Chris Betts Visits UMW

From November 5th-November 12th, Christopher Betts, a renowned architectural
conservationist from the United Kingdom visited Fredericksburg, Virginia to
meet with UMW Historic Preservation students and faculty and discuss his work.
Chris has over 25 years of specialist expertise as an architectural
conservationist and is acting partner of Purcell Miller Tritton, an
architectural practice that manages historic properties across eight different
sectors of building types. Chris leads the residential sector of Purcell Miller

Chris Betts posing with Professor Michael Spencer following his lecture on Tuesday night.

Chris spoke to students on two separate occasions. His first talk occurred
at 5:00pm on Tuesday, November 8th. During this lecture, Chris provided
students with an inside look at his day-to-day activities, from the approach
and planning of a conservation project to the execution, coordination and
management of a historic property. Some startling contrasts arose between the
UK and the US regarding the general attitude towards historic preservation. In
the United States, historic preservation is often shown in a negative light;
that the projects of preservationists in the United States often cost too much
money and take up too much time and impede on the general development of a
town, city or county. In the United Kingdom, however, preservation is highly
integrated into the planning process and thus seen as an important
consideration during the demolition of an existing building or construction of
a new property.

Chris Betts shows students one of his residential projects

Chris also had the opportunity to sit in with the HISP360 International
Preservation class on Wednesday, November 9th and hold an in-depth
question and answer session regarding his work. Here, students asked a wealth
of questions ranging in topics from the political process of preservation in the
UK to broader characteristics affecting the state of preservation in the UK.

A big ‘thank-you’ to Chris Betts for his visit; we hope to reconnect with
you soon!

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