I am currently writing a dissertation, under the supervision of Dr. William Cronon, about the history of alleys as public space in Washington, DC and the role they play in urban development, social life, and neighborhood change. This research is funded by a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement grant from the National Science Foundation, as well as by several grants from the UW-Madison Department of Geography, Center for Culture, History, and Environment, and Graduate School.

Hecht blgI have also conducted research about the impact of historic landmarks in urban neighborhoods. My master's research, based in Madison, WI, investigated how historic landmark designation affects the public's understandings of history and memory. I continued this line of research in Washington, DC, where I research how an iconic historic building has contributed, over several decades, to the present-day gentrification of the Ivy City neighborhood. This research was funded by the Society for Architectural Historians and the Historic American Buildings Survey of the National Park Service.

More about this research can be found in the following publications:

"'This is Ivy City': An Iconic Building's Impact on Gentrification and Neighborhood Identity," Buildings & Landscapes 25(1), 2018

With Garrett Dash Nelson. "Making stories significant: Possibilities and challenges at the intersection of digital methods and historic preservation,"Area 2017.

You can also find my commentary on processes of racial and environmental change in Washington, DC and Baltimore in the following book review and interview (hover over the title for the hyperlink):

"Black Branding and Gentrification in Washington, D.C." Edge Effects. 2017

"The Itchy Ecology of Segregation: A Conversation with Dawn Biehler." Edge Effects. 2017.