Associate Professor and Chair, Historic Preservation School of Design

Randy Mason teaches in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and is Associate Professor in the Department of City & Regional Planning. His courses focus on historic preservation planning, urban conservation, history, and cultural landscape studies. Mason’s research interests include theory and methods of preservation planning, cultural policy, the economics of preservation, historic site management, the history and design of memorials, and the history of historic preservation. He leads the Center for Research on Preservation and Society, which undertakes applied research projects on site management and on social, economic and political aspects of historic preservation.

Before joining the PennDesign faculty in 2004, Mason worked as Senior Project Specialist at the Getty Conservation Institute, researching economic and social issues relating to heritage conservation. He contributed to Getty publications including Economics and Heritage Conservation, Values and Benefits of Cultural Heritage Conservation, and Assessing the Values of Cultural Heritage. Previous positions include Assistant Professor and Director of Historic Preservation at the University of Maryland, and adjunct faculty in landscape architecture at RISD.  His professional experience includes several years of consulting practice and co-founding the nonprofit research group Minerva Partners (which develops projects to strengthen the connections between heritage conservation and social development).  He serves on the Board of Directors of the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.


  • The Once and Future New York: Historic Preservation and the Modern City (University of Minnesota Press, 2009)
  • Giving Preservation a History: Histories of Historic Preservation in the United States (edited with Max Page; Routledge, 2004)