Background and education
For as long as I can remember, I have had a visceral love for old buildings.
At Bryn Mawr College, I studied architectural and urban history. Later, in graduate school at Columbia University, I earned a masters degree in historic preservation. Once I started working, I taught elementary school in Brooklyn, New York, worked in the education department of the South Street Seaport Museum, and was the executive director of Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts in New York City.
I always knew I wanted to bring my love for cities and old buildings to both kids and adults, but especially to kids. Now I do just that. For over 10 years, I have worked with thousands of children in grades K – 12 in schools and museums in the NY metropolitan tri-state area along with a brief stint in Helena, Montana—as a National Endowment for the Arts grant recipient—to show them how exciting and fun the buildings in their own backyards can be.
I use walking tours, architectural scavenger hunts, photography, on-site drawing, model-making, and other arts-based, hands-on activities. Once kids start looking, noticing, and creating, there is no turning back! They love learning about the built environment. Plus, children are absorbing lessons and making connections across the curriculum in the process.
For adults, I’ve conducted architectural walking tours as well as written general-interest articles about different aspects of historic architecture and preservation.
In the spring of 2011, I was awarded the "Archi-Teacher" award from Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, a historic preservation advocacy and educational organization in Manhattan.
Why learn from buildings?
The built environment affects each and every one of us, whether we live in the smallest of rural towns or the largest of megalopolises. Learning something about the buildings that surround us connects us to our heritage, grounds us, teaches us about the past, heightens our awareness, and makes us better citizens by helping us care about the present and future of our cities and neighborhoods. I believe it is very important work, but I strive to keep it fun.