Lead Architectural Historian

Requisition Number
# of Openings
Office Location
Cultural Resources/Archaeology
Hire Type

About the opportunity

SWCA Environmental Consultants is seeking a Lead Architectural Historian to support our California operations, working with current staff in our five regional offices. The Lead Architectural Historian is a core member of the statewide Cultural Resources program and will collaborate with SWCA’s managers, directors, and principals on technical and business development efforts throughout California. This is a full-time, salaried position to be located in our Pasadena, office.


What you will accomplish

  • Project implementation to include staffing, research, fieldwork, report writing, and Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) review.
  • Independently or leading a project team, conducting historic resource assessments/evaluations according to local, state, and federal criteria of significance. 
  • Archival research, focusing on primary and secondary sources and utilizing online and local resources. Researching and writing historic context statements, which identify significant context, themes, and property types.
  • Preparation of defensible compliance documentation in support of CEQA/NHPA/Section 106 review.
  • Planning and carrying out historic resource surveys of a variety of residential, commercial, and institutional properties using ArcGIS-enabled tablet computers and other cutting-edge survey methodology.
  • Documenting survey results in reports and recording historic resources on California DPR 523 forms.
  • Registration of historic properties and districts to local, state, and federal registers.
  • Carrying out project-level review for compliance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards.
  • Assisting local governments with creating and revising planning regulations, including historic preservation ordinances. 
  • Developing and managing project budgets and project staff; leading architectural history proposal and marketing efforts.
  • Supervise, mentor, and provide project specific direction to architectural history staff.

Experience and qualifications for success

  • A Master’s Degree in architectural history, historic preservation, or a closely related field required.
  • Meets Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualifications Standards in Architectural History (36 CFR Part 61).
  • A working knowledge of federal and state cultural resource and historic preservation laws and practices, including NEPA, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and CEQA.
  • Minimum of eight (8) years of experience conducting research, writing, and consulting in American architectural history with a consulting firm, agency, or other professional organization; preferred experience includes working on a variety of project types and sizes, on all project aspects (from pre-field tasks through final report preparation), in multiple regions, and with a variety of regulatory agencies.
  • Experience recording and evaluating architectural resources on California DPR 523 forms.
  • Primary report authorship in a CRM context and experience providing quality control review of field documents, site forms, and reports required.
  • Familiarity with nineteenth and twentieth century commercial and residential architecture.
  • Knowledge of the history and architectural history of Southern California is required.
  • Experience with application of The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation (36 CFR Part 67) and Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record documentation and procedures are preferred.
  • Experience working on National Register Nominations preferred.

SWCA Environmental Consultants is a growing employee-owned firm, providing a full spectrum of environmental services. With offices across the United States, SWCA is one of the largest environmental compliance firms and ranks among Engineering News-Record’s Top 200 Environmental Firms.


If you would like to contact SWCA regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the online application process due to a disability, please email accommodations@swca.com or call 480-581-5378. This contact information is for disability accommodation requests only. All other inquiries will not receive a response. 


EOE - women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply.



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