Simply tracing the history of the LGBTQ community, as it is with other marginalized groups, can be challenging for a myriad of reasons. Let alone the challenges of identifying and interpreting historic places that were and are important to the LGBTQ community. Fortunately, Susan Ferentinos is leading the way, and has quite literally written the book on the subject, her book “Interpreting LGBT History at Museums and Historic Sites” won an award from the National Council on Public History in 2016. Susan and our guest-host Meagan Baco spoke about how she came to specialize in LGBTQ history, what unique challenges exist in studying this history, and much more on this week’s PreserveCast.
If you’ve ever seen an image of the skyline of Baltimore City, one thing that might have stuck with you is the massive, glowing Domino Sugars sign. Earlier this month we at PreserveCast got to visit the sugar refinery underneath that sign, which to this day processes some 7 million pounds of sugar a day. We also visited the offices of Triangle Sign and Service, the company that has maintained the sign since they first installed it in 1951. Join the conservation between Nick, and guests Peter O’Malley, Vice-President of Corporate Relations for American Sugar Refining (the company that produces the Domino brand), and Joe Trabert and Dave Shapiro from Triangle Signs, about how and why this local icon has lasted so long, and what it takes to maintain it. Honestly, it was pretty sweet.
If you’ve ever wanted to dive deeper into classic fairy tales, you may have enjoyed Maryland’s once famous attraction the Enchanted Forest. But what happens to all of the buildings and unique concrete structures of a 1950s amusement park when it closes? In this case, they found a second life as part of Clark’s Elioak Farm, thanks to the efforts of the petting farm’s owner, Martha Clark, as well as the many who volunteered. Stick around to learn about the history of this Maryland icon, the story of a roadside attraction being saved by the community around it, and what it takes to maintain a massive concrete shoe. This is better than a bag of magic beans, this is PreserveCast!
In Berea, Kentucky, the local government has taken stock of the town's historic artistry and crafting traditions, decided to invest, and the craziest part? It seems to be working. Mayor Steven Connelly joined Nick to share some of the unique history of his town, for instance how they pushed back against segregationist policies of the Jim Crow South, and he shared news of what will hopefully be a bright future driven by tourism based on the local folk art heritage.
Also, just so you know, this is episode is brought to you in partnership with the Rural Maryland Council, as we explore historic rural communities on this week's PreserveCast!
You’ve probably heard of Andrew Carnegie or the Rockefeller family, but have you heard of Julius Rosenwald? Today’s guest may be able to help with that. Aviva Kempner is a Peabody award winning documentary filmmaker, whose work focuses on unsung heroes from Jewish history. I spoke with Aviva about her most recent work which details the life of Julius Rosenwald, who during the turn of the century both revolutionized the business of Sears and Roebuck, and vastly influenced black education in the Jim Crow South with his philanthropy.
If you think about history in Washington, D.C. you'll probably think about all the massive monuments and national museums. While there's nothing wrong with that, D.C. has local history and culture just like any city, and few places capture that history like the Heurich House Museum. Kim Bender and Jennifer Ezell joined Nick from the unique, Germanic castle-house, that was built by a pre-prohibition beer dynasty. They talked about the history of the museum, as well as how they combine historical knowledge and the modern world of craft brewing in their programming. It's not all about beer, but please remember to podcast responsibly on this episode of PreserveCast.
PreserveCast Ep. 58: Highway to History: Archaeology and Preservation in the State Highway Administration
At first glance, it might seem strange to think of an archaeologist working in a state’s highway administration office. But in reality the two can go hand in hand. Julie Schablitsky has conducted archaeological research and digs everywhere from Scotland to Maryland to California, she has utilized augmented reality to allow people to explore reconstructions of slave quarters, and she has done all this as the chief of the Cultural Resources Section at the Maryland State Highway Administration. Move out of the passing lane, you don’t want to miss this week’s PreserveCast.
Big picture questions in public history and historic preservation can sometimes be intimidating to think about. What should the public expect from their historic institutions? How do public history sites remain relevant in a world that seems to change more and more every year? Fortunately, there are people out there like today’s guest, Dr. Taylor Stoermer. Taylor is an academic who knows how to bring history to the people, whether that be as the chief historian at Colonial Williamsburg, a Professor at Harvard and Johns Hopkins, an advisor to Disney on their revamped Hall of Presidents, or on Twitter as the History Doctor. He may not be an M.D., but his home state is Maryland.
What does it mean to be a preservationist? How does the built environment that surrounds you impact your daily life? Why does it matter? It’s never too early or too late to think about these questions, especially according to today’s guests, Matthew Craig and Christian Hughes. Matthew and Christian discuss their work through the Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh to encourage young people to engage with ideas of historic preservation in their communities. Although PreserveCast may be the number one historic preservation podcast, these youngbloods have a few tricks up their sleeves with their own podcast.
Have you ever seen a building and had something about it rub you the wrong way, but you can't explain it? Well, today's guest may be able to help you find the right words. Kate Wagner runs the popular blog McMansion Hell, which takes a comedic approach to dissecting modern suburban architecture, as well as offering informative essays on urban planning and other architectural concepts, including historic preservation. We talked about the blog, how a building can earn the title "McMansion," and where these buildings fit in a larger historic context on this episode of PreserveCast.