Historic Preservation

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Historic Preservation offers environmental, economic, cultural, and social benefits and is an important component of sustainable development.  The goal of the CUCD’s preservation efforts is to support and enable collaborations between SoA students, Historic Preservation Certificate candidates and faculty, with local and regional institutions focused on protecting or reinvesting in historic buildings and neighborhoods. The CUCD aims to facilitate direct cooperation between communities and preservation organizations through the following practices:  

  1. Fieldwork learning and mapping. 
  2. Comparative analysis of historic buildings and settlements
  3. Compilation of prototypes for historic and affordable housing in urban and rural settings in sub-tropical and tropical regions of the hemisphere.
  4. Provide outreach/technical assistance to disadvantaged historic communities, governmental and non-governmental agencies. 
  • Research Grants 
  • Upper-level Preservation Design Studios 
  • Publications  
  • Symposiums/Lectures 
  • Community Engagement 
  • Technical Assistance 


2017 - Mapping of Historic Building for City of Coral Gables:
Staff/Leader- Ricardo Lopez, Project Director, Chris Mader, UM/CCS 

2010 - Nike Missile Site Project, National Park Service, Biscayne National Park
Sonia R. Chao, Director, Center for Urban & Community Design. Collaborators: Dennis Hector, Wendy Caraballo, Adrian Villaraos. National park Service Staff. U-SoA Students. 

2009 - University of Miami Campus Masterplan Study: 
Documentation by the decade of masterplans and building stockSonia R. Chao, Project Researcher, and Director, Center for Urban & Community Design
Collaborators: Dr. Nicolas 
Patricios. Center for Urban & Community Design Staff and Research Assistants. 

2009 - Tropical Vernacular Architecture Symposium. Miami-Dade County, Florida: 
100 participantsBrian LemmermanChairperson, Emerging Green Builders, President. Sonia R. Chao, Faculty Advisor. Director, Center for Urban & Community Design.
Speakers: Elizabeth Plater-
Zyberk, Dean, U-SoA, Maria Veronica Machado, Thorn Grafton, Mark Schrieber, Maria Veronica Machado, Shirley Lowe, Nnamdi Elleh, Steven Fett, Graham Ivory, Steve Mouzon.
Volunteers:The UM U-
SoA Emerging Green builders student organization. CUCD Staff and Research Assistants. 

2008 - Historic Preservation- A Green Alternative Conference, Miami-Dade County, Florida: 
120 participantsSonia R. Chao, Event Co-Chair, Director, a center for Urban & Community Design. Jorge Hernandez, Event Co-Cair, Jorge Hernandez Architects.
Speakers: Becky 
Matkov, Vincent Scully, Tappy Lynn, Celeste Delgado, Alan Shulman, Justin FalangoMarice Chael, Thorn Grafton, Sebastian Eilert.
Volunteers: UM School of Architecture students and faculty;
Collaborator: Dade Heritage Trust, INC

2008 - Coconut Grove Playhouse Charrette. Coconut Grove, Miami-Dade County, Florida: 1
20 participants
Sonia Chao, Project Administrator, Project Designer, Director Center for Urban & Community Design. Jorge Hernandez, project architect.
Project Designers: Allan Shulman, Derrick Smith, 
Veruska Vasconez, Richard Heisenbottle. U-SoA undergraduate and graduate students. CUCD Research Assistants and staff.