George Thomas

Lecturer in Architecture

Area Head, Critical Conservation MDes area group

George E. Thomas, Ph.D. is a cultural and architectural historian practicing with Susan Nigra Snyder, a registered architect in CivicVisions, based in Philadelphia. CivicVisions merges knowledge of a place’s history with the ability to see how this may be used to create a future that responds to contemporary lifestyle forces. Mr. Thomas has been a national pioneer in documentation for National Register Historic Districts and individual listings to secure historic tax credits for rehabilitation projects. For more than thirty years he has taught at the University of Pennsylvania where his courses seek to understand the interconnection between history and patterns of modern life. In 1978 he was one of the founders of Penn’s Program in Historic Preservation where he taught until 2002. In 1995 he was awarded the University’s Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. Dr. Thomas has written and lectured widely on nineteenth and early twentieth century American architecture with a focus on the relationship between cultural innovation and architectural design. His research has broadened our understanding of the origins of modern design in the work of Pennsylvania architects serving industrial clients. His books include Cape May: Queen of the Seaside Resort; Drawing Toward Building: American Architectural Graphics 1732-1986; Frank Furness: The Complete Works; Building America’s First University: An Architectural and Historical Guide to the University of Pennsylvania; William L. Price: From Arts and Crafts to Modern Design; Buildings of the United States: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania and forthcoming, The Poetry of the Present: Architecture in the age of the great machines.


  • Publics

    By Anita Berrizbeitia, Diane Davis, Toni L. Griffin, Daniel D'Oca, Sara Zewde, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Malkit Shoshan, George Thomas, Susan Snyder, Alex Krieger and Silvia Benedito

    January 2022