Nestled among the verdant fields and winding streams of the Genesee River Valley in upstate New York is one of America’s largest living history museums. Founded in 1966, the Genesee Country Village & Museum features 68 historic structures from the 19th century, moved from locations throughout Western New York, a gallery of sporting art, and a nature center and attracts more than 90,000 visitors each year. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re headed back to the 19th century to talk with Genesee Country Village & Museum CEO Becky Wehle and Curator of Collections Peter Wisbey about the future of open-air museums and the historic trades.
We all need role models – and we need to see ourselves represented – whether in film, print . . . or in Mattel’s iconic Barbie. Today’s guest, Despina Stratigakos, Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence at the University at Buffalo, is a writer, historian, and professor. She is the author of three books that explore the intersections of power and architecture. Her most recent book, Where Are the Women Architects? confronts the challenges women face in the architectural profession. Despina also participated in a fascinating effort to get the Mattel Corporation to give Barbie a career in architecture. It was a study in representation and the future of the field – a story that we’ll detail in miniature and more on this week’s PreserveCast.
PreserveCast Ep135: Preserving Public Housing with Dr. Lisa Lee of the National Public Housing Museum
The story of where we live is uniquely personal. Many historic homes have been preserved and opened to the public – places that tell a story about the way we once lived.
However, American public housing – places built and maintained by governments – has been long been overlooked, forgotten, and worse yet, maligned.
Today’s guest, Dr. Lisa Lee, is working to solve that gap in memory and understanding as the Executive Director of the National Public Housing Museum, the only cultural institution devoted to telling the story of public housing in the United States.
Find the best spot to sit and relax in the place you call home as we talk about the history of housing on this week’s PreserveCast.
As America confronts, commemorates, and questions its history – preservationists like Catherine Fleming Bruce are helping to frame those conversations and providing powerful examples of how historic places can help us in these challenging times.
Bruce is the author of an award-winning book on sustaining the sacred spaces of civil rights, human rights, and social movements and how this work can support the march towards greater social justice. With her book, "The Sustainers: Being, Building and Doing Good through Activism in the Sacred Spaces of Civil Rights, Human Rights and Social Movements," she became the first African American winner of the annual Historic Preservation Book Prize, presented by the University of Mary Washington Center for Historic Preservation.
It’s a weighty topic – but one we must explore – and with someone who knows it well on this week’s PreserveCast.
PreserveCast Ep133: Creating Places for Nature in Urban Communities with Alden Stoner of Nature Sacred
In challenging times, nature brings us peace. From time immemorial, humans have taken to nature to soothe their anxious and tired souls. In today’s busy and built world, opportunities to experience and commune with nature are limited – but today’s guest is doing something about that.
Alden Stoner is the CEO of Nature Sacred, an organization dedicated to bringing natural sanctuaries to urban communities to reduce stress, improve health and strengthen communities. It is work that was important before and is becoming increasingly more important every day the nation confronts its current challenges.
Take a deep breath and find your favorite tree – we’re talking nature in urban spaces on this week’s PreserveCast.
Americans have long admired the resistance, tenacity and spirit of those brave souls who were travelers and conductors on the Underground Railroad. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re heading back to those days to dredge up another chapter – and one far less proud – that of the reverse Underground Railroad which brought captured formerly free blacks back to slavery. It’s a difficult history – but one we must confront and we’ll explore it with Dr. Richard Bell, a distinguished scholar who recently authored a book on this overlooked story from American history.
Dr. Richard Bell is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland. He holds a PhD from Harvard University and is author of the new book Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home. He has won more than a dozen teaching awards, including the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest honor for teaching faculty in the Maryland state system. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar award. He serves as a Trustee of the Maryland Historical Society, as an elected member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
PreserveCast Ep131: Clara Barton to Coronavirus: American Public Health History with Dr. Marian Moser Jones
As the nation confronts a crippling pandemic – we find ourselves drawn to history for parallels. History provides context for the confusion.
Today’s guest has dedicated her career to exploring those connections. Dr. Marian Moser Jones is a social historian and ethicist of public health who studies the way in which Americans care for other Americans – and how that shapes our response in emergencies like the current pandemic.
