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Past Consultants Historic Preservation and Cultural Resource Management

Glasgow School of Art

Glasgow School of Art


Seth A. Bergstein
An architectural historian, photographer, conservator and preservation planner, Seth A. Bergstein specializes in the identification, analysis, documentation and preservation of historic buildings, sites and structures.

Drawing upon more than fifteen years of experience in historic preservation, architectural photography and civil engineering, Seth assembles and leads the finest design teams to assess and document historic buildings for preparation of Historic Structure Reports (HSRs), Conditions Assessment Reports, and Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) photographic documentation projects.  Seth has managed Historic Structure Report projects for a broad range of building function types, from the vernacular Thomas Hansford Williams House in Coloma, California to Bernard Maybeck’s famed masterpiece, the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Berkeley, California.  Seth has led historical engineering specialists in the assessment, analysis and documentation of historic bridges, lighthouses and industrial buildings. 

Throughout this body of work, such experience has taught him that each historic resource must be approached differently, with respect to its unique historic character-defining features and existing conditions.  Seth prides himself on building a design team that can produce the highest quality report that addresses the specific historic and material needs of the resource.  Seth meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards in Architectural History and has over ten years of experience in analyzing and preparing conservation treatment plans for numerous building function types, material systems and historic finishes.

Seth possesses a keen eye for assessing and dating a resource’s historic character-defining features. Often, clients contact Seth to view a particular project they are considering to give them a fair and honest assessment of what a property owner has, in terms of historic and cultural value, what should be prioritized, and what should be protected in proposed adaptive reuse or rehabilitation projects.  Seth is fluent in the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties (the Standards) and is called upon frequently to analyze a specific historic rehabilitation project for compliance with the Standards.

Seth photographs historic buildings, structures, and sites according to established standards set by the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER).  He has photo-documented historic trestle bridges, museums, vernacular houses, architect-designed masterpieces, and even historic construction equipment.

Seth is active in the statewide preservation movement and serves on the publications committee of the California Preservation Foundation. He is a peer reviewer for the Association for Preservation Technology publication, the APT Bulletin: The Journal of Preservation Technology. Seth has presented talks at national historic preservation conferences and has led architectural tours.

An award-winning preservation student, Seth earned his M.A. in historic preservation planning from Cornell University. His thesis, Cascadilla Park, Ithaca, New York: Arts & Crafts Patronage as an Expression of Urban Reform, linked the Arts & Crafts Movement with the larger urban reform movements of the early twentieth century, namely the Garden City and City Beautiful Movements. Seth earned his B.S. in civil engineering cum laude from New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Résumé available upon request.
Contact Seth Bergstein

Recent Lectures and Presentations:

  • Guest Lecturer, San Jose State University: Building Materials Conservation.
  • “Primer on Historic Structure Reports, with a Guided Tour of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Berkeley.” California Preservation Foundation Workshop: Incentives for Historic Preservation Projects.
  • Rehabilitation of the Wawona Covered Bridge: A Balance of Engineering Requirements and Historic Preservation Ethics, a presentation given at the First National Covered Bridge Conference, National Park Service, Historic Preservation Training Center.

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