American Architecture (Cleary)
Surveys architecture in the United States in the 19th century, exploring such issues as the search for an architecture distinguishable from its European roots, and the attempts to respond to the rapidly changing nature of American life and society. In addition to examples by celebrated architects, the course will also explore vernacular building and early commercial architecture.

Building Construction
This is the first course in the construction series. It is an introduction to construction materials and methods of construction. The objective of the course is to develop in the student an early awareness of materials and structure.

Cultural Landscape Preservation (Lopez)
Examines the North American cultural landscape as it has been shaped by human habitation, and addresses issues around preserving this landscape. Includes everything from formal gardens to battlefields, from national parks to historic farmsteads, and from sacred sites to transportation corridors.

Cultural Resource Management
An introduction to cultural resource management, from the origins of the field, to current practices in heritage site/cultural landscape management, museum management, and integrated resource planning.

National Register Documentation (Smith)
Teaches students the rudiments of preparing an individual property nomination for the National Register of Historic Places. Topics include: the purpose and levels of designation, National Register criteria and nomination components, conducting archival research, researching public documents, basics of architectural photography, and technical and grammatical writing. At the end of the semester, each student submits a nomination to the Texas Historic Commission for presentation to the State Board of Review for national designation.

Materials Conservation: Field Methods (Gale)
This course provides an introduction to architectural materials conservation, focusing on on-site examination and testing of historic buildings. Lecture topics will include traditional building materials and systems, deterioration phenomena and resulting conditions. A variety of investigative techniques, including nondestructive evaluation methods will be discussed.

Site work will focus on the historic buildings on the University of Texas campus. Working in teams, students will conduct research on the construction materials and methods of these historic buildings and survey their existing conditions. Each team will share their work in classroom presentations.

To view images of this course from our 2010 Restrospective Exhibit, please click here

Materials Conservation: Laboratory Methods (Gale)
This course provides an introduction to architectural materials conservation, focusing on laboratory examination and testing of historic building materials. Lectures will review the physical and chemical properties of paints and coatings, mortars, wood and other building materials and introduce students to laboratory procedures, including microscopy, solubility and micro-chemical testing. In addition to classroom lectures, the course includes laboratory exercises to familiarize students with basic techniques used in architectural conservation.

Graphic Documentation (Ibarra)
Teaches students how to conduct a survey for the Historic American Buildings Survey. Students are assigned a building or site for which they prepare field notes and drawing to be developed into finished ink drawings - site plans, floor plans, sections, elevations, and details. Along with all notes and drawings students submit photographic documentation and a history of the project to the Library of Congress for competition for the Peterson Prize. The class teaches students the use of architectural drafting tools, how to complete architectural drawing by hand, proper operation of a 4x5 camera, and how to survey a site.

To view images of this course from our 2010 Restrospective Exhibit, please click here

Methodologies in Architectural History (Long)
Explores the basic models for the writing and research of architectural history and related fields. Discussions will include the evolution of the discipline of architectural history, intellectual changes, major theories of history, and methodological models relevant to individual students' academic research. Readings and critiques of basic textual models will be supplemented with frequent, relatively short writing and research assignments.

Materials Conservation: Field Methods (Gale)
Students learned about the Texas Historical Commission's RIP Guardian cemetery program and preformed hands-on cleaning of a historic grave marker.

Preservation History and Theory (Holleran)
Exploration of the history and theory of historic preservation. Among the topics discussed will be the historical evolution of preservation standard approaches and problems within the field, and scholarly, economic, legal, and ethical dimensions of preservation practice. The first section of the course explores the early history of the preservation idea in Europe and the United States; the second investigates important concepts and issues within the preservation field, including basic problems such as authenticity, adaptive use, and context.

Preservation Law (Rawlins)
Introduces students to legal, advocacy, and policy issues in the fields of historic and cultural preservation. It provides a cultural understanding of the institutional framework that governs preservation practice in the United States. The course surveys federal statutory laws affecting preservation policy and practice and explores the opportunities and constraints for preservation practice created by constitutional law, tax incentives, grant and regulatory programs.

Preservation Planning and Practice (Holleran)
Introduction to historic preservation that surveys political, economic, aesthetic, and technical issues relative to the preservation of buildings, landscapes, and rural and urban communities. Using case studies, field trips, and readings, the course examines the fundamental principles and strategies in contemporary preservation practice in the United States and abroad.

Survey Courses

  • Survey I: Origins of Architecture (Long)
  • Survey II: 1200-1880 (Cleary)
  • Survey III: Modern Architecture and its Myths

Related Coursework in the School of Architecture

School of Architecture Course Descriptions

Opportunities for Interdisciplinary Study

Students may combine their research on historical topics with a broad array of related subjects. As a major research university, the University of Texas at Austin offers a wide selection of electives, including courses in Art History, Classics, Cultural Geography, History, Anthropology, Museum Studies, African-American Studies, Latin American Studies, and Asian Studies. Other courses of interest may include:

  • Historical Museums: Context and Practice (INF 388E/ANT 391)
  • Textiles Artifact Management and Conservation (TXA 355D)
  • American Space and Place (AMS 390)
  • Cultural Representations of the Past (ANT 394M)
  • Forensic Engineering: Materials and Structures (CE 397F)