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Margaret Hayes

Civic Engagement and Historic Preservation:  Formation and Implementation of Preservation Planning Practices in Berwyn, Illinois

        The field of Historic Preservation, through understanding and working with the fields that influence the effectiveness of preservation goals, has established brilliant tools by which to understand, promote, and implement preservation practices.  One tool, which encompasses nearly all aspects of historic preservation, is the historic preservation plan.  A document intended to walk communities through historic preservation goals, the preservation plan outlines significant resources in the community and ways in which to attempt to preserve them.  However, no matter how well a preservation plan is designed or how esteemed a particular plan may be, the effectiveness of preservation plans is not always certain. 

        By conducting a case study of Berwyn, Illinois, a community struggling to implement historic preservation practices during a time of change, I intend to deconstruct the overall design of current preservation planning structures and determine the presence or absence of elements crucial to successful implementation. I will examine the inclusion of ethnographic study, socio-economic analysis, and an intricate study of local government and political practice in historic preservation planning procedures and documents.  

        Through interviews, the distribution of questionnaires and copies of an existing preservation plan, and public meetings I will suggest means by which to implement preservation.  By completing this work in Berwyn, Illinois, I will work directly with the community to enhance the understanding of historic preservation and, thus, promote the implementation of a preservation plan for Berwyn, Illinois.  This thesis will serve as a tool for other communities struggling with historic preservation planning implementation strategies.



           Margaret Hayes received her BA in Anthropology, with a focus in Archaeology, from Arizona State University in 1999.   While at SAIC, she has worked with Archaeological Research Incorporated, a Cultural Resource Management Firm, on projects ranging from HABS/HAER documentation of the Hofmann Dam of Lyons, IL, to the O’Hare Modernization Program Environmental Impact Statement.


Thesis Advisor: David Keene

Thesis Reader: Jim Peters, Instructor, Historic Preservation; Director, Preservation Planning, Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois

Second Reader: Martha Frish-Okabe



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