With the recent death of famed architect I.M. Pei, the architect behind Philadelphia’s Society Hill Towers, there is a renewed interest in modernist design and buildings in Philadelphia. In particular, there’s interest in preserving the modern buildings in the city designed by architects such as Pei, Eero Saarinen, and Louis Kahn, as well as others encouraged by former head of the city’s planning commission, Edmund Bacon.

In Philadelphia, historic preservation no longer only means art deco, or Victorian era buildings. Owners seeking to renovate modern buildings are now facing similar historic preservation requirements. Thomas Jefferson University’s College of Architecture and the Built Environment is now offering a Master’s of Science degree in Historic Preservation, with a focus on conserving and protecting mid-century modern architecture.

Learn more about Jefferson University’s emphasis on modernist architecture:

Learn more about and apply for Jefferson University’s Master’s of Science degree in Historic Preservation Program:


GBCA members are already working on projects preserving and restoring modern architecture. Some projects include the following:

Walnut 32 Parking Garage

GBCA Members: Mara Restoration


Hill College House, University of Pennsylvania

General Contractor: INTECH Construction

GBCA Members:

  • BrandSafway Services
  • CDP Construction, LLC
  • Dan Lepore & Sons Company
  • D’Andrea Brothers Concrete Company
  • Independence Steel, Inc.
  • Mayfield Site Contractors, Inc.
  • National Glass & Metal Co., Inc.
  • Oliver Fire Protection & Security
  • Philadelphia D&M


Park Towne Place

General Contractor: Clemens Construction Company

GBCA Members:

  • BrandSafway
  • O’Donnell & Naccarato
  • Roman Mosaic & Tile Company
  • Steven Kempf Building Material Company