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Spring 2011 Forum Journal: Preserving America's Industrial Heritage

America’s “Rust Belt” manufacturing cities, its former mill towns, and its rural mining regions are littered with deteriorating structures and settings that have been abandoned due to the decline of once-thriving industries. Attempting to protect and revive such places can present many...


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Greater Pittsburgh's Industrial Communities in Transition

December 25, 1985. I was driving up East Carson Street in Pittsburgh’s South Side neighborhood on my way to my grandmother’s home, a route I had taken for all of my 25 years. Although my grandmother had passed away in 1970, her home was still in the family, and was the traditional...

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Addressing the People and Places of Historical Industrial Landscapes

One of the great conservation conundrums of the 21st century is: How do we handle the future of once-thriving industrial regions? In the old world of Europe and in North America the great age of industry has come and gone. It is now history. That is not, of course, to say that heavy industry and...

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Action Steps for Preserving Industrial Heritage

Industrial heritage sites have not attracted a great deal of attention from national groups or state-level preservation organization, for many reasons. The sites tend to be big, dirty, and complex, with potentially nightmarish maintenance costs and the specter of toxic residues or other hidden...

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Approaches to Preserving Montana's Industrial Structures

Twenty-first century America is full of the remains of 19th- and 20th-century industry, from a 150-year period when the engines of manufacturing and production propelled this nation to economic dominance and prosperity. A time of unrivaled productivity, developing nations passed through a...

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Industrial Heritage Preservation Organizations and Institutions

The rise of industrialization has triggered arguably the most profound set of social and environmental changes in human history. More influential perhaps than the invention of agriculture or even of written language, the countless changes brought about by the mass production and consumption of...

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Introduction to Preserving America's Industrial Heritage

This issue of Forum Journal provides an opportunity to examine how the preservation movement addresses America's industrial heritage. The authors were participants at Industrial Heritage Retooled, a three-day symposium held in November 2010 at the Pocantico Conference Center in Tarrytown, N.Y....

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Financial Incentives for Saving Industrial Heritage in North Carolina

At November’s Industrial Heritage Retooled symposium, I felt somewhat like a broken record. “Show me the money” was the gist of my repeated assertions. Industrial complexes are usually big and, well, complex , and their preservation—whether as a ruin, as a public site,...

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Preservation Meets Energy Efficiency

The word “frontier,” meaning an area beyond an established border or boundary, is a familiar term in western history and can be applied to Spokane, which at one time epitomized the powerful force of westward expansion. Frontier can also mean cutting edge, as in exploring new territory in a...