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Insights and Information for Preservation Professionals

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When you look around at historic preservation events in your community, who do you see? Do you see a spectrum of individuals who represent the diversity of your community in terms of gender, ethnicity, profession, and age? If not, the time to work toward a more inclusive preservation movement is now!     During the   opening plenary at PastForward 2017   in Chicago, Lee Bey, vice president of the DuSable Museum of African American History , called on preservation organizations to create ...
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By Jeffrey A. “Free” Harris It took me years to realize how many music sites surrounded me while I was growing up in Hampton, Virginia. I attended my first concert at Fort Monroe—a National Historic Landmark, National Monument , and a National Treasure of the National Trust for Historic Preservation—right on a small parade ground that overlooks the Chesapeake Bay, where the post’s army band performed weekly. And as teenagers in the 1980s, my friends and I saw Duran Duran, Def Leppard, and ...
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This past fall attendees from across the country gathered in Chicago for PastForward 2017. During the conference, attendees were treated to three TrustLive keynote presentations that provided connective tissue between the work of preservation  in Technology, Health, and the Future of Cities.  Each speaker and panel discussion sought to look beyond the daily work of the field to see possibility for the field going forward. While the full playlist of videos is available on YouTube  (including the ...
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By Carrie Villar and Sharee Williamson In October the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced the Ghost Fleet of the Potomac as a new National Treasure, with the ultimate goal of establishing a new national marine   sanctuary . Consisting of approximately 200 known wrecks, more than 100 of them the remains of ships built to support the American war effort in World War I, the Ghost Fleet is the largest collection of shipwrecks in the Western hemisphere. Located at Mallows Bay in Charles ...
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We want your input to shape the educational programming at PastForward 2018, which will take place in San Francisco, November 13–16! Is there a topic you’d like covered or a speaker you’d like to see? Submit your ideas by February 5. Suggest critical content or a dynamic, engaging expert whose voice is especially important in the preservation field, as well as exhibitors that you’d like to see in the Preservation Studio. 2018 Themes While we will consider all suggestions, we are particularly ...
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This past September, for the first time in the 335-year history of our nation’s original capital, the city of Philadelphia erected a public statue to honor an individual African-American. The honoree in question was Octavius Catto, a black Philadelphian who successfully lobbied to desegregate the city’s trolleys and fought to pass the 15th Amendment and who was murdered in 1871 at the age of 32 by a white mob protesting African-Americans’ right to vote. A marching band stands in front of the ...
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I once heard a developer observe, of preservationists, "For people so concerned about the past, you spend an awful lot of time talking about the future." I knew he was on to something. I used to think historic preservation was principally about protecting the past, but have come to learn that it is really about securing our future. So, as we begin the new year and go about the business of saving places, I’d like to suggest three ways in which we might secure the future. TrustLive Tech at ...
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Going into 2017 we know that we’ll be facing a number of challenges to saving places… We, as advocates, will have to work harder and more creatively to tell the stories of the people and places that comprise our diverse historical fabric and to ensure their protection. While I couldn’t see into the future when I wrote these words, I knew that the coming year would ask a lot of us. In 2017 preservationists across the country have worked tirelessly to save places and communities they care about ...
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This issue of the Forum Journal , published in partnership with CityLab , takes a deep dive into ReUrbanism—the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s commitment to pursuing reuse, reinvestment, and revitalization in cities. ReUrbanism holds that building reuse drives economic growth and shapes dense, walkable, thriving streets where vibrant communities can flourish. We examine the promise of ReUrbanism from a variety of angles: Introduction: The American City in 2017 by David Dudley ...
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By Naomi Miroglio  The Cooper-Molera barns are part of the Cooper-Molera Adobe complex located in downtown Monterey, California. This historic complex was developed by multiple owners, beginning with John Rogers Cooper and his wife, Encarnacion Vallejo Cooper, in the 1830s. Today it has nine buildings and roughly 2.4 acres of open space enclosed by adobe perimeter walls. Cooper-Molera is an important historic site that represents the rich history and origins of the state of California and contributes ...
