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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Historic Preservation

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Interpreting your Historic Resources

Hubbard House

Session 1:  Introduction and Pre-Victorian Styles
Session 2: Victorian Styles

This online course will explore the popular architectural styles of the Midwest, from the pre-Victorian period (1840s to 1870s) to the Victorian era (1870s to early 1900s).  You will learn to 'read' the architecture of your community by learning the elements that comprise the various styles, and where they fit in the timeline of architectural history.  

Session 1 will discuss why knowing your architectural styles and identifying your historic resources is important to your community, exploring the reasons beyond just "old buildings look nice."  You will also break down the elements of three highly popular styles of the Pre-Victorian era (1840s to approximately the 1870s); Gothic Revival, Italianate, and Second Empire.  

Session 2 will continue this analysis of the styles and look at the popular forms during the Victorian period (late 1870s to early 1900s).  You  will investigate styles such as Stick, Queen Anne, Shingle, Folk Victorian, Richardsonian Romanesque, and Beaux Arts.

Upcoming sessions, still in development, will explore the 1900s by looking at forms such as Craftsman, Prairie, Art Deco, mid-century modern, and International Style.  


Location: Online

Cost:$30 per session

Continuing Education:

  • 1.5 contact hours per session


The goal is for you to be able to identify most of your historic resources by sight, be able to categorize them by style (something that is necessary during a historic resources survey or nominations for state/ federal historic designation), and to identify the styles with a specific era of American history.  This will help you contextualize your historic resources as you develop policy and practices for your community.

The online course is open to anyone who has an interest in learning more about the historic houses in their community.  It is intended for an audience who has not had previous exposure to architectural style analysis. This online course will benefit local, regional, and state government officials who are considering historic preservation policy and practices in their jurisdictions.  Governments who are considering Historic Preservation Commissions, Historic Preservation Ordinances, implementing the Main Street Program, or thinking about using their historic resources for state or federal historic preservation designation (such as the National Register of Historic Places or to qualify for historic preservation grants) may find the information useful as they conduct their historic resources surveys. 

Dr. Beth Wielde Heidelberg 
is a professor with the Urban and Regional Studies Institute at Minnesota State University, Mankato.  Her doctoral degree is in Public Administration, and her masters degree is in Urban Planning, focusing her practice on historic preservation policy, historic architectural forms, and  local government law. 

Cancellation Policy


Contact Continuing Education at 507-389-1094 or 800-311-3142

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