Director of Architectural and Cultural History
S. Alan Higgins is an architectural historian and preservation planner with a B.S. and M.S. in Historic Preservation. Having worked in both the private and public sectors, Alan is attuned to the importance of producing high-quality, usable documents that facilitate project goals, whether they be revitalizing a local community or mitigating adverse effects to historic properties. Intimately familiar with the National Historic Preservation Act and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, Alan has led or participated in a diverse range of projects across the cultural resource spectrum, from preservation planning and resource management to condition assessments and HABS documentation to historic architecture surveys and regulatory compliance, and he is particularly adept at helping communities engage, promote, and protect their historic resources.
Alan came to CRA in 2011 and currently serves as Director of Architectural and Cultural History. In this capacity, he is responsible for preparing scopes of work, managing project personnel, coordinating with clients and review agencies, providing technical review, and handling administrative functions related to the successful and efficient operation of the department. Prior to CRA, Mr. Higgins served as a Senior Historic Preservation Planner in the greater Philadelphia region, monitoring Section 106, HUD, and CDBG projects and general land development for their effects on historic properties. He was also charged with developing design guidelines, revitalization plans, historic property maintenance manuals, and historic context studies. Alan has also worked in close association with the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites Division of the Department of Natural Resources to develop historic structures reports for state-owned properties; the Galveston Historical Foundation in Galveston, Texas on heritage tourism initiatives; the Great Indy Neighborhoods Initiative on revitalization plans; and Indiana Landmarks on architectural surveys.
Alan also has recognized experience and expertise in the identification, documentation, and preservation of modern (post-1941) and recent past (post-1963) resources. He has developed architectural terminology and building typologies for these resources and completed comprehensive resource surveys and historic context studies for the post-1941 era. For more than five years, he has presented his work at the local, regional, and national levels, including in 2012, at the National Association of Environmental Professionals Annual Conference and at the Preservation Combination, hosted by Preservation Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania DOT. Since 2007, Alan has also been active with the Recent Past Preservation Network (RPPN), a national non-profit organization leading the movement to document and preserve recent past resources across the country. Starting in 2008, Alan has served on the Board of Directors, and, since 2011, he has served as President of the organization. Alan also sits on the Indiana Modern committee of Indiana Landmarks, the statewide non-profit preservation organization. Through his work, Alan remains dedicated to cultivating an ethic of understanding and consistent, appropriate treatment for our recent heritage.
When not at work, Alan enjoys buying and selling antiques, photography, and travelling. Most of all, he enjoys spending time with his wife Holly, son Ewan, and daughter Cecily.