Boston University School of Law

JD891 Historic Preservation (S)


Historic Preservation Law is an interdisciplinary seminar that will explore legal issues encountered in the preservation, conservation and management of historic buildings, neighborhoods, and districts. In lieu of a traditional exam or term paper, students will engage in field research and investigation of real community projects as part of semester long case studies, where they will work with lawyers, government officials and grass-roots advocates involved with the projects. Students will work with teams of other students on these projects, and each team will make a formal presentation to the class at the end of the semester. The relative utility of traditional legal techniques (such as land use planning devices, transfer of development rights, zoning, easements, revolving trusts, leasehold covenants and financing) will be carefully analyzed; the policies and impact of federal, state and local laws, including federal historic tax credits and the Community Preservation Act in Massachusetts, will be examined; and possible new approaches will be considered. By incorporating students from related disciplines into the seminar, it is hoped that the interface of law, economics, planning, design review, and the architectural discipline will enable the problems to be analyzed from a variety of perspectives reflecting a client?s and a community?s practical concerns. NOTE: This seminar satisfies the Upper-class Professional Skills requirement. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT OPTION: A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement with the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. **A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.