Stay calm – we’ll get through this – and we’ll learn how on this week’s PreserveCast.
PreserveCast Ep130: Marylanders Fight to Save the Union: The Old Line State in the Civil War with Dr. Timothy Orr
For Civil War readers and historians, Maryland has always been confounding. Its location along the Mason-Dixon Line meant it was the seat of war for many pitched battles – and divided the loyalties of its citizens. But, for all the impact, bloodshed and division – its contribution to the Union Army is often overlooked. Confederate memory clouds the history – but today, the clouds are lifting thanks to the work of professor and historian Timothy Orr. Dr. Orr has begun to chronicle Marylanders who served in the ranks of the Union Army of the Potomac – a story long overdue that we’ll begin to explore on this episode of PreserveCast.
MORE ABOUT OUR GUEST
Timothy J. Orr is Associate Professor of History at Old Dominion University. He earned his Ph.D. at the Richards Civil War Era Center at Penn State University and he worked for eight years as a seasonal Park Ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park. His publications include Last to Leave the Field: The Life and Letters of First Sergeant Ambrose Henry Hayward (University of Tennessee Press, 2011), Never Call Me a Hero: A Legendary American Dive-Bomber Pilot Remembers the Battle of Midway, a volume co-authored with N. Jack “Dusty” Kleiss and Laura Lawfer Orr (William Morrow, 2017), as well as several scholarly essays about the Army of the Potomac.
When you think of pirates – you may think of far-off warm islands and tropical beaches or perhaps your mind goes to modern-day piracy off the dangerous horn of Africa – but you probably don’t think of the brackish waters of the Chesapeake Bay off the coast of Maryland and Virginia.
But, today’s guest, Dr. Jamie Goodall, has spent years studying that very story – and has recently published a compelling account of piracy on these now quiet waters.
Let’s set sail for Chesapeake Bay – but keep a clear eye because these waters be dangerous!
Few guests to PreserveCast have commanded as large an audience as today’s guest, Ruth Goodman.
Ruth is an award-winning social and domestic historian of British history who has been involved in several highly-rated BBC television series and has used her knowledge and charm on the screen to make history approachable and interesting.
On this week’s PreserveCast we’re crossing the pond to learn from a master of public history in a time when history matters more than ever before.
PreserveCast Ep127: Elizabeth Finkelstein, Preservationist & Instagrammer, Makes Historic Real Estate Circa Awesome
Born in an 1850s Greek Revival home that was lovingly restored by her parents (and having attended more country auctions than she can count), Elizabeth Finkelstein’s love for crown molding and decorative ironwork runs in her gene pool. After high school, she left the quiet of the countryside for the bright lights of the big city to entrench herself in New York’s great history and architecture. While there, she earned a Masters in Historic Preservation and spent years working in the field of professional preservation advocacy (and started a few geeky architecture blogs to boot!).
A licensed tour guide, professor and architectural historian, Elizabeth is also Country Living Magazine‘s official real estate columnist. Through @circahouses and @cheapoldhouses, Elizabeth is proud to maintain two of the most popular Instagram feeds devoted specifically to historical homes for sale. The wildly popular, viral feed @cheapoldhouses has been featured in New York Magazine, The Financial Times, Money Magazine, Buzzfeed, and numerous other influential publications.
Elizabeth and her husband Ethan fantasize simultaneously about owning a Brooklyn brownstone and buying a big, old farmhouse somewhere far, far away. In the meantime, CIRCA keeps them dreaming...
Few names are as synonymous with Civil War battlefields as “The Bloody Cornfield.” It conjures up visions of harrowing bloodshed and the tragedy of fratricidal combat.
Yet, for over 150 years, the story of this struggle has been difficult to track – the sway of battle back and forth over David R. Miller’s cornfield was a confusing melee of destruction. To help interpret this pivotal story, historian and author David A. Welker has produced a detailed study of this pivotal moment in American history which captures the reader and makes the compelling case for the national significance of these 20+ acres of Maryland soil.
On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re taking a trip back to Sharpsburg, Maryland, on the morning of September 17, 1862, and descending into the Bloody Cornfield.
