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Last year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation joined preservation colleagues all across the nation in celebrating 50 years of achievement under the National Historic Preservation Act—the critical 1966 law that still shapes our work today. We also took the opportunity of this golden anniversary to draw inspiration from the preservationists who made the act a reality; take stock of the current direction, strengths, and shortcomings of our field; and develop a vision to guide our efforts ...
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The Preservation Green Lab is always looking for opportunities to test our idea that building reuse should be a key strategy for supporting community health, equity, and resilience. Our ongoing work building the Atlas of ReUrbanism does just that by quantifying the benefits that older buildings and blocks bring to 50 cities (so far) across the country. Not surprisingly, these “high-character” areas feature more jobs; more units of affordable rental housing; more diverse residents; and more density ...
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In the last month there has been some momentum on the Hill with regard to tax reform. Here’s a quick recap of the events and a short guide to showing your support for the federal HTC—including a new opportunity. Credit: Architect of the Capitol In late April Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee participated in a retreat. Sources have confided that the committee members did not “drill down” and talk about specific tax credits but instead sought to find common ...
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By Katie Rispoli Keaotamai Preservation is, by its nature, a diverse field—some preservationists document, while others conserve, restore, educate, advocate, and more. And the next generation of preservation professionals learns by doing, which makes it important to provide hands-on opportunities that will allow youth to discover how historic places fit into their lives. The challenge, then, is to raise awareness of preservation while attracting individuals interested in digital technologies, ...
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On May 5 Congress completed its work on the H.R.244 —the FY17 Consolidated Appropriations Act—known as the “Omnibus.” The Omnibus will fund the government through September 30, 2017, and includes 11 appropriations bills, as well as supplemental funding for defense, disaster relief, border security, Puerto Rico, and veterans. The most important provisions for the preservation community are found within the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations. Credit: Architect of the ...
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Until recently, preservationists may not have known much about urban activist Jane Jacobs or the value she placed on older buildings. But 11 years after her death, there is a renewed interest in cities that work for people, and Jacobs seems to be everywhere you look. From a new documentary, Citizen Jane: The Battle for the City ; to “ A Marvelous Order ,” an upcoming opera pitting Jacobs against her nemesis Robert Moses ; to Jane Jacobs Walks , touring conversations about urban neighborhoods, ...
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Last week President Donald Trump issued an executive order directing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to conduct a review of at least 24 large national monuments on federal public lands and to make recommendations for their reduction or revocation. While size appears to be a central concern—the president specified that all monuments spanning at least 100,000 acres must be reviewed—the executive order leaves the door open for Zinke to review any monument designated since January 1, 1996. So when ...
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In the introduction to the fall 2016/winter 2017 issue of the   Forum Journal , which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), Tom Mayes notes that “the NHPA made a profound difference in the lives of all Americans. Yet, just as Americans are largely unaware from day to day that they breathe clean air as a result of the Clean Air Act, they are also often unaware of the ways in which their lives are better because of the historic places saved by the NHPA.” ...
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In 1964–65 New York City hosted the World’s Fair, an event that drew an estimated 51 million visitors to Queens’ Flushing Meadows Corona Park for a celebration of culture and technology. One of structures built for the fair, designed by world-renowned architect Philip Johnson, was the New York State Pavilion. Built with concrete and steel, the pavilion boasts three observation towers and a 100-foot-high, open-air elliptical ring dubbed the “Tent of Tomorrow”—an homage to the space race era during ...
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By: Will Hamilton and Erika Hoffman The Aiken-Rhett House , built circa 1820 in Charleston, South Carolina, is considered one of the most intact urban townhouse complexes in the country and has been listed on the National Register since 1977 . Historic Charleston Foundation (HCF) purchased the property in 1995 and adopted a “preserved as found” approach to the interpretation of this important structure and its outbuildings. Aiken-Rhett House exterior circa 2008. | Credit: Historic ...
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Over the past three years, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has played a leading role in the effort to broaden the use of real estate programs to save historic assets through the Historic Properties Redevelopment Program (HPRP) , with gen erous support provided by the 1772 Foundation . The HPRP has placed a special focus on promoting the use of revolving funds by preservation organizations and nonprofit community developers. In redeveloping historic properties, revolving funds ...
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The edges of our country are eroding. From Alaska to Louisiana, centuries of culture, tangible history, and dynamic communities are being battered by stronger storms and sea level rise—raising difficult questions about adaptation, relocation, and what it means to be an American experiencing climate change today. Over the next year, Victoria Herrmann, a National Geographic Explorer will chronicle America’s Eroding Edges (AEE) , helping you explore the challenges of all those facing the impacts ...
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By John Leith-Tetrault The 2017 Preservation Advocacy Week, which took place March 14–16, resulted in a significant increase in cosponsors for the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act (HTCIA). As of April 11, the bill has 10 Senate and 47 House supporters. That’s worth celebrating!  Several challenging questions emerged from those congressional members who still need convincing. This has led to new research by the Historic Tax Credit Coalition and a new set of talking points for advocates. ...
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Update: 4/27/16 On April 26 President Donald Trump signed the  Executive Order on the Review of Designations Under the Antiquities Act . The order directs the Department of the Interior to review all national monuments designated since January 1, 1996, to determine whether they meet the requirements and objectives of the Antiquities Act and whether they “appropriately balance the protection of landmarks, structures, and objects against the appropriate use of Federal lands and the effects on ...
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Through ReUrbanism , the Preservation Green Lab staff has focused its attention on the relationship between old buildings and the challenges and solutions for cities in the 21st century. Our team lives and works in cities—including Seattle; Denver; Washington, D.C.; and New York—and we’re tuned in to the conversations around livability, affordability, density, and displacement in our hometowns and across the country. One issue that seems to keep coming up and overshadowing other debates is density. ...
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By Jeni Henrickson and Aaron Doering Geographic knowledge and inquiry skills are key in today’s globally interdependent world, including within the preservation field. Understanding geographic concepts like location, place, movement, human/environment interaction, and region is key to addressing challenges that have a worldwide impact—climate change, migration, political unrest, and food insecurity—as well as more locally centered challenges surrounding environmental and historic preservation ...
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Note: The 2017 Diversity Scholarship Program application is now available online . Please apply and share the application with organizations and higher education institutions—as well as with individuals interested in attending PastForward 2017 in Chicago as diversity scholars. In honor of the 25th year of the program, a limited number of scholarships will be available to past scholars who have met the two-year attendance limit. The application deadline is May 12. We know that a lack of ...
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By Laura Dominguez Though often eclipsed by San Francisco and New York City, Los Angeles has long been at the forefront of creating and shaping a collective yet diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/queer (LGBTQ) identity. For decades the L.A. region and its residents have played a vital role in bringing the experiences of LGBTQ communities into the public consciousness, their stories and struggles embedded in our built environment. Over the course of the 20th century, ...
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The Atlas of ReUrbanism is a resource to help urban leaders and advocates better understand and leverage opportunities in American cities . Currently the Atlas consists of three pieces: a summary report with baseline information and comparative tables for 50 cities across the country, interactive maps for an increasing number of those cities, and takeaway factsheets with topline analysis for the cities with live maps. Whats in a Factsheet? In trying to tell the story of each ...
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By Paul Alessandro Improvisation is the art of crafting a story based on bits of information contributed by the audience as well as fellow performers. Each night in improv theaters all over Chicago, actors use a simple rule to forward their improvisations and support one anothers creativity. Called yes, and..., the methodology requires performers to listen carefully to the ideas that their acting partners are advancing, agree with what has been presented, and add on to it. ...
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