Posted on December 9th, 2011


Alumnus Max Yeston ’08 in his own words..


I am currently a first-year graduate student at Columbia University’s Historic Preservation Program. The curriculum uses New York City as a laboratory for exploring a wide array of issues pertaining to the preservation of the built environment, such as research and documentation, city planning, structures and materials, architectural history and theory. I have already undertaken such projects as surveying and documenting the Dula family mausoleum at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, visiting and and writing a presentation on the Pieter Wyckoff House in Brooklyn (the oldest surviving Dutch house in New York State), and researching a loft building at 450-460 Park Avenue South and a rowhouse at 8 East 36th Street as part of a study area in Murray Hill. Additionally, I travelled to Buffalo to attend the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual conference, where I sat in on lectures regarding land banks and neighborhood conservation districts, and got to take tours of Buffalo’s architectural landmarks including Louis Sullivan’s Guaranty Building (1896) and Minoru Yamasaki’s M&T Bank (1967). Outside of school, I attended a committee meeting for Landmark West, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and read personal testimony at a public hearing at the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in support of a proposed historic district. In Columbia’s program, I am learning, along with my colleagues, about how to assess a building or neighborhood’s significance as well as how the broad scope of preservation can be economically as well as culturally beneficial to society in the long term. I hope to continue focusing on neighborhood planning and community revitalization, and am pursuing a dual degree with Urban Planning.