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Vincent L. Michael, Ph.D.
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A professional preservationist since 1983, Vincent worked on the creation and interpretation of the Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor as a planner and advocate for Landmarks Illinois for eight years. He received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Chicago and received a Trustee’s Award from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts to complete his doctorate in architectural history at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

In 2006 he became the John H. Bryan Chair in Historic Preservation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he was Director of the Master of Science in Historic Preservation program from 1996 to 2010. Vince is a Trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the nation’s premier private preservation organization, where he serves as Vice Chair of the Preservation and Sites Committee and Vice Chair of the Diversity Task Force. He is Chair Emeritus of the National Council for Preservation Education, and of the Site Council for the Gaylord Building, a National Trust property. He has served on the Executive Committee of Landmarks Illinois for over six years, and also served on the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council and Oak Park Historic Preservation Commission.

Since 2003 he has worked to preserve the Weishan Heritage Valley in Yunnan, China with the Center for US-China Arts Exchange at Columbia University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, frequently bringing student study groups to the Southern Silk Road city. He has also been involved in the preservation of the Cercado World Heritage Site in Lima, Peru. Vince has lectured on heritage conservation, architecture, geography, art and history throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. His writings include a book on Prairie School architect Barry Byrne, articles in Design Issues, Future Anterior, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Traditional Building, and forum journal. Vincent’s weekly blog, Time Tells, began in 2005 and generates 8,000 page views monthly.

Entries by Vincent L. Michael, Ph.D.

Beyond the Bounds of Conservation

(0) Comments | Posted December 1, 2014 | 12:19 PM

Saving world heritage sites is one thing. Activating them as economic and social assets for the local community is another project altogether. Our team aims to go beyond those bounds of conservation per se. Coming from our relatively comfortable seat in the world, the impoverished regions where GHF works do...

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Beat of the Drum in Dong Village

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 4:25 PM

It has been six months since my last visit to China. This time around, the fragile architecture of Dali Dong village was wrapped in supporting beams and scaffolding as part of the efforts in progress to restore its heart and soul.

This project, located in Rongjiang County in the...

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Postcard from Libya

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2013 | 12:06 PM

Everywhere you look in the Old City of Tripoli are banners and flags of the 'new Libya' -- in fact a flag from the time of the Kingdom. The street markets in the Old City are vibrant, perhaps because the banking system still remains volatile some twenty months after the...

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Cultural Authenticity in the 21st Century

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2012 | 2:04 PM

At last May's Forum on Global Heritage in a Developing World, I was struck by the following words from young Chinese economist, Yan Zhang: "Authenticity should not be static. It should be dynamic and evolving."

Enshrined in the Venice Charter of 1964, "authenticity" has always...

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