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Meet Our 2018 Summer Interns

The Boston Preservation Alliance offers internships to graduate and undergraduate students to help train the next generation of preservationists by providing hands-on experience in the diversity of preservation, non-profit management, and community issues. We met up with our summer interns to chat a little about their background and hear what they’re working on this summer.  

Emily Kahn


Emily Kahn is a rising senior at Colgate University, with a major in History and minor in Museum Studies.  

Just before starting at the Alliance, you returned from a semester abroad. Tell us a little about that. 

I just spent a semester abroad in London where I completed archival research on post-Blitz town planning exhibitions and public participation in urban reconstruction. In June, I returned to London to present my findings at a conference with the Architecture Media Politics Society at the University of East London.

And that’s not the only research you have coming down the pike. 

My first co-authored book, Repression, Reinvention, and Rugelach: A History of Jews at Colgate, was just published this month! It will be available to the public soon. 

Congratulations! How are you capitalizing on your background during your internship at the Alliance? 

I am collecting community feedback on balancing heritage and development around the Fenway. My goal is to create a survey of the neighborhood through a map and report that identifies landmarked buildings, proposed new developments, recent developments, top preservation priorities, etc. Hopefully this project will help the public understand that Fenway is more than just Fenway Park and is a neighborhood with a vast history of artistic, scientific, and, of course, athletic achievement. 

Last question. What is your favorite type of building material and why?
Red bricks. They are such a versatile material! I developed my passion for bricks during my first summer at the Nantucket Historical Association. I fell in love with the bricks that comprised colonial fireplaces. Fenway is filled with red bricks. I am very excited to show people in Fenway that glass and steel are not the only materials that can contemporize this neighborhood. Fenway’s old, red (and yellow) brick buildings can be rehabilitated to meet modern needs.


Jarrett Shapiro


Jarrett Shapiro is a rising third-year student at the University of Chicago double majoring in History and Philosophy. 

At Chicago your research interests center on intellectual history and its legal applications. How do you envision integrating these topics into your interest in preservation? 

Following college, I plan to attend law school and ultimately work in cultural heritage preservation law and policy. 

And how is your internship at the Alliance tailored for this goal? 

This summer, my main focus is to research and strategize policies that will hopefully promote sound legal protections for historic buildings, such as organizing an action plan regarding restructuring the language of Article 85 (Demolition Delay Ordinance), overcoming legal hurdles surrounding implementation of the Community Preservation Act, as well as miscellaneous legal and policy research on various projects the organization is tackling.

Jocelyn Santiago


Jocelyn Santiago is a 2018 graduate of Wellesely College with a major in Studio Art. 

What projects are you working on this summer at the Alliance, and how has your academic background helped you in your role? 

This summer at the Alliance my work has mostly consisted of photographing Boston, focusing on sites the Alliance has been involved with and on the architectural details that show the city’s rich history and character. I’ve also been preparing media-based promotional work honoring the Alliance’s 40th anniversary.

The elements of my academic background that have proven most useful in my time here at the Alliance are a combination of the broad art history curriculum I’ve engaged with, the more technical skills I’ve gained throughout my hands on art studio work, and my previous internships. The art history piece has allowed me to understand with clarity the vision behind a lot of the modern and brutalist architecture you see in Boston’s cityscape. My time in the studio has made me a creative problem solver, which has served me well both out in the field capturing images and in editing/piecing elements together. My previous internship experience with the Ponce Art Museum in Puerto Rico and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts prepared me to tease out the narratives hidden within the more formal elements of works and historical texts.

That sounds fun! What are you discovering about preservation in Boston?
It really wasn’t until I started to have conversations with the staff here at the Alliance that preservation in Boston became an interesting concept to me. My understanding of preservation took on a much more layered and nuanced meaning. Being dedicated to preservation doesn’t equate to an outright opposition to change. What it does mean is a dedication to preserving the character that these buildings and spaces give the city; it’s about making mindful additions and teasing out ways to shift what exists in order to best serve the people without losing the relics of the past that keep us rooted. In a time where glass encased skyscrapers seem to be the go-to in terms of architectural development, preservation and adaptive reuse have become valuable tools. Preservation in Boston is exciting because of its power to differentiate us from every other city.

Cover photo of Park Street T by Jocelyn Santiago. 


Citgo sign here to stay, but maybe not surrounding buildings

Developer Related Beal on Tuesday went before the Boston Civic Design Commission to submit its updated plans to redevelop buildings on Commonwealth Avenue near Deerfield Street.

Defending Fenway’s Heritage

Emily Kahn, Boston Preservation Alliance Intern

Thank you to all our corporate members, including: