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Preservation Resolutions: How will you use your preservation power for good in 2021?

  • 1.  Preservation Resolutions: How will you use your preservation power for good in 2021?

    Posted 12-23-2020 09:22
    Edited by Priya Chhaya 03-24-2021 10:12

    While we have almost a full week left in the year, I wanted to share with you the first of two posts we're sharing on Preservation Leadership Forum to mark the passage of this very challenging year.

    As in years past (though we did skip a look back on 2019) this list pulls out stories, webinars, and other content and resources from the closing year while also considering the year to come. 

    Realistically we know that flipping the calendar from 2020 to 2021 won't erase all of the trauma and exhaustion we have experienced, but it does provide a sort of mental break, an opportunity so to speak,  for us all to reflect on both our personal and professional lives. 

    So my question(s) for the community are: 

    What is your preservation resolution for 2021? Or if that is too broad a question, one is the first thing you will do to transform your preservation practice-in light of lessons learned from this past year-in 2021? 

    Another way you could think about it is how will use your power as preservationists for good this year? 

    I'll post my answer on January 4 but for now share away, and read this post from  @Marisa Brown about her resolutions for the field. (I'll put the link in here when it is live). 

    Note: If you haven't yet, take part in the PennPraxis survey. This 10-minute survey explores the makeup of the historic preservation field and how it is changing in light of contemporary issues. The survey is a project of PennPraxis, supported by the 1772 Foundation. Results will be shared in publications available on the PennPraxis website. (For more information, contact rfmason[at]design.upenn.edu.) The survey closes in mid-January.  



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    Priya Chhaya
    Forum Connect Community Manager

    Associate Director of Content
    National Trust for Historic Preservation
    Washington DC
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  • 2.  RE: Preservation Resolutions: How will you use your preservation power for good in 2021?

    Posted 01-11-2021 10:13
    We're now on the second week of the new year and I thought I would drop in and share my "resolutions" for the year - and to encourage you all to share your own as well.

    Despite me asking the question above, I came into the year eschewing the traditional "resolution" making practice and instead have chosen to focus in on an intention. As a public historian, I deeply feel that my work is a practice regardless of where I do the work. Especially in light of the events last week, I believe my role as a preservationist and a historian is more important that ever. So my intention for the year is to focus as much of my practice to telling the full story and engaging with some of the tougher systems of our field. I know I personally am not going to have the answers but I want to support you, the preservation community, in continuing the journey from last spring.

    In terms of the first concrete thing I am doing? Is reading through some of the great anti-racist resources pulled together by  Columbia.

    I hope you'll share what your intentions and resolutions are for the year (or even, the next month!)

    Priya


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    Priya Chhaya
    Forum Connect Community Manager

    Associate Director of Content
    National Trust for Historic Preservation
    Washington DC
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  • 3.  RE: Preservation Resolutions: How will you use your preservation power for good in 2021?

    Posted 01-12-2021 10:35
    Thanks for this valuable resource. Presevation needs to zealously address white privilege. Let's also celebrate the impressive strides already made recently in designating and interpreting sites of importance to African American, Latinx, Women's and LGBTQ history.

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    Peter Byrne
    Baumgartner Chair in Real Property Law
    Georgetown University
    Washington, DC
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  • 4.  RE: Preservation Resolutions: How will you use your preservation power for good in 2021?

    Posted 01-22-2021 10:44
    @Peter Byrne Thanks for sharing your thoughts and glad you found the resource useful. Would you be willing to share how your work at Georgetown will address/celebrate this? What are some things that you think other university programs in preservation could put in place to make a change?  ​

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    Priya Chhaya
    Forum Connect Community Manager

    Associate Director of Content
    National Trust for Historic Preservation
    Washington DC
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  • 5.  RE: Preservation Resolutions: How will you use your preservation power for good in 2021?