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After more than five years of consistent advocacy, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, together with our partners at the National Trust Community Investment Corporation and the Historic Tax Credit Coalition, is pleased to report that the 20 percent historic tax credit (HTC) has survived the most significant rewrite of the tax code in more than 30 years. Congress has confirmed once again that incentivizing the rehabilitation of our historic buildings makes good economic sense.    ...
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Preservation and land trust professionals share a common goal: saving places that matter to our communities. We understand the value and importance of not only identifying and protecting important resources but also using these resources in meaningful and sustainable ways. We share a critical resource protection tool in our everyday work—the conservation easement, which we use to save everything from old growth forests and open spaces to one-room schoolhouses and shingle-style homes. Attendees ...
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By Ken Follett Fort Wadsworth , located at the Staten Island foot of the Verrazano Bridge in New York, is a part of the National Park Service’s (NPS) Gateway National Recreation Area, a site composed of several fortification units. Running north and south between Fort Tompkins and Battery Weed is a 2,012-foot-long stone retaining wall approximately three feet high. Near the center of the wall, an overlook offers a wide view of the narrows of New York Bay toward Brooklyn and lower Manhattan. ...
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By Lauren Northup Want to hear more about Historic Charleston's new app? Attend our January webinar to hear Lauren Northup and two other panelists talk about technology and storytelling. Sign up for the mailing list today.   It became apparent quite early in the development process of the Historic Charleston Foundation app that it would include not only new audio guides to our two museums, the Aiken-Rhett House and the Nathaniel Russell House , but also a comprehensive guide to Charleston, ...
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By Lauren Northup This is the first of two posts . Want to hear more about Historic Charleston's new app? Attend our January webinar to hear Lauren Northup and two other panelists talk about technology and storytelling. Sign up for the mailing list today.   In October, Historic Charleston Foundation took an exciting leap—we partnered with a consulting firm to develop our own app. The app will serve as a guide to our two museum houses as well as tell the larger preservation story of Charleston, ...
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By Government Affairs Staff Updated 12/20/17: See updates in the Historic Tax Credit Section.    As we head into the last month of 2017, a number of critical issues related to historic preservation are looming on the hill—from the future of the historic tax credit (HTC) to some good news connected to the protection of World War I memorials. Credit: Architect of the Capitol Federal Historic Tax Credit and Tax Reform Update 12/20/17:  Determined Advocacy Preserves the Historic ...
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The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s ReUrbanism work positions preservation in the larger context of human needs. But society’s ability to meet our most basic needs can be undercut by disasters. We all understand the direct threats that natural disasters pose to our cultural heritage, but we are only beginning to understand how older and historic neighborhoods, by providing residents a sense of stability, can help build stronger more resilient communities. It turns out that connections ...
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By Carlo Urmy   The second Keeping History Above Water conference —held October 29 through November 1 in Annapolis, Maryland—again brought attendees from around the world together to discuss the impact of sea level rise on historic coastal communities. The first conference, organized by the Newport Restoration Foundation in 2016, sought to raise awareness of how sea level rise impacts historic buildings, landscapes, and neighborhoods—and highlight what can be done to protect those resources. ...
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Cheryl Hargrove was the first director of heritage tourism for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, serving from 1989 through 1995. As a national leader in heritage tourism, Hargrove developed key steps and principles for sustainable tourism focusing on history and culture, which hundreds of communities across the world have used over the past three decades. Her new book, Cultural Heritage Tourism: Five Steps for Success and Sustainability (published by the American Association for State ...
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Friday at PastForward began with our final TrustLive, which featured documentarian Holly Morris. Morris' presentation, which focused on her film, "The Babushkas of Chernobyl," was followed by a discussion with Anna Ricklin from the American Planning Association; Bonnie McDonald from Landmarks Illinois; and Nikos Salingaros, a mathematician from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Both the presentation and the talk that followed addressed the power of place to affect health and well-being. ...
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