Registration Is Live for PastForward 2017

By Colleen Danz posted 07-05-2017 15:37


Registration is now open for PastForward 2017, the national preservation conference, which will take place November 14–17 in Chicago. Registration and complete conference details are online at

Art, advocacy, and innovation are the hallmarks of preservation in Chicago, where outstanding architecture and diverse neighborhoods have become a proving ground for preservation approaches. At PastForward 2017 we’ll focus on “forward,” exploring the next generation of preservation tools and techniques—high-tech, big data, virtual.


PastForward is the premier educational and networking event for those in the business of saving places. The conference will convene the full, diverse, and expansive range of preservation players in Chicago—from professional preservationists to elected officials, federal agents to architects, scholars to activists. Learn more about PastForward in this 90-second video.

Learn. Explore. Innovate.

Core conference programming will include educational Learning Labs; quick, impactful Power Sessions; and three marquee presentations called TrustLives™.

The TrustLives, which will be livestreamed for virtual attendees at no cost, will focus on the main conference themes:

Indiana Dunes Field Study tour of the Century of Progress District. | Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation

  • ReUrbanism—creating economically and environmentally sustainable, equitable, and healthy communities through preservation.
  • Technology—using the next generation of technological applications in the work of saving places.
  • Health—better understanding and advocating for the physical and psychological benefits of older and historic places.
  • Connections—using place to make history visible and to build understanding, community trust, and civility.

The three TrustLive keynote speakers are filmmaker, creative activist, and author Holly Morris (@hollymorris); architectural designer, writer, activist, agitator, and artist Bryan Lee, Jr. (@BCLeejr); and artist Zenka (@hellozenka). Full details about speakers can be found at

Attendees can now start scheduling their time at PastForward using the conference app, choosing from among 160 hours of programming, including sessions such as:

  • “What’s on the Horizon: Gaming, Podcasting, Virtual Reality”;
  • “Confronting Racism to Build Community”; and
  • “This is Your Brain on Preservation.”
This year's Candlelight House Tour will take a look at Chicago Bungalows. | Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation

An Overview of PastForward in Chicago

PastForward will kick off with the Opening Plenary at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, which was designed by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan in 1889 and is a National Historic Landmark today. Following the plenary will be the Opening Reception—the single largest networking event of the conference—which will be held at the Field Museum.

Field Studies will showcase inspiring projects, visit unique neighborhoods, and venture beyond the city limits. Highlights will include the popular historic tax credit walking tour, which will explore the Chicago Loop; the Building Assessment Bootcamp, which will tackle a project at Louis Sullivan’s 1903 Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church in the Ukrainian Village; and a visit to the South Side Community Art Center in Bronzeville.

Detail of doors at The Palmer House Hilton, headquarters hotel of PastForward 2017. | Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation

Chicago is known as a city of neighborhoods and features 59 designated historic districts. PastForward attendees can explore many of those neighborhoods during the Overview Tour, which will be led by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. This popular tour will be held daily during the conference.

PastForward 2017 will wrap up on Friday, November 17, with the Closing Luncheon and the Candlelight House Tour. The tour will offer attendees a unique opportunity to explore the quintessential Chicago Bungalow in the historic West Ridge neighborhood.

Program Enhancements

In addition to the core programming and TrustLive presentations, attendees will be able to enhance their conference experience with Preservation Leadership Training® (PLT) Intensives and other special programming.

This year’s day-long PLT Intensives will be held on Tuesday, November 14, and will focus on GIS training, fundraising concepts and board basics, and interpretation of women’s history at historic sites and places. They will offer unique, hands-on opportunities to get the training and skills that preservation professionals need to put theory into practice.

 The Chicago Theatre and Marina Towers. | Credit: National trust for Historic Preservation

On Wednesday, November 15, more than 10 special convenings will explore the latest inclusion efforts in interactive, conversation-style formats. The MIX Reception will follow on Thursday, November 16, at the Chicago Defender Building on Motor Row in Bronzeville. And the Thursday luncheon will put a spotlight on Chicago architecture—past, present, and future.

All of the PastForward programming, whether core conference staples, special events and sessions, or on-your-own events listed on the conference website, will keep you busy, engaged, and inspired throughout the week.

Early Bird Discounts

Register today. Rates increase after the early-bird deadline of August 4.

PastForward 2017 is brought to you by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and presented in partnership with Landmarks Illinois— the leading voice for historic preservation in Illinois.

If you are participating in the PastForward Challenge (gamification) for points and prizes, please enter the following passcode for the "Read: Registration Live Blog Post" challenge: REGPLF.

Colleen Danz is the manager for Forum Marketing at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

#Technology #Diversity #ReUrbanism #PastForward #Chicago2017 #health

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