Historic preservation is a pervasive, enduring national movement driven by the public’s fascination with the past in the form of old buildings, neighborhoods, Main Streets, and landscapes. Rather than focusing on preserving houses or villages as museums, the modern preservation profession emphasizes adapting old buildings to new uses.
There’s more to the historic built environment than the “plus factor”—features people admire, such as high ceilings, elaborate or simple woodwork, decorative tile, and fireplaces that are works of art in themselves. Beyond this aesthetic is an emotional attraction. Living in an old house or working in an old building provides a sense of heritage and connects individuals to the past.
The nation’s interest in historic preservation is growing, and today it is a living, breathing, and functional way of life. Historic preservation professional skills are needed by communities across the country that want to preserve their built heritage for future generations.
Alumna says Ball State launched her HP career
“When I first started to consider graduate schools, I added Ball State to the list because every historic preservation professional I met either graduated from the program or knew someone who did,” says Emily Royer who graduated in May 2018 with an MS in historic preservation. She works for Indiana Landmarks as a community preservation specialist in the Terre Haute office.
“I gained a solid foundation of preservation knowledge from the program, but unsurprisingly, I benefitted most from the people I came to know during my graduate education. My instructors invited my classmates and me to approach them as friends as well as teachers. They introduced us to alumni and professionals outside of the college, and encouraged us to attend preservation meet-ups and conferences where we met people from across the state and country. I owe two internships and my job to conversations at these events. The word ‘networking’ seems too clinical to describe the connections I made while I was at Ball State, but ultimately I left the program with a network of advisors, friends, and colleagues who will continue to help me in my career.”