    Posted 01-23-2021 08:40
      |   view attached
    Thank you for asking. No serious legal or policy workin preservation can be perfomred now without conisdering how privilege distorts our public presentations  of history. As Mayor's Agent Hearing Officer for Historic Preservation in Washington, DC, I adjudicate applications to demolish or alter protcted buildings when necessary to construct projects of extraordinary public benefit, such as significant subsidized housing. As a law professor at Georgetown University, I have several projects in view: Sara Bronin and I are revising our casebook, Historic Preservation Law, to include, aong other matters, how designation criteria and the Secretary's Standards burden preserving sites that  convey the histories of marginalized people, but also higlighting innovative approaches. I will publish a little paper assessing the legal issues surrounding the controversy over the Emancipation Statue in Lincoln Park, in Washington, DC, a draft of which I am happy to attach here for any comments.  Also, I expect to have my sympathies broadened through teaching virtually a seminar on cultrual heritage law to law students from seven universites in seven differnt countries.

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    Peter Byrne
    Baumgartner Chair in Real Property Law
    Georgetown University
    Washington, DC
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    Attachment(s)

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    Lincoln statue.docx   29 KB 1 version


  • 6.  RE: Preservation Resolutions: How will you use your preservation power for good in 2021?

    Posted 01-29-2021 06:42

    Priya- thanks for the prompt. I am using my preservation power for good to focus on building a community hub for aspiring and established changemakers. My group is a place for people planning a creative community project to get the tools, resources and connections they need to make their ideas happen. I have taken the energy I'd usually put into local activities and poured it into this group, sharing my experiences as a DIY artist, event planner and activist.

    If anyone here knows a smart, proactive person who's been toiling on a creative community project and needs support, please send them my way: 

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/diywithdana



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    Dana Saylor
    Buffalo NY
    3155257474
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  • 7.  RE: Preservation Resolutions: How will you use your preservation power for good in 2021?

    Posted 01-12-2021 12:12
    Edited by Raina Regan 01-12-2021 12:13

    @Priya Chhaya, I appreciate you framing this as 'how do we use our preservation power for good'? I recently read this piece by Sarah Stickney Murphy posted by Community Centric Fundraising that I think resonated with me about how I can use my preservation power for good.
    https://communitycentricfundraising.org/2020/11/12/white-people-we-need-to-do-more-than-just-leverage-whiteness-to-dismantle-white-supremacy/

    I've reflected on this article as a white woman working for a nonprofit, acknowledging the power I do have and can give up. I want to use that framework in my decision-making in 2021. When presented with an opportunity or a decision, what power can I give up and cede to BIPOC preservationists?  

    Along those lines, I want to continue to practice mindfulness in my work. This means being more mindful about how I interpret others words and actions, but also be mindful of how my words and actions can be interpreted by others.

    ​​

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    Raina Regan (she/her/hers)
    Director, Easement Program
    National Trust for Historic Preservation
    Washington, DC
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  • 8.  RE: Preservation Resolutions: How will you use your preservation power for good in 2021?

    Posted 01-22-2021 10:46
    @Raina Regan this is great! I love that it is concrete, and achievable but also recognizes an individual action that we can take. That's the part I struggled with almost all of last year, just how VAST the problem is, obviously there are individuals who have been doing the work for years but since we know how important place and preservation are, making sure that individuals are able to tell their own stories and work on saving their own places as preservationists is important.  ​

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    Priya Chhaya
    Forum Connect Community Manager

    Associate Director of Content
    National Trust for Historic Preservation
    Washington DC
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  • 9.  RE: Preservation Resolutions: How will you use your preservation power for good in 2021?

