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The West is filled with stories of cowboys, loggers, pioneers, and homesteaders seeking new lives often under uncertain, tough circumstances. Now imagine if the stories and those individuals who forged new paths for themselves and their families on the frontier were Black. In 1857, the state of Oregon’s constitution set exclusion laws that did not allow Black Americans to settle, live, or own property, and over time, this led to an erasure of the state’s Black history. Today, two preservation organizations—both ...
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The National Trust Preservation Fund , the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s small dollar grant program, offers a timely look at issues preservation organizations are tackling across the country. Applications to the fund’s October 2020 grant round reflected the impact that the pandemic and recent social justice issues are having on the field and on the work that organizations are choosing to do. More than sixty percent of all awarded grant projects had a focus on diversity, equality, inclusion ...
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By Tracy Stone It may surprise you to hear that Los Angeles has a river that traverses 51 miles of the city and county and is, in fact, the reason that the city exists where it does. Once a source of sustenance for the region, the Los Angeles River is best known as a concrete flood control channel created by the Army Corps of Engineers in response to a devastating flood in 1938. Since channelization, the river achieved some fame and recognition as a cultural landmark with appearances in movies ...
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2020 forced us all to hunker down at home with time to revisit our values. In Main Street’s Comeback: And How It Can Come Back Again ,  author Mary Means writes a convincing argument that the desire to revitalize our main streets is a core value of American culture. Means demonstrates that the emotional pull of linking arms with neighbors to incrementally tackle our downtown revitalization problems is deeply rooted in all of us—and that is why the Main Street Approach will help us climb out of ...
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Editor's Note: For a look back at 2020 check out last week's post Looking Back on 2020: Where Do We Go From Here? and make sure to share your preservation resolutions on Forum Connect. 2020 was a rough year. For thousands of non-profit organizations across the country in small towns and cities that do this work, it was a year of staff and programming cuts, furloughs, museum closures (and openings—and closures) and, for some, permanent dissolution. For faculty and students in university-based ...
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At the heart of our work as historic preservationists is the philosophy of acknowledging and managing change. Every place, landscape, or piece of cultural heritage we strive to protect is affected by external factors that can be attributed to both human and natural intervention. Our challenge is to ask: how much change is too much change? In an answer that might seem antithetical to protecting spaces of the past, my answer is as much as we can handle, and then more . Restoration of the ...
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New Orleans is more than beignets and Bourbon Street, voodoo queens and Mardi Gras. An old city with a multicultural blend of its African, French, Cajun, and Spanish roots, this city has a culture that is all its own. This includes the unique architecture, with its distinctive ironwork, balconies, and 19 th century shotgun and camelback houses, as well as its historic neighborhoods, which include some of the oldest Black communities in the country. Two projects selected as recipients of African ...
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Earlier this year the COVID-19 pandemic forced many historical sites across the country to re-consider and pivot their programming to the digital realm. This past summer the Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimage s (JAMP) program and the National Park Service came together to pivot what was a regular in-person trip to places where Japanese American’s were incarcerated during World War II to a nine-week virtual pilgrimage for anyone to explore. JAMP was started in 2016 by Kimiko Marr and Marissa ...
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Often called the Ellis Island of Chicago, the publicly owned  Cook County   Hospital —constructed between 1912-1914—served as a medical facility where no one would be turned away. Dramatized by the long-running medical drama ER , Cook County’s persistent presence on the horizon (easily seen from the  Eisenhower Expressway coming into the city) made the hospital a visual landmark for residents and visitors alike. For over twenty years, a coalition of partners and elected officials worked to protect this ...
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By Jenna Dublin Editor's Note: This article by Jenna Dublin is the introductory essay in a compendium of essay’s called Perspectives of Neighborhood Change . This compendium is part of a broader collection of resources for the report Preserving African American Places: Growing Preservation's Potential as a Path for Equity. The National Trust for Historic Preservation's African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund has launched a research-based campaign to examine the intersection of ...
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Home to such historic sites as the National Register listed Crawford Grill No. 2 and playwright,  Pittsburgh’s Hill District was long known as the “Crossroads of the World” because many European migrants and Southern Blacks settled there.  Hill District home formerly owned by racketeer William Snyder. | Photo by David Rotenstein. My current project involves researching numbers gambling in Pittsburgh, and on a cold January morning I was photographing a home on the Hill once owned by ...
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The 2020 National Preservation Awards are being presented this week at PastForward 2020 Online . The awards honor inspirational projects, individuals, and organizations that have demonstrated excellence in the field of preservation. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Louise ...
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By January Tavel In 2017, the National Trust for Historic Preservation collaborated with ICF to launch the Heritage Preservation and Climate Change Survey. ICF is an organization with a long history of helping clients and partners overcome big challenges by creatively integrating the diverse expertise of our team in ways that bring new perspectives, engages stakeholders, and challenges the status quo. With guidance from the National Trust and support from the ICF Innovation Fund, we leveraged ...
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The National Trust for Historic Preservation recently released Preserving African American Places: Growing Preservation’s Potential as a Path for Equity , a report that seeks to elevate emerging ideas, research, observations, and questions on the critically important issues of equitable development, social justice, and the practice of preservation. At the heart of this report is the central question: How can preservation be a force for advancing equitable development and social justice in African ...
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One of the new features this year at PastForward Online 2020 (October 27-30), are three live Town Halls. Using digital tools, these interactive sessions will provide a forum for open discussion and give you an opportunity to share your own beliefs and ideas for action. Each of these Town Halls are one step in an ongoing conversation about how our movement needs to evolve to be both relevant and resilient. As one of the largest convenings of our nation’s preservation movement, PastForward provides ...
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In the Fall of 2019 the National Trust for Historic Preservation sent out a survey to gain a better understanding of the movement’s core values, challenges being faced, and developing innovations.. In this final post digging into the results of that survey, Amy Webb examines the responses regarding the challenges facing preservation as a field. This three-part series is just one set of pre-reads for the Town Hall on Relevance at the PastForward Online 2020 conference later this month. Read the ...
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In the Fall of 2019 the National Trust for Historic Preservation sent out a survey ato gain a better understanding of the movement’s core values, challenges being faced, and developing innovations. In this second post digging into the results of that survey, Jim Lindberg examines the responses related to the need for innovation in the field. This three-part series is just one set of pre-reads for the Town Hall on Relevance at the PastForward Online 2020 conference later this month.   R ead the ...
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In the fall of 2019, before the death of George Floyd and the global pandemic, the National Trust for Historic Preservation circulated the 30-question survey, Challenges and Innovations Occurring in the Preservation Field . A deep desire for relevance—and its positive consequences related to funding, media attention, partnerships and membership—came through loud and clear. Whether or not the aim was to make the preservation case for a mayor, planning agency, developer, legislator, students, or neighbors—respondents ...
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While always a reason for celebration, the announcement of the 2020 June round grantees of the National Trust Preservation Fund (NTPF) is particularly unique. This grant opportunity came at a time when many in the preservation field felt a deep sense of economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, the National Trust temporarily modified the NTPF guidelines to better serve the needs of the field. Modifications included: Allowing staff time as an eligible expense for non-profit ...
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A couple days ago, Governing ran a story entitled “ Historic Preservation is Great, Except When it Isn’t ." Written by Scott Beyer who calls himself a “market urbanist,” the piece focused on preservation in New York City. Since PlaceEconomics just finished a study of preservation in New York , I thought we were uniquely situated to respond. Beyer was right on several things. He cited research that showed that properties in historic districts had higher values than similar properties not in ...
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