Lisa Schrenk

Associate Professor of Architectural History

Master of Architecture
School of Architecture
Lisa Schrenk

Areas of Expertise

  • World architecture and heritage
  • Design of international expositions
  • Architecture of Chicago
  • Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright

Lisa D. Schrenk PhD is Associate Professor of Architectural History, joining CAPLA in 2012. She received a B.A. from Macalester College with degrees in studio art and geography, a Master’s Degree in Architectural History from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin. She has previously taught at the University of New Mexico, the University of Minnesota, Montana State University, the University of California, Davis, and during the previous ten years in the School of Architecture and Art at Norwich University. In 2006 and again in 2012 she was named a Charles A. Dana I Award recipient for excellence in teaching, research, and service. Other professional achievements include having her book Building a Century of Progress: The Architecture of Chicago’s 1933-34 World’s Fair (University of Minnesota Press, 2007) named to Choice Review’s 2008 List of Outstanding Academic Titles and receiving a Fulbright award to study sustainably development in Brazil. In 2008 she was awarded a We the People grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for her research on the Oak Park studio of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, which she began while serving as Education Director for the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Foundation.

Dr. Schrenk is a leading authority on the architecture of international expositions and the early work of Frank Lloyd Wright. She has also presented papers and authored publications on Radio Flyer wagons, twentieth-century pattern book houses, thin-shell concrete, and the architecture of India and Southeast Asia. She was a consultant and gave the opening lecture for the exhibit Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s at the National Building Museum in 2012, which also traveled to the Museum of the City of New York and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Dr. Schrenk has been a participant in several NEH and East-West Center enrichment programs on Asian culture. During the summer of 2009 she was a member of a delegation of 14 university educators from the United States and Southeast Asia that traveled to China as guests of the Chinese Ministry of Education. She returned to China the following year at the invitation of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai to give a lecture on Chinese presentations at American world’s fairs and to attend Expo 2010. In addition to her trips to Brazil and China, her extensive world travel has included visits to sites of architectural significance throughout the United States and Europe, as well as South Africa, Namibia, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Peru, Columbia, Central America, Mexico, Cuba, Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Burma, Indonesia, Thailand, and India. During the spring 2015 semester she taught courses on global architecture, sacred spaces, and urbanism as a faculty member on an around-the-world Semester at Sea voyage.

She shares both her firsthand experiences and photographs from her travels with students in her history/theory courses, with the public via her image blog AdventuresinArchitecture, and with colleagues through SAHARA, a digital-image database sponsored by the Society of Architectural Historians. Dr. Schrenk has served on numerous professional committees, including being elected to the Board of Directors for the Society of Architectural Historians and President of the Chicago Society of Architectural Historians. Her academic research was the topic of a full-page article in the Chronicle for Higher Education in November 2007.