Ted Ligibel

A photo of Ted Ligibel

Professor Emeritus of Historic Preservation

Geography & Geology


[email protected]


  • Ph.D., American Culture Studies, Bowling Green State University1995
  • MS, American Culture Studies, Bowling Green State University, 1981
  • BS, University of Toledo, 1972

Interests and Expertise

Ted Ligibel, director emeritus of Eastern Michigan University's award-winning Historic Preservation program, began his career in historic preservation in 1974 with the Landmarks Committee of the Maumee Valley Historical Society. In 1976, he became regional preservation officer for the Northwest Ohio Historic Preservation Office under the Historic Preservation Office of the Ohio Historical Society and the Department of the Interior, affiliating this program with Bowling Green State University in 1978. He was asked to direct the historical collection/ development program of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library in 1982. In 1985, he accepted a position as research associate within the University of Toledo's Urban Affairs Center. He established the University's first courses in historic preservation as an instructor in the Geography Planning and History Departments. In 1991, he joined the faculty of Eastern Michigan University as professor in the Historic Preservation program, and became its director in 1999. Now the largest graduate Historic Preservation program in the nation, it offers coursework at both EMU's main campus in Ypsilanti and in Northern Michigan at Northwest Michigan College.

Ted Ligibel is a frequent lecturer throughout the nation, and has been active in a variety of local, state, and national preservation and conservation organizations. He has written works on historic preservation, local history and historic architecture, including:

  • Lights Along the River: Landmark Architecture of the Maumee River Valley (1983)
  • Island Heritage: A Guided Tour to Lake Erie's Bass Islands (1987)
  • Clark Lake: Images of a Michigan Tradition (1991), which was the 1992 recipient of the Historical Society of Michigan's Award of Merit
  • The Toledo Zoo's First 100 Years: A Century of Adventure (1999), which received the Local History Publication Award from Bowling Green State University's Center for Archival Collections in 2000.
  • His most recent work, Historic Preservation: An Introduction to its History, Principles, and Practice, co-authored with architects Norman and Ilene Tyler, was published in 2009 and has become the best-selling preservation textbook in the nation.

He is chair emeritus of the National Council for Preservation Education, and is an advisor emeritus to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, having served nine years as Ohio advisor including two years on the Advisor's National Administrative Committee. In 1992, Dr. Ligibel was invited to participate in two 'Roundtable Discussions' on neighborhood revitalization and historic preservation for the Clinton Administration and in 2008 was asked to advise then U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne, on the significance of the River Raisin Battlefield in Monroe, Michigan. He is a past board member of the Sauder Historic Village in Ohio and the Detroit Club Foundation, and is a board member emeritus of the Michigan Historic Preservation Network. In 2010, he was appointed to the Governor's Michigan Historic Preservation Review Board.

Ted Ligibel holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toledo and MA and Ph.D. degrees in American Studies from Bowling Green State University. He is a member of the national honorary societies of Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Pi Kappa, and has been listed in Who's Who in American Education. In 2010, he was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award sponsored annually by Eastern Michigan University's Alumni Association.


  • Introduction to Historic Preservation (Graduate section)
  • Preservation Administration and Planning
  • Preservation Research Techniques
  • Adaptive Use of Historic Structures
  • Preserving Community Character
  • Historic Preservation and Tourism
  • Historic Preservation Field Project
  • Historic Preservation Project
  • Seminar in Preservation Issues