When is a building worth saving? This can be a controversial question, even among preservationists. Greg Galer, the Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance, joined us on PreserveCast to share his perspective. Greg has worked to preserve many examples of mid-century modern ‘brutalist’ architecture, like Boston City Hall and the Boston Christian Science Center. Should exposed concrete structures be preserved the same as 19th century estates? A brutal question (and hard to answer too), but let’s talk about it on this week’s PreserveCast.
It may not come as a surprise that some historians and museum professionals are not always quick to adapt to change, but that’s only some of us. There are others out there, like today’s guest Frank Vagnone, who not only are capable of adapting, but thrive on inverting the status quo of museums and public history. Frank and I spoke about the book he co-authored, The Anarchist’s Guide to Historic House Museums, his position as the President and CEO of Old Salem, and examples of good ways for house museums to defy expectations. There's anarchy in the USA, the U.K., and beyond on this week's PreserveCast.
Editor's note: The music in the segment came from a 1994 recording of a Virginia Pow Wow, and included a traditional Eastern Woodlands and Iroqouis song/dance called Gadasjot.
How are battlefields preserved? Why are battlefields preserved? What should we do with a battlefield site once it is protected? These are all important questions, and we are fortunate to be joined by someone who can possibly provide the answers. Jim Lighthizer is the President of the Civil War Trust and an expert in battlefield preservation. Join Nick as Jim shares insight into how he maintains momentum at the head of the nations leading Civil War Battlefield Preservation Organization on this week's PreserveCast.
This episode is part of focus series on the history of the Antietam Battlefield.
Often with history and historic preservation it can be all too easy for the places associated with a particular piece of our history to fall through the cracks. To a degree, that has been the case the case with the history of Maryland's women's suffrage movement, but today we're joined by historian Kacy Rohn, a native Marylander and the author of a recent historic context report focused on the stories of these women and the places that were important to their stories. Join us for a discussion on the fight for women's right to vote in the United States, and the power of place to help us remember that fight. This is PreserveCast.
It doesn't matter if it's your molar, your canine, or what, everybody has some kind of sweet tooth. Something that you may not be thinking about is how that sweet tooth has played a role in history. Susan Benjamin is the founder of True Treats Candy in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and author of the book Sweet as Sin: The Unwrapped Story of How Candy Became America’s Favorite Pleasure. Susan has appeared on platforms from NPR to NBC, and she joined us on PreserveCast to share the rich history of candy in American culture, from pre-Colombian Native Americans to the working poor of the Industrial Revolution. Go ahead and spoil your dinner with this week’s PreserveCast.
Editor's note: Many thanks to the Storm Boyz Lenne Lenape Drum, whose music was used in the today's segment of "Preservation Explanation."
Based in Newport, Rhode Island, the 1772 Foundation’s mission is to ensure the safe passage of historic buildings and farmland to future generations, in the Northeast and around the country. Under the direction of today’s guest, Mary Anthony, one of the key tools the Foundation uses to accomplish this mission is their nationwide historic property redevelopment, or revolving funds, program. Mary explained to us details of how her organization can help save buildings from Colorado to Florida to Maine, and also why it’s important to emphasize the human element of philanthropy, on this week’s PreserveCast.
Producer's note: We apologize for any issues you might have had while accessing this episode. We've recently made some software changes and the original file did not upload correctly. It's been updated and you should now be able to stream and download as usual. Thanks for your patience, and keep on preserving!
As historic preservationists, we often can fall into only thinking about history through the framework of buildings and sites, or even get caught up on buildings from just one era. That is not the case for our guest today, Dr. Bill Schindler. Bill is one of the world’s leading experimental archaeologists and an expert on primitive technologies and historic foodways. Join us as Bill explains how food has driven technological development throughout human history, how we are uniquely positioned in that history, and why we may want to look at ancient foodways to inform how we eat in the future. Hopefully we won’t make you too hungry, on this episode of PreserveCast.
Understanding why preserving historic places makes good economic sense can sometimes seem complex and hard to explain. But fortunately our guest today is Donovan Rypkema, the principal of PlaceEconomics and the President of Heritage Strategies Internationa, and a man who has made a career out of explaining the interplay of economics, real estate, and preservation. Donovan is one of the world thought leaders on preservation economics, and he and Nick talked about the research that Donovan and others have done into the economic benefits of preservation, both short and long term, as well as the uncertain future of the Federal Historic Tax Credit program.
When does history end? For some, like today’s guest Clare Lise Kelly, it might be closer to the present than you think. Clare is an architectural historian here in Maryland whose focus is the preservation of mid-century modern architecture from the 1950s and 60s. She literally wrote the book Montgomery Modern, focused on the architecture of Montgomery County, northwest of Washington D.C. From the future of office parks to Frank Lloyd Wright, there’s a lot to cover before we have to say so long on this episode of PreserveCast.
Producer's note: At around the 24:00 minute mark, Clare mentions an example of a building with a successfully, fully-restored facade. She said the Seagram Building, but was actually intending to reference the Lever House.
From buildings to furniture to fine art, there are few historic objects or items that Dr. Susan Buck would be unable to analyze through the microscopic examination of paint samples. Join us for a conversation about Susan’s work on projects from Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia to the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, and on items from 19th century Shaker furniture to Egyptian coffins from the 5th century B.C. What can we learn from a paint chip the size of a pin head? Find out on this week’s PreserveCast.