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By Seri Worden and Patrick Grossi In November 2019, Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney signed into law three new bills that remove barriers and incentivize historic preservation in one of our nation’s most historic cities. These bills will allow for a more flexible and supportive regulatory environment for the protection of historic buildings and neighborhoods by reducing parking requirements, allowing for accessory dwelling units, and providing other uses for “special purpose” buildings. Philadelphia ...
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By Tamar Rabinowitz Bound by a 6”x 6” exhibit label, museum curators must capture the layered history of an object or artwork in a few very precious words. The materials of our culture, however, contain meanings that extend far beyond the edges of the object label—a single painting, artifact, or tchotchke bear a multitude of intersecting stories. The National Trust for Historic Preservation Collections Portal brings these many stories to life. Featuring an ever expanding selection from ...
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By Katherine Malishewsky One of the most important things we can do to encourage the preservation of our historic buildings is to keep the programs within them relevant and functional. When a building fails to meet user needs, this is often the start of a careful dance where owner, architect, and preservationist consider modification, addition, and most controversially, demolition. There are several points within any modernization project where it becomes inevitable that historic materials ...
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Editor's Note: The Senate passed the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020  by a vote of 71-23 and President Trump signed it into law on Friday, December 20.  The most preservation-friendly funding bill in history is poised to pass the Senate and head to the president’s desk following House passage on Tuesday, December 17. The FY 2020 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill was wrapped into the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (H.R. 1865) with ...
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By Tyrell Anderson and the Decay Devils Editor's Note: Tyrell Anderson is the 2019 recipient of the American Express Aspire Award.  Know of a worthwhile preservationist or project? The 2020 National Preservation Awards are now open through February 3, 2020.  A few years ago, we were just a group of friends united around our love for art and adventure. We spent much of our free time exploring abandoned buildings, snapping photographs, and compiling some pretty entertaining stories. We were ...
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Preservation Leadership Forum is presenting  a series of posts  by  Sarah Rovang , the 2017 recipient of the H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship from the Society of Architectural Historians. The fellowship allows its recipients—recent graduates with advanced degrees or emerging scholars—to study by travel for one year, providing them with opportunities to see and experience architecture and landscapes firsthand; think about their profession deeply; and acquire knowledge that will be useful for ...
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Preservation organizations that accept and hold preservation easements assume the long-term responsibility to manage the easement, often in perpetuity. Easement administration typically includes routine monitoring, staff time to respond to owner requests, and legal costs for questions about easement interpretation and enforcement. Having the necessary resources to enforce its easements is one of the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service in identifying a qualified organization for easement ...
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This post originally appeared on  Bipartisan Policy Center as part of a series on environmental review and permitting. Federal investment in our country’s aging infrastructure is overdue and is critical to the vitality of the communities where we live and work. Efficient delivery of infrastructure projects and the preservation of our nation’s cultural resources can and should be complimentary goals, as intended by Congress when it passed the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.   Policymakers ...
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By Justin Garrett Moore Editor's Note:  This is an excerpt from Justin Garrett Moore's article "Making a Difference: Reshaping the Past, Present, and Future Toward Greater Equity" which was featured in Forum Journal: ReUrbanism: Past Meets Future in American Cities. Moore presented portions of this article as part of a talk at PastForward 2019 in Denver, Colorado. In order to share his thoughts you can read the introduction to his piece below, and then read the full article at the link below.  ...
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Editor's Note: These remarks were presented by Ruth Abram, the 2019 Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award recipient, on October 11 at PastForward 2019 in Denver Colorado. The Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award is the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s highest national recognition. Named for one of the National Trust’s founding trustees, the award is made with the greatest care and only when there is indisputable evidence of superlative achievement in the preservation and interpretation of ...
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Before we can save something, we must understand it. Even as a fresh graduate of a landscape architecture program, I was surprised by the design and operation of the National Mall Tidal Basin. I knew about the Tidal Basin before working on the campaign to save it at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Like many visitors to Washington, D.C., I saw that the reservoir links the Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr., Franklin Delano Roosevelt and other monuments. The well-known cherry ...
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Six years ago, when I talked about historic sites and house museums around the country, I borrowed the term “crisitunity”—a combination of crisis and opportunity—from an episode of The Simpsons .  As a field, we identified the fact that these institutions had particular challenges that demanded attention if they were going to continue to exist.  However, we also understood that there was an untapped potential in how we engaged with the public that, if realized, could allow us not just to survive, ...
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At the National Trust’s 2019 PastForward Conference in Denver, Opportunity Zones were a popular topic.  Opportunity Zones have gained significant attention and notoriety as either a potential new tool for historic preservation or a modern iteration of Urban Renewal.  For those that missed the session, “ Opportunity Zones and Historic Preservation: At the Crossroads (slides) ” provides an overview of the Opportunity Zone (OZ) incentive and how preservation organizations and local communities are ...
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The Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) is the principal source of federal funding for implementing the nation’s preservation programs, including core funding for State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers. The National Park Service (NPS) administers several competitive grant programs within the HPF that protect and interpret the stories of all Americans. As we look to the upcoming centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment—and beyond—we have a unique opportunity to use these existing programs ...
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The 2019 National Preservation Awards are being presented this week at PastForward 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The awards honor inspirational projects, individuals, and organizations that have demonstrated excellence in the field of preservation.  Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award The Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award is the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s highest national recognition. Named for one of the National Trust’s founding trustees, the award is made with the greatest care ...
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Good afternoon. Welcome to Denver, and welcome to PastForward, the National Preservation Conference.  First, let me thank you for being here. You are what makes the preservation movement what it is – a vibrant community of people committed to saving places that matter – in our cities, on our main streets, in our small towns, and across the countryside. I’m fortunate to count all of you as colleagues in this important work.  And that’s why I’m deeply honored to serve as the 9 th president of ...
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PastForward 2019 kicks off here in Denver this week! Preservationists from all over the country—and even some of our international colleagues—will come together to learn, mingle, and immerse themselves in all that this amazing city has to offer.  Can't attend in person? You can still be a part of the conversation. While we want everyone to be able to participate in all the programming, networking events, and unique experiences in Denver, we also want to provide as many people as possible the ...
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Dar Williams has been called “one of America’s very best singer-songwriters” by The New Yorker. She’s released ten studio albums and authored four books including her latest, What I Found In A Thousand Towns .   Known as much for her staunch progressive ideals as her raw acoustic energy, Williams has been captivating audiences with her sheer elegance and honesty in her folk-pop songwriting since the '90s. Williams’ growth as an individual over her two-decade-long career has gone hand-in-hand ...
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By Michael W. Mehaffy and Nikos A. Salingaros This is the third post in a series about recent lessons from the sciences for historic preservation and compatible new development. The authors—a physicist and mathematician, and an urban researcher and philosopher—explore emerging scientific findings about historic structures, and discuss lessons for generating more sustainable and resilient human environments. The shopping center of Cumbernauld near Glasgow, U.K. (Geoffrey Copcutt, 1967). ...
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Born in Chattanooga and now based in Johnson City, Amythyst Kiah’s commanding stage presence is matched by her raw and powerful vocals—a deeply moving, hypnotic sound that stirs echoes of a distant and restless past.   Accompanied interchangeably with banjo, acoustic guitar, or a full band, her eclectic influences span decades, finding inspiration in old time music, alternative rock, folk, country, and blues. In preparation for   the   TrustLive on Celebrating Women's History    at   PastForward ...
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