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The Society of Architectural Historians Launches New Student Outreach Program

CHICAGO — The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) is pleased to announce its new American Architecture and Landscape Field Trip program for students. The goal of the program is for SAH, its members, its chapters and affiliated organizations to host student field trips focusing on architecture, landscapes, urbanism and historic preservation. Led by architectural historians, architects, preservationists and local experts, the tours are intended to reach students in high schools and community colleges and provide opportunities to engage in experiential learning.

In December 2014, a generous SAH member made an anonymous gift to create the field trip program, which will be embedded in SAH’s core educational programs and publications, including the Buildings of the United States series, SAH Archipedia, SAH Annual International Conference tours and tours organized by the Society’s chapters. The December gift of $50,000 and pledge of an additional $50,000 will allow SAH to develop and implement the pilot program and establish a strong outreach program designed to expose students to the fields of architectural history and preservation.

“We are very pleased that one of SAH’s longtime members has responded to our goal to reach out to younger audiences,” SAH Executive Director Pauline Saliga comments. “This generous gift provides key funding to launch this national outreach program during SAH’s 75th anniversary year. Our hope is to organize field trips that will give students an appreciation for the importance of great architecture, parks and gardens in enhancing the quality of contemporary life.”

Following are three initial projects that SAH will implement in 2015–2016.

I.    Field Trips at SAH Annual International Conferences: Adapting a model from SAH’s sister society, the Vernacular Architecture Forum, SAH will provide funding for community college student groups with a faculty sponsor to attend SAH’s next two conferences (Chicago, April 15-19, 2015, and Pasadena/Los Angeles, April 6-10, 2016). Because SAH’s conferences always feature 25–30 customized architecture and landscape tours, it will provide a ready-made opportunity for students and their professors to develop professional networks and to experience architecture firsthand.

II.    Urban Archaeology: In collaboration with Lake Forest College through a project funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the summer SAH will offer a series of lectures, field trips and the chance to participate in an urban archaeology dig to select high school and community college students.

III.    One-Day City Field Trips: In the summer/fall of 2015, SAH will partner with its chapters and former Annual Conference partners to offer one-day field trips to high school and community college students and their professors in cities across the country, including Los Angeles, Detroit, Buffalo and Savannah. The Savannah program, which will launch in January 2016, will dovetail with a series of summer NEA-funded lectures, “Reading the City,” that Robin Williams from Savannah College of Art and Design has developed for SAH in conjunction with the release of his book, Buildings of Savannah, part of the Buildings of the United States series. Field trips in the other cities will be based on successful architecture and landscape tours that were organized for previous SAH conferences, study days, study tours and chapter tours.

About SAH
Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is a nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by vocation or avocation, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs. Learn more at