Dr. Harrison Goodall has over forty-eight years of experience with historic structures and facilities management and nearly sixty years of experience in training and education throughout the country. As a contractor, volunteer, and purveyor of preservation materials, Harrison has been involved in preserving hundreds if not thousands of historic structures around the nation. A 2016 award from the National Park Service documented that Goodall completed over 135 volunteer historic preservation projects in 55 national parks and over 40 of those projects took place in Grand Teton National Park, where he has volunteered consistently since 1976. On This week’s PreserveCast, we’re sitting down to talk with a preservation trades legend about the future of craft and the lessons learned restoring America’s most iconic places.
PreserveCast Ep124: Leading from the Front: Aimee Jorjani, First Full-Time Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
Today’s guest is a first for PreserveCast.
Aimee Jorjani was appointed by the President of the United States to be the first full-time chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation – the federal agency tasked with coordinating preservation policy across the government.
From the halls of Congress to the pueblos of the southwest – Chariman Jorjani is doing her bit to promote preservation and we’ll learn what she’s planning next on this week’s PreserveCast.
ABOUT OUR GUEST
Aimee Jorjani earned Senate confirmation in June 2019 as the first full-time chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP).
Ms. Jorjani has nearly 20 years of experience in the fields of government and cultural resources from a variety of perspectives including both executive and legislative branches, as well as the non-profit sector. Her career began on Capitol Hill in 1999 working as a legislative aide to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). In 2002, she moved to the US Department of the Interior (DOI) and held several positions, including serving as the Deputy Secretary’s Special Assistant for Historic Preservation.
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ms. Jorjani graduated from Northern Michigan University with a major in political science and minor in public relations and later earned a Masters in Historic Preservation from Goucher College.
PreserveCast Ep122: What Civil War-Era Medicine Can Teach Us About Today’s Pandemic with Jake Wynn of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine
Walt Whitman once wrote that, “Future years will never know the seething hell and the black infernal background of countless minor scenes and interiors . . . of the Secession war; and it is best they should not—the real war will never get in the books.”
Although the painful, real stories of the Civil War and its grisly impacts may not have been accurately captured by authors – today’s guest, Jake Wynn, the Director of Interpretation at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, is dedicated to telling those stories – and highlighting the grave sacrifices and incredible compassion displayed during that era.
As we confront a medical crisis in our own time, we sat down with Jake to learn about epidemics, disease, and health during the Civil War – and what lessons there might be for our own time.
ABOUT TODAY'S GUEST
Jake Wynn is the Director of Interpretation at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine and the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum. He is a 2015 graduate of Hood College in Frederick, MD. He writes independently about Pennsylvania history at Wynning History and the Pennsylvania in the Civil War blog.
PreserveCast: [BONUS] Hear the Burns Violin from the National Trust of Scotland thanks to The 1772 Foundation
On this special extra edition of PreserveCast, you'll hear from one of Preservation Maryland and PreserveCast's best friends, Mary Anthony, Executive Director of The 1772 foundation as she interviews her friends with the National Trust of Scotland about a very special fiddle. Just to *see* this 270-year-old violin in a glass case, you'd have to travel to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Scotland – but today you'll **hear** it and all about it...on this special recording of PreserveCast.
PreserveCast Ep121: (Re)Developing the “Why” of Preservation with Tom Moriarity of Retail Development Strategies
Why do we do what we do and why don’t others understand why it’s so important?
Those are the driving questions that prompted long-time preservationist and real estate expert Tom Moriarity to dive into a discourse on what preservation needs in the years ahead. It’s a big task – but one that we need to constantly revisit if we hope to save places that truly matter.
So, prepare yourself for some real talk from one of America’s most trusted voices in preservation on this week’s PreserveCast!
PreserveCast Ep120: [Heathly, Hip & Historic] The Future of History by Greg Werkheiser, Cultural Heritage Partners
In this final episode of PreserveCast's special Healthy, Hip & Historic series, Greg Werkheiser of Cultural Heritage Partners and ARtGlass presents the awesome opportunities that preservationists have to shape the telling of history well into the future – if, we tap into trends afoot in augmented reality, drone imaging and 3D printing, and artificial intelligence.
