Theses Master's

An Analysis of Current Preservation Strategies for Hunan Academies and Recommendations for Their Future

Zhang, Yuanyi

This thesis is a study of the Chinese academies as they currently exist and the protections they have as historic structures and places. Given the large number of academies and their widely distributed locations, Hunan academies are selected for case studies, seeking commonalities with respect to the types of buildings, their locations, their current uses, the state of their conservation and their success as historic sites well recognized by the local and national community. The governance framework of heritage conservation in China follows a top down policy-making structure. Although current legislation has secured basic legal protections on cultural heritage sites, the lack of precise interpretation of the law has consequently vested great autonomy during the implementation process and thus resulted in situations where overlooked academies are subject to material loses and shallow interpretations. To the case studies individually and as a group reveal the various forces and conditions impacting and controlling the current preservation strategies for these designated heritage sites. They also permit consideration of the opportunities and threats which arise in a variety of situations, emphasizing the overarching ideas of preserving the architectural integrity with respect to academies’ educational nature and cultural influence as well as the thorough presentation of the broad spectrum of academy history. Although it is inevitable that many of the academies have to adjust their functions and building layout to accommodate the requirements of current conservation planning, it is an assumption underlying these analyses that, first and foremost, the cultural and historical significance of Hunan academies should not be compromised.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Historic Preservation
Thesis Advisors
Bentel, Paul L.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
September 25, 2018