Profiles in Preservation

Amber N. Wiley, PhD

As it first appeared on the Black in Historic Preservation Instagram on 3 March 2021:

This week’s Black in Historic Preservation's Profiles in Preservation is a throughline from the previous Profile on the deForest Brothers, the professor whose Univ. of Virginia School of Architecture (UVA) talk last October brought to my awareness the pioneering brothers whose preservation work in the 1970s is the reason why we have Black Landmarks in the National Park Service system - Amber Wiley, PhD @profwiley.

Although her dot on our Black Preservationists Directory map is in New Jersey, Prof. Wiley could have multiple dots around the world, thanks in part to an inaugural travel fellowship she earned from the Society of Architectural Historians in 2016. Her research portfolio includes sites in New Brunswick, NJ, Ghana, and Washington, DC.

Not only can you watch her UVA talk on YouTube, see the deForest profile for the link on our website, on March 4, 2021, but Prof. Wiley will also present tonight, “The Revolution Continues: Legacy Black Heritage Movement.” This presentation, sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Design - Historic Preservation, will cover the legacy of the deForests and their Afro-American Bicentennial Corporation (ABC). To register, see the Events tab, March 4, on our website - link in profile. Soo excited - I love learning about the deForest Brothers from Prof. Wiley!

- K. Kennedy Whiters (kW) @iamkennedyw


Amber Wiley PhD’s Bio from her website,

“Amber is an Assistant Professor of Art History at Rutgers University. She specializes in architecture, urbanism, and African American cultural studies. Her research is centered on the social aspects of design — architecture as a literal and figural structure of power.

She focuses on the ways local and national bodies have made the claim for the dominating narrative and collective memory of cities through design, and examines how preservation and architecture contribute to the creation and maintenance of the identity and “sense of place” of a city.

She was named a 2016 Emerging Scholar by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine, and was awarded the inaugural H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship from the Society of Architectural Historians. She traveled to Mexico, Guatemala, Ghana, Ethiopia, India, and Vietnam during the 2014-2015 academic year.

Amber is active in preservation policy as well as various professional organizations. She has served on the National Park System Advisory Board Landmarks Committee, and on the boards of the Vernacular Architecture Forum, Latrobe Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians, and the Yale Black Alumni Association.

Amber received her Ph.D. in American Studies from George Washington University. She also holds a Master’s in Architectural History and Certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Virginia School of Architecture, and a B.A. in Architecture from Yale University. She is a proud native of Oklahoma City.” (Source:

- K. Kennedy Whiters (kW), @iamkennedyw

Cite this Article in APA Format:

Whiters, K. (2021, March 3) Profiles in Preservation: Amber N. Wiley, PhD. Retrieved from <Insert Date Retrieved>.


Amber N. Wiley, (Retrieved 2 March 2021).

Image of Prof. Wiley during her talk on Carrie Mae Weems' digital print, When and Where I Enter the British Museum, 2006. Photo Source: Amber N. Wiley, PhD

Carter G. Woodson National Historic Landmark Nomination Form 2019-2020 Update. Streetscape of Woodson Home looking southwest, Washington, DC. February 2019. Photo Source: Amber N. Wiley, PhD

Cape Coast Castle, Ghana. October 2014. Photo Source: Amber N. Wiley,

Original site of the Indian Queen Tavern/Bell Hotel, New Brunswick NJ. August 2020. Photo Source: Amber N. Wiley, PhD

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