I would highly recommend The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH) to you in terms of industrial heritage conservation.
MEISHA HUNTER BURKETT, FAAR
LI/SALTZMAN ARCHITECTS, PC
50 BROADWAY, 33RD FLOOR
NEW YORK, NY 10004
T. 212.941.1838 EXT. 212
Great project The first thing with power plants and their rehab that always jumps up for me is Heritage Harbor in Providence, RI. This failed project had loads of issues but a fantastic power plant. You can find more online, but the company that did some of the master planning still has some of the information: http://schwartzsilver.com/portfolio/heritageharbor/ (I was part of the attempt at the American Diner Museum at the time this was going on.) The project folded and they turned the financial remains into a foundation.
Just up the road from where we are is the Hard Rock Café and Barnes and Noble in the old power station in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. This old plant was for the trolley lines and is known as the Pratt Street Power Plant. I especially enjoy the large stacks and how they have reused them. The Cordish Company did the renovation. (I dislike their use of the word Live! all the time...)
The other one I now is the Beloit College powerhouse. The video of the interior makes an industrial historian's heart skip a beat. I haven't been there, but I had someone who told me about it and it looks amazing.
If we are willing to step away from power plants, Beth Steel's former plant in Bethlehem PA (or the Carrie Furnace as Sarah mentioned in Pittsburgh) is a great look at how this sort of interpretation works. This is a Smithsonian affiliated site.
In a broader sense, have you talked with Michigan Technical University's industrial heritage program? It's the only one in the US and is really the leader in the thinking about issues like this. On their website is a great list of some publications.
The topic of how heritage and health are connected are reaching new levels of attention. I know the professors at UMD are looking at this issue, but many others are as well. I can't be of too much help there since it hasn't been something I've tuned into as well as I should.
Finally, your thought about a site wide interpretive program probably generates more questions than answers. Are you working on proposing a plan or just looking for HOW to do such a program? One thought is to look at this project from the perspectives of the High Line; Rails to Trails programs; or the Gas Works Park in Seattle. These sites are places where the bad parts have been turned into good things – healthy places from unhealthy places, places of music from places of noise, places of clean air from places of dirty air.
Aaron Marcavitch, Executive Director
Maryland Milestones/ATHA Inc.
2600 Virginia Avenue NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20037
The Preservation Leadership Forum of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is a network of preservation leaders — professionals, students, volunteers, activists, experts — who share the latest ideas, information, and advice, and have access to in-depth preservation resources and training.
COLLABORATING PARTNERSNational Trust Insurance ServicesNational Trust Community Investment CorporationMain Street America
The National Trust's federal tax identification number is 53-0210807.