Students Enjoy Historic Preservation Field Study

Students Enjoy Historic Preservation Field Study

Published: November 20, 2017.

Explore an old prison, go behind the scenes at a museum, and consider the future uses for historic structures. Lewis University students did all of this and more November 10-11 as part of the Lewis University History Department’s Historic Preservation Workshop. Led by Dr. Dennis H. Cremin, professor of history and director of Lewis University History Center, the short course provides a historical overview and an intensive field study experience.

“The workshop provided an introduction, but it is hoped that the students will become involved. Historic buildings do connect us to our past,” Cremin said.

Students visited the Old Joliet Penitentiary and the Unlocking the Past: From Prison to Vision exhibit at the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Gaylord Building in Lockport, Ill. They also took a walking tour of Lockport’s downtown, which is listed in the National Register of Historical Places. Later, Rachel Christian, Museum Educator, led a behind the scenes tour of the Martin Mitchell Mansion, a restored Victorian, at Naper Settlement. Students concluded by discussing the case of the recently municipally-landmarked Old Martin Library while sipping hot chocolate at Le Chocolat, located in a historic structure in downtown Naperville.

Political Science major Joseph Favicchio of Tinley Park said, “I appreciated how historic preservation bring the past into the future, but I was surprised by how much it depends on economics. We discussed historic tax credits and how revitalized communities create jobs. This was not something I expected to learn from a history workshop.”

Participating students included Jakob Kagay of Joliet, Skyler Wurst of Romeoville, Brody Fay of Joliet and Evgeny Gorbunov of Springfield, Va.

The Lewis University History Center: Urban, Cultural and Catholic History of the Upper Midwest seeks to unite scholars, students, and the public in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of materials linked to the history of the Upper Midwest.

Lewis University is an innovative and entrepreneurial Catholic university offering market-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,500 students. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis University is nationally recognized for preparing intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected and socially responsible graduates. Visit for further information.

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