Architectural historian Jeffrey Cohen's teaching ranges from the general history of American architecture and of urban form to college-campus design, the development of the suburb, Victorian domestic architecture, and the innovative use of websites in architectural history and research. He also shares in the direction of Cities senior theses.
He has co-authored The Architectural Drawings of Benjamin Henry Latrobe (Yale University Press, 1995); Frank Furness: The Complete Works (Princeton Architectural Press, 1991, 1996); and Drawing Toward Building: Philadelphia Architectural Graphics 1732-1986 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986). Recent articles include "Evidence of the Architectural Libraries of Benjamin Henry Latrobe" in James F. O'Gorman and Kenneth Hafertepe, eds., Architects and their Books in the United States to 1845 (University of Massachusetts Press, 2001); "Evidence of Place: Resources Documenting the Philadelphia Area's Architectural Past," Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 124 (January/April 2000): 145-201; and "Forms into Architecture: Reform Ideals and the Gauntlet of the Real in Latrobe's Surveyorships at the United States Capitol," in Donald R. Kennon, ed. The United States Capitol: Designing and Decorating a National Icon (Ohio University Press, 1999), 23-55. One current research project, on panoramic street views of major nineteenth-century American cities, focuses on the urban center, while a second looks outward, toward the great architect-designed houses of the emerging Victorian suburb.
Jeff Cohen's research on the architectural history of Philadelphia and other cities of the American East Coast enriches his classes on architectural history. He has worked closely with key archival repositories in the area, involving students in projects based on these holdings, and expanding the connections of the Cities Program to its rich local milieu. A major project in this vein (and one that gives Bryn Mawr and Haverford students unique opportunities to collaborate in original research) is the website "Places in Time: Historical Documentation of Place in Greater Philadelphia," devised as an online, cross-institutional historical iconography for the five-county Philadelphia area. The site combines digitized images from local archives, such as commercial panoramas, paintings and prints, early photographs, measured drawings, illustrations in architectural publications, and real-estate atlases, with finding aids and unpublished historical resources. The goal of the site is to provide access to research materials to future students and scholars, "to better connect people with the history of their environment." Visit the site at: http://www.brynmawr.edu/iconog.
Jeffrey A. Cohen takes an active role in national and international efforts to promote the sharing of digital images for teaching, working in concert with colleagues from the Society of Architectural Historians, the Vernacular Architecture Forum, and the Visual Resources Association.