Greg Werkheiser is a lawyer and entrepreneur who builds ventures that connect the lessons of our past to the leadership of our future. Greg believes that solving critical societal challenges requires leaders who draw on wisdom and strategy from across time, culture, sector, industry, and ideology. To preserve and leverage history, Greg’s ventures advance law, public policy, business strategy, and technology in the cultural heritage field globally. To forge leaders for our age, Greg’s ventures re-imagine leadership development for emerging entrepreneurs of public, private, and social enterprises. To enable all to serve and lead, Greg advocates for civil rights of oppressed communities.
Greg is the co-founder of Cultural Heritage Partners, the premier law, government affairs, and business strategy firm serving exclusively heritage-mission clients, including governments, professional associations, museums, tribes, preservation organizations, private businesses, families, and individuals. He also founded the aligned leadership consulting firm, the Heritas Group. He is also the founding CEO of ARtGlass, wearable augmented reality company helping cultural sites and museums create mind-bending experiences for visitors.
PreserveCast Ep119: [Healthy, Hip & Historic] “Reset to Default: Making Preservation the New Normal” by Jim Lindberg, National Trust for Historic Preservation
In the penultimate episode of PreserveCast's special series during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will hear from Jim Lindberg, Senior Policy Director for the National Trust for Historic Preservation who will discuss the ways the goals of preservation are interconnected with those of advocates for issues like the environment, community health, and equitable development.
Collaboration and partnership are a key part of any successful preservation effort and this presentation by Jim Lindberg will explore the importance of this broad coalition to build systems that encourage building reuse. Research across these various fields demonstrates the need to build new rules and unwind entrenched thinking on building communities. The aim to create places that are greener, healthier, and more equitable applies to urban and rural communities alike.
James Lindberg has more than 25 years of experience in historic preservation, planning, and sustainable development. Through his leadership of the National Trust’s Research & Policy Lab and the ReUrbanism initiative for cities, he seeks innovative ways to encourage building reuse and create more inclusive, healthy, and resilient communities.
PreserveCast Ep118 [Healthy, Hip & Historic] “Preserving History, Promoting Health” by Dr. Debarati Majumdar “Mimi” Narayan
In this third episode of PreserveCast's special series during the international coronavirus pandemic, we will hear from Dr. Debarati Majumdar "Mimi" Narayan of the Health Impact Project about the impact of historic preservation on the health of our communities and ourselves. As preservation addresses the physical material of our built environment – and those materials’ potential positive or negative health impacts – so too, does preservation address an emotional connection to a time and place in history.
Dr. Narayan's unique research specialty will help us place our preservation work in a broader context, identify challenges, and illuminate solutions for linking historic preservation and healthy communities.
Dr. Mimi Narayan is a Principal Associate at the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The goal of the national Health Impact Project is to reduce health inequities and improve the health of all people by ensuring that health is a valued consideration in public policy. Dr. Narayan is directing the Project’s strategic initiative that assesses the relationship of climate change and health, and specifically tribal health. The relevant nature of her work and its potential impact on communities has attracted national and international interest and recognition.
PreserveCast Ep. 117 [Healthy, Hip & Historic] People, Old Places & Health with Dr. Jeremy C. Wells of the University of Maryland
As COVID-19 has changed the everyday ways that we interact with each other and our communities, it’s clear that our environment has important physical and psychological effects on us all.
This podcast is part 2 of a five-part special series presented by PreserveCast and powered by Preservation Maryland and includes the audio recording of Dr. Jeremy C. Wells' presentation of this subject at a Preservation Maryland conference in 2016.
Dr. Jeremy C. Wells is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland's School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, with a research focus on the ways that people interact with their environment and the ways historic places – their decay and patina – influence their psychological and social health.
Dr. Wells’ research utilizes applied social science methods and presents new approaches for heritage rules, laws, and regulations. In this context of health and behavior, there is additional importance placed on the work of community planning, historic preservation, and evaluating what it is to live a healthy life in a healthy place.
