Architectural historians conduct research and evaluations, help manage and preserve historic resources, and provide preservation planning and oversight to help restore and maintain the integrity of architectural treasures and their communities. They study the history of architecture throughout the world and are thoughtful interpreters of the built environment as it relates to society.
SCAD is one of few universities in the United States to offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs specifically in architectural history. The department offers a comprehensive range of courses that covers all major historical periods in Western and non-Western traditions.
Savannah and the surrounding Lowcountry area offer students access to unparalleled examples of architectural history and urban planning, allowing them to develop a strong American focus to their studies. The city’s urban plan is one of the most admired in the world, and examples of notable architecture abound. Regency and revival-style buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries, American military architecture, vernacular architecture and high-style antebellum architecture exist in one of the most well-preserved historic urban landscapes in the United States.
Students build on the core skills of research, analysis and writing in architectural history by participating in supplementary experiences, such as professional internships and conference presentations, leading walking tours of historic Savannah, and publishing. Students develop technical skills that directly complement architectural history—architectural graphics, field drawing, 3-D computer modeling, photographic documentation or preservation procedures.
Students gain firsthand field documentation experience by participating in the Savannah and the Lowcountry Initiative, an ongoing project to uncover, record, preserve and present the history of the area’s architecture and cultural landscape.
Through the Virtual Historic Savannah Project, students contribute to an online, interactive 3-D model of downtown Savannah. The project, documenting the evolution of urban form through architectural and social history research, has been funded by SCAD and by major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Georgia Humanities Council.
Through the annual architectural history lecture series and biennial Savannah Symposium, students interact with visiting professionals and leading scholars.
On Feb. 19-21, 2009, the 6th Savannah Symposium
explored the architectural and spatial elements of cultural properties on the World Heritage list, and topics related to heritage designations as a factor in furthering the study of the built environment on the local and global levels. Renowned Egyptologist and Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt Zahi Hawass delivered a keynote address.
On Feb. 17-19, 2011, the 7th Savannah Symposium
explores the role of spirituality as it relates to the development and shaping of architectural and urban forms. Paper sessions will focus on the broadest context of spirituality as a significant factor in the study of the built environment globally, nationally and locally. Of particular interest are essays that provide a critical evaluation of the relationship or co-existence of sacred and secular spirituality in regards to the constructed world.