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By Dave Gonzales Every year, thousands of visitors to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, Florida, enjoy seeing how the prolific author lived and wrote during the decade he spent there in the 1930s. Curators have meticulously maintained the stately two-story Spanish Colonial home, which retains original architectural features from 1851 and displays the Hemingway family’s furnishings and artifacts as they were when the author lived there. One thing contemporary sightseers...
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In May the Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project of Richmond, Virginia, invited Max Page and Joseph Krupczynski from the Center for Design Engagement —a nonprofit organization affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Amherst—to spend a week in Richmond working with the community to produce a design proposal for Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park. Part dialogue, part design charrette, the resulting report is now available for review and comment through August 31 . ...
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With the end of summer quickly approaching, we are kicking off our annual PastForward reading lists! Over the next few months, we’ll be providing a curated selection of reports, articles, and videos to prep you for our annual conference. We hope that they’ll spark discussions come November 15–18, when PastForward arrives in Houston, Texas. Haven’t registered yet? Don’t forget that rates go up after September 15 ! Livability: Arts and Equity This first reading list focuses...
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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 , helping you explore the challenges of all those facing the impacts...
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In June, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) held its 84th annual meeting in Indianapolis. During the meeting, the USCM passed Resolution 93 . Sponsored by New Orleans Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu, the resolution celebrates the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) by emphasizing the formative role the USCM played in the creation of the NHPA, celebrating its many accomplishments and benefits, and expressing an optimistic view about the future of the NHPA and historic preservation....
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By John Leith-Tetrault For the first time since the passage of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in 1976, federal bank regulators (the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) have clarified in detail how banks can meet their CRA obligations by making Historic Tax Credit (HTC) investments. The preamble to the new issuance features specific comments on the HTC on page 16. The CRA requires regulated financial institutions...
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The 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA)—the cornerstone of preservation practice in the United States—has spurred conferences, articles, and celebrations throughout 2016. One of the most lasting and influential looks to the future to emerge from this year could well be a new work from the University of Massachusetts Press, Bending the Future: 50 Ideas for the Next 50 Years of Historic Preservation in the United States . Edited by Max Page and Marla R. Miller,...
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In honor of the 2016 anniversary of the National Park Service Preservation Leadership Forum is hosting a series of blog posts highlighting the programs and history of the National Park Service. In these posts NPS staff look back and forward on how far the service has gone and where it hopes to go in the future. By Paloma Bolasny and Teresa Moyer The goal for the National Park Service (NPS) Centennial is to “connect with and engage the next generation of park visitors, supporters,...
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By Elissa Frankle Take a minute to look at your institution’s mission statement. Does it say something about making history relevant, making the past matter, or connecting the public with your subject? Did you also notice a reference to human beings in that mission statement? “Making history relevant” is directional: we want to make it relevant to people—to inform how our audiences understand and respond to the world. In thinking about relevance, institutions often find themselves...
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By Krystyn Hastings-Silver This summer visitors to Lyndhurst can see the newly restored Merritt Observation Tower by taking the Upstairs Downstairs tour . While the tower has long contributed to the National Historic Landmark status of Lyndhurst, only now is it open to the public for the first time. Built circa 1864 as an astronomical observatory for Lyndhurst’s second owner, George Merritt, the tower was not interpreted or seen as important when Lyndhurst first opened to the public...
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The headline of a recent article in Market Urbanism , a blog promoting a “free-market approach to urban land use,” caught the attention of preservationists across the country: “The Cato Institute Goes After Arbitrary Historic Preservation Laws.” According to the article, a group of urban economists—led by Triumph of the City author Ed Glaeser and the Cato Institute, a D.C.-based libertarian research and policy organization—have concluded that preservation laws discourage development in neighborhoods...
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By John Dichtl Many thousands of people in this country are engaged in the work of history: from saving structures and historic landscapes to pioneering new depths of scholarship and from using historical interpretation to engage communities at museums to conducting historical studies for government, corporate, or nonprofit clients. But as we have specialized in all these various corners, we have neglected to speak to one another about why history matters. We haven’t articulated the...
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In late June Speaker of the House Paul Ryan released a Republican blueprint for reforming the nation’s tax code . The Tax Reform Blueprint is meant to guide the House Ways and Means Committee in developing a comprehensive reform of the tax code in 2017. The Blueprint proposes to lower corporate and individual tax rates, in part by eliminating certain credit and deduction programs. It would also move toward a consumption-based tax system and switch from a worldwide tax system to a territorial...
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At the end of each year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation publishes that year’s 10 preservation wins and losses, a list that spotlights the dedication of local groups who fought tirelessly to save the landmarks and landscapes they cherish most. It is filled with inspiring stories of moving lighthouses on Martha’s Vineyard and turning California’s Hangar One , once a docking station for the USS Macon, into a scientific and educational facility. The list is also a somber reminder...
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By Gwen North Reiss July 8, 2016, is the 110th anniversary of Philip Johnson’s birth . His life—he died in 2005 at age 98—spanned almost a century. Born in 1906 in Cleveland, Ohio, Johnson traveled east to attend the Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York, and went on to study the Classics and philosophy at Harvard. His love of landscape and architecture started early with family trips to Europe, and after completing his undergraduate studies, he became the first curator of architecture...
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On Wednesday, June 15, Democrats serving on the House Committee on Natural Resources hosted a forum dubbed Countering Extremism on America’s Public Lands, due in part to lawmaker concerns following the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon by Ammon Bundy and others for more than 40 days earlier this year. In attendance were Democrats from both the House Natural Resources and Homeland Security committees, as well as five expert witnesses who testified about the dangers of recent...
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Registration is now open for this year’s national preservation conference, PastForward, November 15–18 in Houston, Texas. Registration and complete conference details are online at www.PastForwardConference.org . Think Big This year the conference will focus on how preservation can play a greater role in securing healthier, more sustainable and just cities. The more than 200 hours of programming will include Learning Labs, TrustLives, Special Convenings, and Field Studies. We’ll...
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Credit: Andy Donaldson The Village of Zoar National Treasure campaign kicked off on June 6, 2012, the same day that the community was declared one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. After more than a year of regular involvement by the National Trust to help raise Zoar’s profile, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced on November 22, 2013, that it was no longer considering removal of the levee that protects the Village of Zoar. Thus, the greatest...
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By Deidre McCarthy, Richard O' Connor, and Catherine Lavoie In honor of the 2016 anniversary of the National Park Service Preservation Leadership Forum is hosting a series of blog posts posts highlighting the programs and history of the National Park Service. In these posts NPS staff look back and forward on how far the service has gone and where it hopes to go in the future. The National Park Service (NPS) is dedicated to finding new avenues to collect more complete and precise...
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Although Chicago is internationally famous for its historic architecture and diverse, distinctive neighborhoods, just how much of the city’s built environment is older and historic may be surprising. Half of the currently standing 502,000 buildings were built before 1926, and 63 percent were built before World War II. The city’s fabric is ripe for providing the social and economic benefits that we know older buildings bring. ...
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