June 3, 2019
Few names over the past twenty plus years have been as synonymous with the National Trust for Historic Preservation as David J. Brown. David served as the Chief Preservation Officer for the Trust and has worked with several CEOs to implement a complex, difficult and costly mission to save America’s historic places. As David has recently departed the Trust and begins writing his next chapter, we had a chance to sit down with this influential preservationist to talk about where he’s been and where he’s headed on this week’s PreserveCast.
David J. Brown led National Trust’s comprehensive preservation efforts, with four decades of experience in working to save historic places and build thriving, livable communities. He played a key oversight role in the implementation of the National Trust’s Preservation10X strategic vision, including the National Treasure campaigns that helps protect some of America’s most significant and threatened historic places. He guided the Trust’s advocacy work on behalf of the country’s most important preservation laws and incentives. And he supported local preservation leadership by providing the preservation community with effective, high-impact training offerings.
Prior to his work with the National Trust, David served as the founding executive director of the Preservation Alliance of Virginia, where he produced one of the nation’s first studies on the economic impact of preservation, and as director of the Historic Staunton Foundation in Virginia. He was among the first graduates of the Historic Preservation Program at Middle Tennessee State University and has a Masters in Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
May 6, 2019
When you think of industrial furnaces you may think of the late 19th or early 20th centuries and places like Baltimore, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh. But, the history of American industry goes back much further – and one of the earliest industrial sites in Maryland is located in the foothills of Frederick County at the Catoctin Furnace.
Today’s guest, Elizabeth Comer, a professional archaeologist, is a member of the Board of the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society – an organization dedicated to preserving and interpreting this unique story. Elizabeth is instrumental in coordinating the Historical Society's Historic Building Trades Program in partnership with Silver Oak Academy, a residential boarding school for at-risk teens overseen by the State of Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. Participating students learn valuable construction skills while working alongside preservation experts gaining marketable real-world job skills that attract potential employers in preservation, conservation, museums, and the trades – or may even inspire students to start their own company. The partnership between the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society and Silver Oak Academy embodies the mythology of the phoenix rising from the ashes as the symbol of renewed life for both the historic buildings and the young people who take part in their preservation.
Make sure you have your blast shields down...we’re headed into the furnace on this week’s PreserveCast.
April 1, 2019
This week’s guest has used social media and Marylanders love for our quirky state flag to build an apparel brand from the ground up. Ali von Paris took a dorm room project and turned it into a career – and has used state pride as the backbone for that endeavor. We’ll explore that story and its fascinating intersection with history and the lessons it may hold for preservationists around the nation on this week’s PreserveCast.
March 4, 2019
Chicago's Glessner House is a National Historic Landmark that was designed by noted American architect Henry Hobson Richardson and completed in 1887 for John Glessner and Frances Glessner. The structure served as an inspiration to architects such as Louis Sullivan, Mies van Der Rohe, and the young Frank Lloyd Wright and helped redefine domestic architecture.
On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking to Glessner House’s Executive Director and Curator Bill Tyre about the unique design and residents of this house including, Frances Glessner Lee, daughter of John and Frances Glessner. Lee was the first female police captain in the United States, likely the inspiration for Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote, and is known as “the mother of forensic science.” Her series of extremely detailed dioramas, “Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death,” influenced investigative training for many years. The dioramas were recently featured in an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in 2018. The Glessner House will host a Birthday Gala in honor of Lee later this month at which her meticulously detailed miniature model of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will be on display for the first time in six years.
Bill Tyre is the Executive Director and Curator at Glessner House Museum. He’s one of just three full-time staff members who manage and maintain one of Chicago’s most famous homes. Glessner House was saved thanks to preservation efforts that resulted in the formation of both the house museum and Chicago Architecture Center in 1966.
February 11, 2019
For many PreserveCast listeners, Illinois may only mean Chicago and the hustle and bustle of the second city – but Illinois is a massive state with a rich and stunning diversity of heritage. It’s a big job to advocate for and preserve that heritage and Landmarks Illinois, founded in 1971, is in a race against time to help the people of Illinois save places that matter. Landmarks Illinois’ President and CEO Bonnie McDonald is today’s guest – a leader in the field who is blending economic and real estate development with historic preservation in new and intriguing ways. It’s time to talk preservation prairie style on this episode of PreserveCast.
