PreserveCast Ep. 91: Preserving Cultural Landscapes with Dr. John Sprinkle and the National Park Service’s Park History Program

October 15, 2018

Reflection of the term cultural landscapes conjures up sweeping images of natural wonders and vast landscapes. More specifically, it refers to the historic and contemporary interventions we have made upon those landscapes.

Today’s guest, Dr. John Sprinkle, is the Bureau Historian for the National Park Service’s Park History Program. Recently, he has written Saving Spaces: Historic Land Conservation in the United States, which details efforts to preserve significant land and structures. The book explores how the places we preserve reflect our cultural, societal, and generational values.

Today Nick and Dr. Sprinkle discuss what spurred his exploration of historic land conservation.
In this episode you will learn:

a cross-examination of preservation cannon, conventions, and practices

why there is seemingly pervasive disconnect between preservationists and cemetery preservation

the history of open space conservation that operated during the era of Urban Renewal

a surprising anniversary on this day in history

So get ready to dig deep into the history of American historic preservation on this week’s PreserveCast!

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PreserveCast Ep. 90: Grassroots Preservation with Carrie Albee and the Frederick County Landmarks Foundation

October 8, 2018

While national and state preservation groups may grab the headlines, preservation is truly won and lost at the local level. It’s the grassroots advocates and volunteers working in communities across the nation who are accomplishing the challenging work of preserving historic places. Today’s guest, Carrie Albee, is leading the efforts of Frederick County Landmarks, a group charged with preservation in one of Maryland’s largest and most historic counties.

Today, Nick and Carrie discuss future plans for the Beatty-Cramer House, which dates back to 1732! It is a rare survivor of early colonial vernacular building tradition, displaying a merging of Dutch, English, and early American carpentry techniques.

Recently, Preservation Maryland's Six-to-Fix program has selected the organization's Beatty-Cramer House as one of the six focus projects for 2018.

In this episode you will learn:

how grassroots advocacy actually garners real, triumphant results

the benefits of living in a historically rural community

the issues rural communities face from encroaching sprawl from greater metropolitan areas

the challenges associated with deciding a new use for an culturally-significant historic house

how to build hype and community excitement around an emerging historic site 


So get ready to preserve local on this week's PreserveCast!

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PreserveCast Ep. 89: Down in the Shenandoah Valley with Kristie Kendall and the Piedmont Environmental Council

October 1, 2018

Virginia’s Piedmont is a magical place filled with rich, verdant farmland and the Shenandoah National Park. Protecting a place this large and special is no simple task. Fortunately, the Piedmont Environmental Council has been on the job since 1972 and has preserved hundreds of thousands of acres of land. Recently, they’ve launched a new historic preservation initiative to connect the influx of new residents to historic places throughout Virginia. Today’s guest, Kristie Kendall is leading that initiative.

Kristie is no stranger to landscape preservation. While growing up in Fairfax County, Virginia, she watched the obliteration of important farmland and historical sites near her home. It was then that she learned the importance of protecting land. While earning her Master's degree as a former employee of the American Battlefield Protection Program in Washington, D.C., Kristie has advocated for the preservation of significant battlefield landscapes across the country.

Today, she leads outreach initiatives to build connections between the growing number of new, international residents in Virginia to the state's historic places and parks.

This week, Nick and Kristie discuss the challenges associated with preserving historic landscapes in a rapidly changing world. You will learn:

the importance of protecting natural and historical landscapes beyond the physical boundaries of a national park

how the PEC defeated a proposal for major land development and disruption from a mega media giant

how to engage communities of residents that may not have historical ties to historical places

Gather round, we’re sharing the secrets to community building within historic spaces on this week’s PreserveCast!

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PreserveCast Ep. 88: Incorporating Contemporary Sound in Historic Spaces with Ian Hoffman

September 24, 2018

Reusing and restoring historic places requires many specialized skill sets. For historic theaters and music venues, a major component in that process is making the space sound right. It’s no easy task and for today’s guest, Professor Ian Hoffman, it’s a job that has taken him across the globe.

Ian is an architect and acoustic designer. His career is focused on understanding the interactions of sound and space in the built environment. For over 25 years, Ian has made significant contributions to the design, renovation, adaptation, and restoration of buildings for music, theater performance, and assembly. 

Ian is also a faculty member in acoustics at the Johns Hopkins' Peabody Institute. The courses he teaches range from architectural acoustic design and analysis, acoustic measurement, acoustic modeling, noise control, and psychoacoustics.

Today Nick and Ian discuss​ the challenges of incorporating modern sound into historic spaces while still maintaining its visual charm. 

In this episode you will learn:

what an acoustician is and what they do
the intersections of music, engineering, and architecture in historic spaces
the challenges that come with incorporating contemporary sound while maintaining the nostalgic charm in historic theaters, former vaudeville houses, and music venues
why we still attend live concerts, shows, and plays even though we have easy access to digital recordings

So listen closely, we’re talking historic acoustics on this week’s PreserveCast!

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PreserveCast Ep. 87: Myth Busting Historic Tax Credits with Renee Kuhlman

September 17, 2018

The term "policy" is usually associated with facts, figures, and dry, boring statistics. Today’s guest, Renee Kuhlman, proves that association wrong.

