preservation engineering

Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

An engineer is one of the first people consulted when a project involves a historic building. The engineer is asked whether the structure is sound and can withstand the planned preservation work and possibly additional loads. How do engineers learn to address the unique problems inherent in historic buildings and come up with solutions that meet both engineering and historic preservation needs? more…


  • The Watts Towers are comprised of 17 steel and mosaic sculptures built by artist Simon Rodia and have long been a symbol of strength and beauty in South Los Angeles. The engineers, from the University of California, Los Angeles, have joined with conservators from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art who want to repair and prevent persistent cracks in the historic folk art structures.
  • Rehabilitation
  • Restoration

US National Park Service

  • Engineering for Historic Buildings
  • Yellowstone 1883 – Early engineering activities in the national parks consisted almost entirely of the construction of roads, bridges and trails. After the National Park Service was established, the needs for water and sewer systems, power plants, communication service, and other essentials were developed. The early operators, or concessionaires in the parks, were required to construct and maintain their own utilities in connection with the operation of hotels, camps and other types of accommodations.
  • Materials conservation program – works in partnership with parks, laboratories, government agencies, universities and others to understand how cultural objects deteriorate with time.