic preservation will be able to understand the nature of architectural conservation and the specific role that architectural conservators play.


  • Course lecturers, with discussion
  • Course readings, followed by class discussion
  • Course readings, followed by independent analysis
  • Course readings, followed by quizzes
  • Team-oriented site conservation work
  • Independent, self-directed documentation of a particular site
  • Guest lecturers, with your active participation in discussion
  • Site visits, conducted independently by students, alone or as a
  • Site visits, conducted by the entire class

Student Responsibilities

Assignments handed in after their due date will be reduce by one letter grade, at a minimum; papers will not be accepted beyond a week after the due date; and 'incomplete' for the course will not be considered unless there are extenuating circumstances and a request for an extension presented in writing.

Have each week's assignments completed before the class as you will be expected to analyze and discuss the readings and, possibly, take a quiz.

Advising hours will be posted as soon as faculty schedules for school, program, and committee meetings have been set. Required and recommended reading and texts will be reviewed during the first class.

Summary of responsibilities:

  • Attend all classes, site visits, and field trips
  • Work as involved, responsible member of all project teams
  • Actively participate in class discussions
  • Complete assignments (word-processed or electronic, when written) by due dates
  • Advise faculty about any concerns, tutoring, and special needs
  • Come to site visits prepared, with necessary tools, equipment, and supplies.


  • Attendance: participation mandatory
  • Assignments (refer to assignments list)

Bibliography and Reading

Refer to Readings.

Reading for the course will be posted on the Web. The reading is typically referenced, and linked, in the Web-based syllabus, which will be added to throughout the semester. As a rule, you should check the schedule and weekly requirements, reading a week before beginning your preparation, to make sure you have the latest postings.


Refer to Assignments

Schedule of Class Meetings



Equipment and Supplies

This is a partial list of equipment and supplies needed to undertake field recording of historic structures and sites. When necessary, optional equipment will be provided during specific assignments for the class.

Equipment and Supplies


clip board

graph paper (1/4" grid)

pens: black, blue, green, red

tape measure (25')


architect's scale

Digital camera,at least 1 GB memory, able to take photographs at least 1024 x 768 pixels. Read your camera's instructions and field test your camera's features.

color film (or digital:, 64 mb memory, minimum, for 2 mb images, minimum)


Students agree that by taking this course all required assignments may be subject to submission for textural similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagarism. All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagarism.

Academic Resources

Students with Disabilities

If you are a student with a disability for which you wish to receive academic accommodations, you must first register with Disability Support Services on the second floor of the University Library in the Center for Academic Development.

Please feel free to set up a meeting with me to talk about any needs an/or concerns.