I am a Chicago-area educator and art historian specializing in how the scientific and industrial revolutions of the late-18th century impacted the development of art and architecture. I currently teach undergraduate and graduate courses in global architectural history and theory for the College of Architecture + Design at Lawrence Technological University.

In addition to teaching, I also run my own manuscript editing consultancy. And, as a public service to my community, I chair the City of Evanston’s Preservation Commission, where my advocacy priorities are equity, climate resilience, outreach, and affordability.

Read/listen to me discuss how I have used the Humanities Commons platform to share my research and connect with other humanists: HC User Spotlight: Sarah M. Dreller.

I also own a landmarked farmhouse and spend much of my free time trying to make careful stewardship decisions about the building and its related landscape. I enjoy being active outside and discovering creative ways to combine art and science in the garden. I am determined to attend NASA Space Camp one day.


PhD – Department of Art History, University of Illinois at Chicago
MArchHist – Department of Architectural History, University of Virginia
BA – International Affairs (history & economics), Florida State University

Editing Certificate – Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, University of Chicago
International Certificate of Spanish Language – Department of Philology, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Additional Coursework
architectural design studio, design theory, and materials & methods – School of Architecture & Community Design, University of South Florida
studio art photography – School of Art & Art History, University of South Florida

Other Publications

Selected scholarship:
Speaker, “The Vanishing Porch in Perspective: A Case Study of Public Architectural History Scholarship,” Architectural History at UVA: Richard Guy Wilson + Our Community of Scholars (15-16 November 2019, Charlottesville, VA) RGW Symposium website)

Guest Editor, Special Virtual Issue: Skyscrapers, and “Introduction: Thoughts on Two Generations of Skyscraper Scholarship in JSAH.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (October 2019). Introduction republished in its entirety as “Aspire Higher: Exploring the History of the Skyscraper.” UC Press Blog. October 28, 2019. https://www.ucpress.edu/blog/46859/aspire-higher-exploring-the-history-of-the-skyscraper/.

Review of Building the Skyline: The Birth and Growth of Manhattan’s Skyscrapers, by Jason M. Barr. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 76, no.4 (December 2017): 562-64.

“Curtained Walls: Architectural Photography, the Farnsworth House and the Opaque Discourse of Transparency.” ARRIS: The Journal of the Southeast Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians 26 (2015): 22-39.
— CORE persistent link: https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:18089
— #MeToo/#TimesUp-inspired companion website: The Vanishing Porch in Perspective

Architectural Forum, 1932-64: A Time Inc. Experiment in American Architecture and Journalism,” Ph.D. diss. University of Illinois at Chicago, 2015. CORE persistent link: https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:18087

“Henry R. Luce: The Personal and the Professional.” Review of The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century, by Alan Brinkley. Jhistory, H-Net Reviews. February, 2011. CORE persistent link: https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:18097

“Architectural Photography.” In The Encyclopedia of 20th Century Architecture Vol. 1, edited by R. Stephen Sennot, 59-61. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 2004. http://bit.ly/2DOYv4r

“Bertram G. Goodhue’s ‘Alexandrian’ Style: The National Academy of Sciences Building, 1919-24,” Master’s thesis. University of Virginia, 1999.

[contact Sarah for complete list]

Selected preservation planning documents:
Primary Author/Architectural historian for award-winning rehabilitation and adaptive reuse project, including a National Register of Historic Places nomination, a Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit application and a California Mills Act Property Tax Abatement Program application. “Old Engine Co. No. 2.” Carey & Co. Architecture, Preservation & Planning, San Francisco: 2002-03.

Co-Author/Architectural historian for “Hawai’i National Park Discontiguous District” National Register Nomination. Prepared for the National Park Service Western Regional Office. Carey & Co. Architecture, Preservation & Planning, San Francisco: 2001-05.

Primary Author/Architectural historian for “IBM/Hitachi Campus Historic Resource Evaluation” Vol 1 & 2. Prepared at the request of the City of San Jose, California. Carey & Co. Architecture, Preservation & Planning, San Francisco: 2003-04.

Primary Author/Architectural historian for award-winning “San Jose Japantown Historic Context and Reconnaissance Survey” Vol 1 & 2. Prepared for the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California and the City of San Jose, California. Carey & Co. Architecture, Preservation & Planning, San Francisco: 2003-04.

Dreller, Sarah M. “West Grounds.” In “Evolution of the University of Virginia Grounds, 1917-31” University of Virginia Historic Cultural Landscape Survey. Office of the University Architect, Charlottesville: 1999.

Dreller, Sarah M., Fiona Robertson and Martha Teall. “Meriwether House, Keswick, Albemarle County, VA” (a.k.a. Cloverfields). Historic American Building Survey, Number: HABS VA-1358. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.: 1998. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/va1821/

[contact Sarah for complete list]


Digital humanities projects:
COMING SOON! Lapis Lazuli: Art + Science Stories , a podcast about historical and contemporary connections between art and science [launch TBD, project role: producer, web site designer, author]

Contingent Talk, a limited-run podcast series about precarious academic labor produced for the College Art Association’s CAA Conversations initiative [launched February 2019, project role: producer, web site designer, author]

The Vanishing Porch in Perspective, a #MeToo/#TimesUp-inspired companion website for “Curtained Walls” [launched February 2018, project role: author]

Afterimages, an online exhibition about the intersection of democratic free expression and historic preservation in Chile [launched November 2017, project role: digital humanities advising & editing]
— Sarah’s Platypus blog post about Afterimages

FONDEF Built Heritage Reference Collection, an online presentation of historical information about four Chilean national monuments [project role: web site designer and editor]


College Art Association
Data Visualization Society
Landmarks Illinois
National Alliance of Preservation Commissions
Society for American City and Regional Planning History
Society of Architectural Historians

Sarah M Dreller, PhD

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