School of Architecture College of Design

Greg Donofrio, Ph.D. Associate Professor & Director of Heritage Conservation & Preservation

Greg Donofrio, Ph.D.

Associate Professor & Director of Heritage Conservation and Preservation


Telephone: 612-626-1107

Office: 151G Rapson Hall

LinkedIn profile  Greg Donofrio


Greg Donofrio teaches in and is the director of the Master's of Science in Architecture, Heritage Conservation and Preservation graduate program.  His research explores the history, economics, and feasibility of historic preservation in the United States. He also has strong academic interests in food system planning and issues generally related to social equity and public health in rural and urban environments. While we have always needed to eat, the socioeconomic and physical infrastructures that have enabled us to do so remain curiously unexamined. His research into the history of food system planning, which includes an analysis of evolving socially-constructed notions of physical and functional urban obsolescence, is building toward a larger book-length publication on the functional preservation of historic food markets—the subject of his doctoral dissertation.

Professor Donofrio is also actively engaged in professional practice as Director of Research for Preservation Design Works (PVN), a Minneapolis-based consulting firm dedicated to increasing the use of historic buildings through design, real estate development, and research. In his work with PVN, Donofrio evaluates the historic significance of properties, helps to guide development proposals through preservation-related regulatory requirements, and assesses the economic feasibility of tax-advantaged historic rehabilitation projects. Working collaboratively, PVN combines the skills of a preservation planner and architectural historian, a preservation engineer, and a preservation architect.   

Additional professional and community engagement activities of Professor Donofrio include service on the Board of Directors and Real Estate Committee of the statewide, nonprofit, preservation-advocacy organization, the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota. He is also a member of the Building Revitalization Task Force of The Soap Factory, a contemporary art production and exhibition space owned and operated by a non-profit organization that he is helping to pursue state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits to support the substantial rehabilitation of its National-Register-listed building. 

Professor Donofrio's professional experience includes employment at the New York State Historic Preservation Office where he reviewed New York City building restoration and rehabilitation projects for compliance with state and federal historic preservation laws. He also coordinated the federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program for New York City including the exterior restoration of Gordon Bunshaft’s Lever House and Louis Sullivan’s Bayard-Condict Building, among many others. 


  • Preservation planning and economics, with special emphasis in tax credit analysis
  • Preservation regulations such as Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as well as local preservation ordinances and design guidelines
  • History and theory of the preservation movement in the United States
  • Food systems planning



  • Ph.D., City & Regional Planning, Cornell University, 2009 (Dissertation: “The Container and the Contained:” The Functional Preservation of Historic Food Markets)
  • M.A., Historic Preservation Planning, Cornell University, 2001
  • B.A., History of Science and Technology, Vassar College, May 1998

Awards, Grants and Fellowships

  • Residential Fellowship, University of Minnesota Institute for Advanced Study, Spring 2012
  • Heritage Collaborative Grants, University of Minnesota Institute for Advanced Study, 2009, 2011, and 2012.
  • Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship, Massachusetts Historical Society, 2007
  • Agriculture, Food & Human Values Student Paper Competition Award Winner, June 2005
  • Clarence S. Stein Institute for Urban & Landscape Studies Research Grant, June 2004
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation, Favrot Grant to NYS Barn Coalition, May 2004
  • Cornell University Historic Preservation Research Fellowship, 2003-2004
  • National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE) Fellowship, 2003-2004
  • John W. Reps Award for Superior Academic Achievement, Cornell University, 2000



School of Architecture
145 Rapson Hall
89 Church Street
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Fax: 612-624-5743


Contact Information

College of Design

Saint Paul Offices

32 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-1922

[directions and maps]

Minneapolis Offices

101 Rapson Hall, 89 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-7525

[directions and maps]

© Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy Statement Current as of