In her 19 years at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Renee has provided advocacy training, written articles, and briefs on policy issues, and has worked with preservationists around the country to effect real and meaningful change. As the current Director of Policy Outreach, Renee has been assisting legislators and advocates across the country with the adoption, expansion, and protection of state-level and federal-level historic rehabilitation tax credit programs.

Most recently, she has been involved in a multi-year campaign to protect historic tax credits, which are some of the most important tools available to the preservation community. Renee also works on a campaign to enact dedicated funding for the maintenance of historic resources in our national parks.

In this episode, Nick and Renee discuss:

what a historic tax credit is and why you should care
the deconstruction of negative myths surrounding historic tax credits and how they benefit communities
how real estate developers - and you - can benefit from both federal and state-level historic tax credits
the role local grassroots organizations played in saving federal historic tax credits last year
resources you can access to advocate for, improve or increase your state's historic tax credits
how our national parks hold more than just beautiful outdoor scenery

As you can see, it's not just all stats and figures on this week's episode of PreserveCast!

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PreserveCast Ep. 86: Saving Historic Ellicott City with Mary Catherine Cochran

September 10, 2018

Ellicott City, Maryland is a place that exudes authenticity. It has been flooded repeatedly, traipsed over by Civil War soldiers, and stained by locomotive smoke. Unfortunately, the most recent floods have resulted in local officials calling to demolish large portions of the historic district, a move that could set a terrible precedent here in Maryland and beyond.

Today’s guest, Mary Catherine Cochran is working to stop that plan and to find a way to balance life, history, and safety. As a Howard County native and lifelong preservationist, Mary Catherine co-founded Preservation Howard County and has served as the executive director of the Patapsco Heritage Greenway. In recognition of her work, she was inducted into the Howard County Women's Hall of Fame in 2017.

As a tireless defender of Ellicott City, Mary Catherine is working in partnership with a grassroots collective of supporters and larger organizations like Preservation Maryland to defeat a new proposal that would demolish large portions of this historic town.

In this episode, Nick and Mary discuss:

  • the importance of making science-based decisions to mitigate flooding in an age of climate change
  • ways to engage a community that has been traumatized with the physical and the financial losses of their businesses
  • the challenges associated with public acquisition of private businesses located in historic buildings 
  • how to contact the Howard County Council to voice your opinion on saving this community

Grab your hard hats and get to work with Nick and Mary on this week's episode of PreserveCast:

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PreserveCast Ep. 85: Modernizing Historic Annapolis with Karen Theimer Brown

September 3, 2018

For today’s guest, heading back to the eighteenth century is a daily occurrence and a requirement. Karen Theimer Brown is the vice-president of preservation at Historic Annapolis, a non-profit organization tasked with protecting, preserving and interpreting the history of Maryland’s capital city. Founded in 1649, Annapolis remains one of the most authentic and intact colonial towns in all of America.

For Karen and her colleagues at Historic Annapolis, it’s a full-time job to protect that authenticity from rising tides and pressure to grow. Grab you Old Bay and get your crab mallet ready. We’re headed to Naptown to talk preservation’s past and future on this week's PreserveCast.


PreserveCast Ep. 84: Two-Stepping Through Dance Hall Country with Steph McDougal

August 27, 2018

Preservationists often wear many hats across a variety of fields. Today's guest is no exception. Steph McDougal is a preservation renaissance figure – working as a preservation consultant, authoring books about Texas architecture, and volunteering her time to serve her community and to save historic dance halls throughout the Lone Star State.  Not only is Steph the founder of McDoux Preservation, a data and community-driven historic preservation consulting practice based in Houston, she is also the co-founder and current board president of Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc. She acts as a facilitator of community engagement, which connects Texas' historic social dance clubs to today's current community. Her mission is to stabilize, preserve, and reinvent new, sustainable uses for the most iconic vernacular architecture deep in the heart of Texas.

Get ready to boot scoot and two step across Texas' rich dance hall history with Steph and Nick on this week's PreserveCast!


PreserveCast Ep. 83: Exploring Harriet Tubman’s Dorchester County with Amanda Fenstermaker

August 20, 2018

In Maryland the land across the Chesapeake Bay, the Eastern Shore, is a place rich in history. The landscape itself oozes history and speaks in many voices for those willing to listen. Dorchester County, founded in 1669, is one of the Shores’ most historic places most famous for its connection to Harriet Tubman.

This week’s guest Amanda Fenstermaker works tirelessly to market, advocate and protect her native county’s history – and the results are showing as the county is quickly becoming a major tourist destination for those interested in learning about our nation’s African-American history.

Join us this week for a journey to the Eastern Shore, a teaser for a real road trip you’ll certainly want to make on your own very soon.


PreserveCast Ep. 82: Deep Sea Diving with Dr. Robert Neyland

August 13, 2018

Underwater archaeology holds a special place in historic preservation. Dramatic, risky, cold, and murky are all words that come to mind. But for the stalwart archaeologists of the United States Naval History and Heritage Command it’s not just about finding history. It’s also about protecting the 242 year legacy of the United States Navy. Dr. Robert Neyland, the head of the Navy’s Underwater Archaeology Branch, is leading that effort and has worked on some of the nation’s most famous underwater projects, including the iconic H.L. Hunley in Charleston, South Carolina. Get ready for a deep dive into the world of naval underwater archaeology on this week’s PreserveCast.