    Posted 01-25-2021 16:29
    I am an Advisor to the National Trust, and am deeply involved in the fight with Burlington Northern Santa Fe to prevent them from demolishing the 1883 rail bridge across the Missouri River in Bismarck, North Dakota.  We managed to get our bridge listed on the 2019 11 Most Endangered list, which has helped get some attention in the wider world to the David and Goliath struggle those of us here are waging.  I am using my preservation "power" to save this iconic landmark, and help convert it to a Site of Conscious and a piece of a historic trail as well as a recreational link between the east and west sides of the Missouri River.    The Coast Guard must issue a permit for the bridge (which is structurally safe) to be taken down, and those of us entrenched in the final stages of a Programmatic Agreement formed during a 3 year Sec 106 process have a short 2month time to raise money and get a major partner for this endeavor.  A daunting task in a rural state like this one.  But I have faith in the powerful reach of the preservation world, and hope that our work will save this beautiful and history-drenched bridge.  Wish us well.
    Amy Guthrie Sakariassen
    Cultural Resource Specialist
    Bismarck, ND

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    Amy Sakariassen
    Bismarck ND
    7012583526
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  • 10.  RE: Preservation Resolutions: How will you use your preservation power for good in 2021?

    Posted 01-25-2021 16:30

    So good to see your name in my email feed this morning, Amy. I hope you are safe and healthy. 

    Best of work in your efforts. Please let me/us know what we can do to elevate this issue nationally. 


    take care. 



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    Mary Lu Seidel
    Chicago IL

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    Mary Lu Seidel
    Chicago IL
    3126105606
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  • 11.  RE: Preservation Resolutions: How will you use your preservation power for good in 2021?

    Posted 01-25-2021 16:31
    Amy,

    As someone who leads an effort to save an iconic and under-appreciated asset here in Maine, I feel your pain. Is the rail on either side of the bridge active? Has there been or is there any discussion regarding the benefits of repurposing the rail line for a rail trail? If so, you may want to consider reaching out to the Rails to Trails Conservancy, a well-established organization that may be able to suggest some helpful strategies in your effort to save the bridge.

    Good luck and thanks for doing good work,

    Paul

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    Paul Drinan
    Portland ME
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    Paul Drinan
    Portland ME
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  • 12.  RE: Preservation Resolutions: How will you use your preservation power for good in 2021?

    Posted 01-25-2021 16:31
    Hi!  It is an active rail bridge crossing the Missouri River.  BNSF has no real reason not to allow transfer and preservation other than stubborness. They plan to build a new bridge and then take this one down.  The very bridge Custer was sent out west to protect the surveyors for. The very bridge that allowed Manifest Destiny to bring the waves of white settlers to populate and control the land from the Missouri westward. And built on land taken from the Indian people of the area by shrinking their reservation boundary.  The repurposing plans that have been developed include linking the recreation trails that are along the river on both sides and possibly being a way for the North Country Trail to finally get to the west side of the Missouri.  We are required by the PA to find a private/public partner within a month and solid financial evidence in two months. Meanwhile the Friends of the Rail Bridge group has worked for 3 years at get the money to pay for all sorts of other parts of this Sec. 106 process that usually the permit seeker should cover.  Oh, it has been a stinky David and Goliath story, and we are not sure if we will get the right ammo for the right outcome!  We have consulted with the Rails to Trails Conservancy and the National Bridge Foundation amoung other entities, and they have been useful.  Cross those fingers! And thanks for your interest.


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    Amy Sakariassen
    Bismarck ND
    7012583526
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  • 13.  RE: Preservation Resolutions: How will you use your preservation power for good in 2021?

    Posted 01-28-2021 16:00
    Since we are almost to the second month of 2021, I thought I would chime in on my new year's resolution for preservation work. I am currently working with a membership-based group (of which I'm a member) in the North End of Burlington, Vermont called The Champlain Club. The Champlain Club is housed in a building originally built for a German-American newcomer center back in the early 20th century. The Champlain Club not only wants to refurbish the building, but also to refurbish the mission of the club. The North End is now home to a new set of American newcomers. The Champlain Club needs to transform itself from a membership-based organization to a community-based center, available to all for cultural events and celebrations. We are currently working with the Preservation Trust of Vermont, along with the State of Vermont, to establish the right course to change The Champlain Club (building and mission) to something that is more relevant to the North End community. Wish us luck!


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    Scott Van Beck
    Montpelier VT
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