Gaston Capstone

PLT Capstone–Preserving History, Building Community in Birmingham

Working from the A.G. Gaston Motel’s redevelopment planning and from shared-use concepts developed at other locations, participants will learn how to integrate interpretative and commercial activities to sustain their preservation projects. The Preservation Leadership Training© (PLT): Capstone Experience—a signature experiential preservation training offered by National Trust for Historic Preservation—is a place-based training during which 30 attendees will be onsite for five days, immersed in a collaborative learning environment.  

Applications due May 1

June 25-30, 2017
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
520 16th Street N
Birmingham, AL 35203

PLT: Capstone was beyond doubt the best training program I have ever experienced. The experience gave me a new perspective and changed my way of thinking about how I do my work. Landmarks will function much more highly with the knowledge I have gained.
2012 PLT Capstone Participant, Brent Runyon, formerly Executive Director, Thomasville Landmarks, Inc. GA, now Executive Director, Providence Preservation Society

Applications are due May 1
Due to limited class size, participation is by application only. Registration rates are $1,600 for Forum members, $1,850 for non Forum members. A limited number of registration scholarships are available through the generous support of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Partial registration scholarships may also be available. Applicants will receive notification of status and acceptance the week of May 22. 

Apply today!

Program details
During the week, participants will gain the tools to advance their preservation projects and enable them to become stronger advocates for their communities. Specifically, they will gain skills in the areas of community outreach, strategies for building preservation, understanding the development process, and interpretation strategies. The program will allow participants to envision the future of through a conceptualization of redevelopment of a commercial building within the district and conclude with participants presenting their recommendations to community partners and stakeholders.

All attendees will be expected to complete prerequisite readings.

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Redmont Hotel (2101 5th Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203) at a rate of $119/night. Booking instructions will be available upon confirmation of acceptance to workshop.

Who should apply?
Applicants should include preservation professionals, members of preservation commissions, community development corporations, those working with or interested in interpreting house museums and historic sites, and those with a passion for working with diverse sites and promoting inclusion in historic preservation. Participants will be chosen through a competitive application process

Apply by May 1!

About the A.G. Gaston Motel
The A.G. Gaston Motel represents the ingenuity and vitality of the African-American community in the city of Birmingham. Built as a place of luxury for minorities during the days of segregation, the Gaston stood at the center of several significant chapters of the Civil Rights movement.

Built in 1954, the Gaston is a contributing structure in the nationally significant Birmingham Civil Rights National Register Historic District. Owned by the City of Birmingham, the project requires appropriate preservation-based planning to guide conservation efforts and a preservation-minded commercial developer to enter into a long-term, shared use agreement with Birmingham to renovate and manage the property. In collaboration with Birmingham, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and other local, state, and national partners, the National Trust is developing planning documents and real estate analysis, and exploring options for utilizing tax credits to protect the iconic cultural site for future generations to come.

Attending PLT provided sophisticated training that I knew how I was going to use on the job before I even left.  No doubt, I'm a better preservationist with a few more tools in the toolbox to save historic buildings. Best of all, working in a new community with top-tier preservationists from across North America reminded me of all the good things historic preservationist accomplish. It felt like saving my very first building all over again!
2012 PLT Capstone Participant, Josh Rogers, formerly Executive Director of Historic Macon Foundation, now President and CEO, New Town Macon

This program is supported by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Park Service, the City of Birmingham, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.