December 24, 2018
This is also our 101st episode – and we’re changing the format slightly today to offer a brief retrospective on what we’ve learned about ourselves and preservation over the past 100 episodes – and to talk about where we’re headed moving forward...
If you’ve enjoyed these past 100 episodes, we hope you’ll consider making a year-end gift to offset our significant expenses in bringing you this content. Think of us as your Preservation Netflix – even a one-time $20 gift would go a long way! You can make a simple online donation to Preservation Maryland at presmd.org and hit the DONATE button in the upper right corner.
December 17, 2018
It takes a village to make a preservation project a reality – and in today’s complex financial environment it also takes an expert in tax credit law to take a project from idea to completion. Today’s guest, Bill MacRostie is one of the nation’s leading experts in that complex but critical field. Sharpen your pencil and grab you calculator, because we’re talking the dollars and cents of preservation on this week’s PreserveCast.
In private practice for more than 30 years, Bill MacRostie has advised clients nationwide on projects ranging in size and type from the multi-phased $175 million mixed-use project in Detroit, Michigan to a $1.5 million hotel rehabilitation in Santa Rosa, California. For the 14 years that NPS certification project review was conducted in regional offices, Bill worked extensively in every regional office and most major states around the country.
Bill MacRostie is now a senior partner at MacRostie Historic Advisors where he advises clients on historic rehabilitation tax credit design and regulatory issues. In addition, he also serves on the board of directors of the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association and previously served on the board of Preservation Action.
December 10, 2018
Historic places and resources come in all shapes and sizes. On Maryland’s eastern shore, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum preserves and restores a wide variety of historic resources – including historic boats and ships. Today’s guest, Pete Lesher, the chief curator of the museum is assisting in the latest restoration project of the 1882 Chesapeake Bay nine-log bugeye Edna E. Lockwood. You don’t know what a bugeye is? Well batten down the hatches and check your port and starboard as we set sail for this week’s PreserveCast.
Pete Lesher is chief curator at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, where he has served on staff since 1991 and now oversees museum collections, exhibitions, and programs. He graduated Lafayette College, holds an MA in history from Columbia University, and studied maritime history at Mystic Seaport’s summer Munson Institute for American Maritime Studies.
Active in his community, Pete is a member of the Talbot County Council, chairs the St. Michaels Historic District Commission, and serves on the boards of the Maryland Humanities Council, Council of American Maritime Museums, and Maryland Heritage Areas Authority. In his spare time he sails, taking particular pleasure in his role as jib tender on the 1882 Chesapeake Bay sailing log canoe Island Bird.
December 3, 2018
Do you enjoy international travel, historic buildings, and helping to restore important places? This week’s guest works to connect those interests through her work as Executive Director of Restoration Works International, an organization whose mission is to restore buildings of cultural significance and provide cultural exchange and understanding. Make sure you have your passport ready and lock that tray table in the upright position – we’re headed overseas this week to talk international preservation on PreserveCast!
Melanie Lytle is the Executive Director of Restoration Works International, an organization which uses national and international volunteer tourism as the catalyst for its mission to help communities around the world protect their cultural heritage sites and prosper through preservation and renewal of their history. A trained architectural historian, prior to her current position, she served as the Executive Director of the non-profit Maryland Association of Historic District Commissions. Melanie is a graduate of Goucher College's MA in Historic Preservation program.
November 26, 2018
Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, like Colonial Williamsburg to the south, is now historic in its own right. Founded in 1946, the 72-year old museum has told the story of the early federal period for nearly five decades – and like any institution of its size and scope – it is working hard to adapt to a new reality. Fortunately, CEO James Donohue is focused on making the site relevant for a new generation. Sit back as we head back to 1830 to learn how this old site is coming up with new ideas on this week’s PreserveCast.