Building a Place for History
Erica Avrami is the James Marston Fitch Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, and an affiliate with the Earth Institute—Center for Sustainable Urban Development. Her research and teaching extend the heritage enterprise beyond a practice focused on sites and buildings, exploring preservation as a form of public policy that functions across geographic scales and diverse demographics. She interrogates the intentions, processes, and outcomes of historic preservation in relation to social justice and the climate crisis, and seeks to transition heritage tools and preservation policies toward equity, resilience, and decarbonization. Avrami was formerly the director of research and education for World Monuments Fund and a project specialist at the Getty Conservation Institute. She earned her BA in architecture and MS in historic preservation, both at Columbia, and her PhD in planning and public policy at Rutgers University. She was a trustee and secretary of US/ICOMOS from 2003 to 2010 and currently serves on the editorial advisory board of the journals Change Over Time and Future Anterior. Recently published works include Preservation, Sustainability, and Equity (2021), Preservation and Social Inclusion (2020), Preservation and the New Data Landscape (2020), Values in Heritage Management (2019), as well as studies examining policy challenges and opportunities, including Energy and Historic Buildings: Toward Evidence-based Policy Reform and Confronting Exclusion: Redefining the Intended Outcomes of Historic Preservation.