Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:
Wiese, Jacqueline R. (2010). "Public Policy and the Non-Secular: How Non-Profit Organizations Preserve Inner City Historic Sacred Places." (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


Historic sacred places represent a pattern of American culture. The sheer abundance of churches, temples and synagogues across the country demonstrate the presence of religious freedom, and the public statement conveyed by sacred places in their craftsmanship, architectural styles and strategic locations in residential neighborhoods. The many ways a community relates to an historic sacred place are representative of how people value cultural resources and what impact these resources can have on community revitalization. When a strong partnership exists between a congregation and community members (whether congregant or not) the outcome is more beneficial to the preservation of a sacred place. This thesis proposes that a healthy partnership can be achieved by non-profit organizations collaborating with urban congregations, to effectively impact their communities and preserve their historic sacred places. The three case studies present exemplary partnerships between congregations and nonprofit organizations in Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit, where historic congregations are impacting the surrounding community by the preservation of their urban religious properties.


Historic Preservation; Public Policy; Inner City; Sacred Places



Date Posted: 10 August 2010