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  • Locations: London, United Kingdom
  • Program Terms: Fall
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: Iowa State applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Fall
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Study Abroad Adviser: Grevstad-Nordbrock, Ted, Hogan, Jennifer Program Director: Grevstad-Nordbrock, Ted
Housing Options: Hotel/Tourist Lodging Cumulative GPA: 2.75
Language of Instruction: English Host Country Language: English
Sponsor: Iowa State ISU Course: CRP 511X
Program Type: Direct
Program Description:


New College of Design logo
tower bridge


CRP511X Documenting the Historic Built Environment (Fall 2016) 
Ted Grevstad-Nordbrock, PhD
Assistant Professor
Community and Regional Planning

London Eye
Class Overview
In this class we explore the ways in which historic preservation professionals—urban planners, architects, historians, and so on—research and document the historic built environment.  We begin with a fundamental premise: that historic places, as they exist today, reflect years of decipherable change that can be read like a book, thereby providing us with insight into the lives of previous residents and their cultural milieus.  A critical skill among preservation professionals is this ability to read historic places and share their histories.  The historic place to which we turn our attention during the Fall semester of 2016 is the historic US Embassy in London.

CRP 511X introduces students to the accepted research techniques and methods involved in historic sites documentation.  Our work revolves around the standards and guidelines established by the National Park Service for its various cultural resource programs, including the National Register of Historic Places.  However, we will veer a bit from these standards for our final project, which will attempt to enliven the history of the embassy by telling the story of its broader neighborhood—a small pocket of the British capital once “Little America.”
England Field StudyTravel to England will occur over ten days during Thanksgiving break.  While there, we will be working on an historic preservation documentation project with two local partners: the US Department of State and Oxford University.  Our project will involve the historic US Embassy at Grosvenor Square.  Students will focus their research efforts on the embassy itself, which was designed by the famous Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen in 1960.  We will also explore the history of the US diplomatic presence in the neighborhood immediately surrounding the embassy.  In so doing we will learn about English preservation planning laws and standards and come away with a better understanding of the challenges that preservation faces in a global city undergoing unprecedented redevelopment and gentrification.
historic US Embassy at Grosven
We will spend around a week in London working with our partners and exploring the city before heading to Oxford for the final leg of our trip.  There, we will reconvene with Oxford University students to discuss our findings, learn about student life at Oxford, and socialize.

Field Study-Specific Learning OutcomesStudents will be able to demonstrate an understanding of
•the preservation expectations of heritage bodies like Historic England and the Greater London Authority
•the US Secretary of State’s Register of Culturally Significant Property and its relation to the National Register of Historic Places
•the significance of Grosvenor Square and the historic US diplomatic presence in this neighborhood, which has been described as a “Little America”
•the “special relationship” between the US and UK
•the challenges of international preservation involving multiple nation-states
•the evolving planning and design challenges of housing an embassy in an urban neighborhood
•the preservation challenges in a global experiencing intense redevelopment pressures and gentrification
Other Activities
In addition to work on the class project, students will engage with local preservation groups and undertake activities intended to help them better understand one of the world’s great cities.  Activities will likely include the following:
  • meetings with Historic England
  • the Greater London Authority historic preservation office
  • a non-profit like SAVE Britain's Heritage
  • a tour of a recent, contested preservation site like the neighborhood that inspired Charles Dickens to write Oliver Twist
  • a hike along one of London’s many long-distance walking routes (e.g. the Regent’s Canal towpath)
  • daily free time for students to explore the city on their own 
map london

Participants may be able to apply their financial aid packages to study in this program and should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for further information. The college offers financial assistance in the form of scholarships specifically for students studying abroad.


All participants in this program will be automatically enrolled in CISI, an international health insurance and emergency service plan. This insurance plan is required for all undergraduate and graduate students participating in ISU study abroad programs. The cost of the plan is $1.22 per day. More information is available at the links below:

CISI Participant FAQ
International Insurance 101
CISI Policy Information

Contact and Additional Information

Academic questions about this program should be directed to faculty sponsor Ted Grevstad-Nordbrock.

This program is currently not accepting applications.