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I n 2019,   Color of Change , the country’s largest online racial justice organization, raised important issues regarding the practice of hosting weddings and other celebrations at historic slave plantation sites. In response, the National Trust for Historic Preservation hosted in December 2020 the Plantation Weddings Symposium, which brought together staff who work at the National Trust’s sites of enslavement, descendants of slavery, and public historians to work collectively to come up with new ...
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Every year, the PastForward conference offers a series of meetings that focus on the state of protecting historic sites, landscapes, and the cultural history of various diversity affinity groups . Organized by community members, these sessions discuss successes and challenges and provide resources and guidance to those in attendance. In 2021, the affinity program will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 2. For more information on these sessions—which are free and open to the ...
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Six organizations are receiving grants from the Moe Family Fund for Statewide and Local Partners to support innovative projects that address key challenges facing the historic preservation movement. Established by former National Trust President Richard Moe and his family, the Moe Family Fund accepts applications from current dues-paying members of the National Preservation Partners Network (NPPN). For 2021 and 2022, grant proposals must address one of four preservation priorities:  Affordable ...
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By Shannon Stage, Annie Levinsky, Kara Hahn On Monday, Aug. 2, 2021, Denver City Council approved the designation of the La Alma Lincoln Park Historic Cultural District by unanimous vote, the first Denver district, and one of the first nationally, designated for association with the Chicano Movement. Among the many eloquent remarks that evening, Tony Garcia, executive artistic director of local nonprofit Su Teatro Cultural & Performing Arts Center , stated, “This is a story about community, ...
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By Raina Regan and Daniel Watts Easement-holding organizations can utilize a variety of technology tools to track their easement stewardship activities. Microsoft Access or Filemaker Pro are two databases that can track information such as property owner contact information, approvals, inspections, property data, and more. However, geospatial technology can provide organizations with additional tools that can aid in the ongoing stewardship of preservation and conservation easements . At the ...
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By Rebecca Harris and Jim Lindberg A group of preservation advocates from across the country have come together to develop a new series of publications on key issues facing the preservation movement. Released today and available online, the “Issue Briefs” address four significant, interrelated issues: Affordable housing and density Diversity, inclusion, and racial justice Preservation trades and workforce development Sustainability and climate action Participants in a ...
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By Winter Roybal The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s campaign for “ Where Women Made History ” aims to identify, honor, and elevate places across the country where women have changed their communities and the world. Granting funds to preservation projects is one way that the National Trust follows through with this vision. In 2019 and 2020, about 20 percent of the grant applications submitted to the National Trust were for projects related to women or projects that had the potential ...
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By Lizzie Mekonnen Editor's Note:  For more on historic preservation and equity read Preserving African American Places: Growing Preservation's Potential as a Path for Equity.   “In America, the history of racism is taught like this: 'There was slavery and then there was Jim Crow and then there was Martin Luther King Jr. and now it's done.’” —Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood In the summer of 2021, as the equity research intern with the Research & ...
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The National Trust Preservation Fund, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s small dollar grant program, has been providing catalytic funding to organizations across the country for over 50 years. One year after the National Trust implemented new guidelines for the program in response to COVID-19, organizations continue to conceptualize strong preservation projects that will support their staff, create virtual resources for their constituents, and promote the preservation of important historic ...
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Over the past few months, we’ve witnessed athletes Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka spark worldwide conversations about the importance of mental health— demonstrating that prioritizing mental health in our lives and work should be valued instead of stigmatized and shamed. Now is the time to normalize conversations about the specific stressors that affect our mental, emotional, and physical well-being while working in historic preservation. The historic preservation field needs its own reckoning about ...
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As those who work in the field know, old buildings can also be sustainable buildings. A LEED green building certification is often associated with modern new office towers, but in fact, some of our oldest structures benefit the most from sustainability upgrades. Increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon impact is an imperative in today’s world, but preserving the unique architectural features of historic buildings, and their cultural context, does not have to take a hit as a result. Also, ...
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By Vincent Michael The 1921 Woolworth Building occupies the most prominent corner in San Antonio, facing Alamo Plaza and its famous chapel. In 2015, The Conservation Society of San Antonio became concerned when the state of Texas purchased it and two adjacent historic buildings, which all sit astride the site of the western wall of the Alamo mission and fort. Officials wanted to “reclaim the footprint” of the Alamo compound, known primarily for the 1836 massacre of its defenders during the Texas ...
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The Universal Life Insurance Company Building is a 2020 recipient of the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Awards , the highest national recognition bestowed upon a preservation project by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Award recipients represent the best of the best in historic preservation, adaptive reuse, and the re-imagining of historic buildings for the future. The Universal Life Insurance Company Building in Memphis, Tennessee, is an architecturally ...
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Editor’s Note: This post is brought to you by Indow, a sponsor of PastForward Online 2021. Registration is now open at www.savingplaces.org/conference . Preservationists have a perception problem. We are often seen as set in our ways, staunchly against new trends. Though we know this is untrue, it can get in the way of outreach and working with the could-be next generation of historic preservationists. Finding and connecting with these individuals, who may be turned off by this impression, ...
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The first half of 2021 saw substantial progress for preservation priorities and especially for public lands-related policy issues, with numerous bills advancing through the legislative process as the 117th Congress got underway. From civil rights legislation and federal designations, to annual appropriations and administrative action, the stage is set for continued progress in the weeks and months to come.  A Big Win for Preserving Julius Rosenwald’s Legacy and Rosenwald Schools A gathering ...
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By Theresa M. Genovese For decades, New Yorkers walking up storied Park Avenue from Union Square would find a compelling sight on the corner of 22nd Street: an exuberantly detailed, six-story Flemish Renaissance Revival building, landmarked and quietly waiting for a new purpose. Designed in 1894 by architects Robert Williams Gibson and Edward Neville Stent as a mission house for the Episcopal Church, over time the property had shifted from tenant to tenant, ever-present but underutilized as the ...
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The National Trust is thrilled to announce the 2021 recipients of the Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors. Grants from these two funds will help preserve a diverse range of historic sites across the country. Between the two funds, the National Trust has granted a total of $261,150 to 30 organizations in 19 states and the District of Columbia. The Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund ...
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In late June, Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Susan Collins (R-ME)  introduced the Senate version of the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act (HTC-GO), S. 2266 . Like the House version of HTC-GO (H.R. 2294), which presently has more than 60 co-sponsors , the Senate bill will bring more value to Historic Tax Credit (HTC) projects, improve access to the credit, and encourage investment in smaller rehabilitation projects. The Senate bill, however, ...
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By Carolyn Wallace What does it mean to host a military reenactment in the 21 st century? Cliveden , a National Trust Historic Site located in the Germantown neighborhood of Northwest Philadelphia, began consistently hosting reenactments of the Revolutionary War Battle of Germantown in 1977. These reenactments are now the centerpiece of the annual Revolutionary Germantown Festival, one of the largest history festivals in Philadelphia, educating generations about the War of Independence and the ...
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In 2018, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund designated the Nina Simone Childhood Home as a National Treasure . The three-room, 660-square-foot home is significant for its association with Nina Simone and as the house where she started playing piano at the age of 3 . After previous unsuccessful attempts at rehabilitation, the home was left vacant and at risk for demolition. Four Black visual artists—Adam Pendleton, Rashid Johnson, ...
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