Cleo and James Marston Fitch Thesis Grant

The Cleo and James Marston Fitch Thesis Grant was established in 2001 through an endowment by the estate of James Marston Fitch (1909-2000). It is given annually to a Columbia University Historic Preservation student to cover expenses incurred in Master's thesis research.




A partially abandoned hose in Valdehorna (Zaragoza, Aragón, Spain), a village of 30 inhabitants. Valdehorna has lost 84% of its population since 1950.
Photo courtesy of Alberto Sanchez-Sanchez
 
 2016 Grant Recipient: 
Alberto Sanchez-Sanchez

"Behind the Ecce Homo: Rural Development Policy and the Effects of Depopulation on the Preservation of Spanish Heritage"

The ongoing process of rural depopulation that Europe has experienced during the 20th century has had a considerably negative effect on the conservation of vernacular and historic buildings located in rural areas. Although this is a continental phenomenon, it seems to be especially prevalent in Southern Europe, and particularly in Spain. Taking the infamous restoration of the "Ecce Homo" fresco in the town of Borja (Zaragoza) as a starting point, this thesis aims to examine this problem, explore its magnitude, and identify challenges and opportunities to incorporate historic preservation into existing policies for rural development.

Grant funding provided by Preservation Alumni assisted with cost of travel and field investigation that were necessary to complete the research. 

Read the full thesis here.



Past Fitch Grant recipients:

2015
Laura Groves, "Is there a Role for Preservation in a Favela?"

2014
Emily Barr, "Pressing Issues: In-Kind Terra Cotta Replacement in the 21st Century"

2012
Myun Song, "Wireless Sensing for Reinforced Concrete Structures and Concrete Repair"

2011
Lorena Pérez Leighton, "1930s American Steel Houses: Modern Artifact or Traditional Dwelling?"


2010
Susan Shay, "Cultural Landscape as Foil in Political Struggle"

2009
Christine Huh, "The Bush Terminal Model Lofts and Early Reinforced Concrete Buildings on Brooklyn's Waterfront; Their Significance as Industrial Heritage"

2004
Susie Jackson, "Natural Extractives as Wood Preservatives"

2003
Takushi Yoshida, "Machine Aesthetics in Architecture: Adaptive-reuse of Grain Elevators in Buffalo as an Industrial Landscape"

2002
Deborah Baldwin van Steen, "The Architecture of Calvin Pollard (1797-1850)"

2001
Michael Caratzas, "Cross-Bronx: Preserving a Significant Urban Expressway and Its Megastructure"








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