Meet JHC’s 2021 Class of Jay Fellows

This summer, the JHC welcomed three Jay Fellows in historic preservation–Preme Chaiyatham, Thom Chiu, and Ziming Wang–who worked under the direction of Jorge Otero-Pailos, Director of Historic Preservation at Columbia University. The 12-week fellowship ran from June 1 to August 30. Started in 2020, the Jay Fellowship Program offers exceptional graduate students in historic preservation the opportunity to study and work at the Jay Estate. Fellows acquire hands-on preservation experience working on projects at JHC.

Preme Chaiyatham completed her undergraduate degree in interior architecture and has been in the interior design and built environment industry for four years in Bangkok, Thailand. With experience working in old structures, she decided to pursue a Masters in Historic Preservation at Columbia University, where she has been working as an assistant in the Preservation Technology Laboratory, and serving as a representative in the student council for the program. The Jay Fellowship contributed to her goal to become a conservation architect.

Ziming Wang is from Shanghai, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in architecture, and cultivated a special love for architectural history and historic buildings. He is now pursuing a Masters in Historic Preservation at Columbia University.  He loves classical music and photography. The Jay Fellowship inspired a new passion in him for the landscape and Greek Revival architecture of the Jay Estate. It also helped him gain important skills for his future career as a preservation architect.

Thom Chiu was born in Hong Kong and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Architecture from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago and earned a Masters in Architecture from Columbia University in May of this year. Thom is interested in using exhibit design to create dialogues between historical and contemporary contexts. He first encountered the JHC through his experience as a student in the studio course taught by Professors Jorge Otero-Pailos and Mark Rakatansky at Columbia University in Fall ’20, which focused on designing a new visitor center. The Jay Fellowship has led him to a new job with the prestigious architectural firm ARO.

Working together, the fellows carried out cutting edge 3D scans to document the newly restored gardens and their immediate surroundings, including Cherry Hill. These scans add to the 3D documentation started by last year’s Jay Fellows. The growing collection of 3D scans will become important documents in the JHC archives, which will serve as reference for future preservation work in the gardens and mansion. The fellows also assisted Prof. Jorge Otero-Pailos with his artistic interpretation of the missing pavilion attributed to A. J. Davis.