PreserveCast Ep116: [Healthy, Hip & Historic] What the Future Holds for Historic Preservation and Community Revitalization with Storm Cunningham
As this current international pandemic has changed the everyday ways that we interact with each other and our communities, it’s clear that our environment has important physical and psychological effects on us all. Preservation addresses the physical material of our built environment – and those materials’ potential positive or negative health impacts – so too, does preservation address an emotional connection to a time and place in history.
This five-part special podcast series, Healthy, Hip & Historic on PreserveCast will feature five preservation visionaries that will place our preservation work in a broader context, identify challenges, and illuminate solutions for linking historic preservation and healthy communities.
Preservation Maryland brought Storm Cunningham, an author whose work is leading the way for partnerships between preservationists and environmentalists, to our annual statewide conference held in 2016 in Frederick, Maryland. Storm Cunningham is the publisher of Revitalization News online, and the author of "The Restoration Economy," "reWealth," and the forthcoming "Planetary Renewal: A Strategy To Reverse Our Decline."
As a regional partnership planner, he has facilitated comprehensive revitalization processes, not just a vision, project or plan which help places enhance their economy, boost the quality of life and increase climate resilience by repurposing, renewing and reconnecting their natural built and socioeconomic assets.
Storm joined our group of preservationists, planners and heritage tourism and museum professionals to show the group how they can think differently about who they partner with and what benefit comes from those partnerships. If we want to make the world a better and more sustainable place, we need to breakdown the silos each discipline has wedge themselves.
One example Storm will share was a potential relationship between “water people” and “solar people.” Instead of saying “we have nothing in common,” think about your goals and how they overlap. “Solar People” want solar panels to make clean energy and “water people” want to get safe and clean water long distances. Water evaporates unless it is covered, so why not cover the water channels with solar panels? This is a win-win. More energy and less water loss.
PreserveCast Ep115: Pushing the Outer Limits of Preservation with Michelle Hanlon of For All Moonkind
PreserveCast Log. Star date 97757.16.
Today we’re speaking with Michelle Hanlon, Co-Founder and President of For All Moonkind, Inc., a non-profit focused on protecting human cultural heritage in outer space. We’ll push the limits of the National Register and boldly go where no preservationist has gone before.
We’ve got 20 minutes, so let’s put this podcast on Warp 8 and proceed on this week’s PreserveCast.
Michelle Hanlon is Co-Director of the Air and Space Law Program at the University of Mississippi School of Law and its Center for Air and Space Law. She is also a Co-Founder and President of For All Moonkind, Inc., a nonprofit corporation that is the only organization in the world focused on protecting human cultural heritage in outer space. For All Moonkind has been recognized by the United Nations as a Permanent Observer to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Michelle Chairs the International Committee of the National Space Society. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Yale College and her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. Michelle earned her LLM in Air and Space Law from McGill University where the focus of her research was commercial space and the intersection of commerce and public law.
PreserveCast Ep114: Making & Marketing New Reasons to Travel Along the C&O Canal with Heidi Glatfelter Schlag
With 4.4 million visitors in 2018, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is one of America’s most visited national park sites – a linear treasure of 184.5 miles of history, heritage and nature balanced precariously on the edge of the Potomac River as it curves from Georgetown in the District of Columbia to the foothills of the Alleghenies in Cumberland, Maryland.
Today’s guest, Heidi Glatfelter Schlag, is a preservation and heritage communications professional who works with the award-winning Friends group organized to help support, advocate, and fundraise on behalf of this national treasure. The C&O Canal Trust’s innovative and entrepreneurial approach to its work is changing the way visitors interact with the canal and its history.
So, keep your head down as we pass below the low bridges and keep a clear eye for the next lock – we’re headed to the C&O canal!
Start your engines – because on this week’s PreserveCast we’re talking historic cars and the history of the American Automobile with Diane Parker, Vice President of the Historic Vehicle Association. Buckle up and hit the clutch, because you’re listening to a revved-up edition of PreserveCast.
Diane Parker is Vice President of the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA). Surrounded by gear heads from a young age, Diane developed a love and appreciation for vehicles. Since joining the Historic Vehicle Association in 2013, she has combined her love of vehicles with her expertise in operations management. Focusing on the organization’s overall vision, values, beliefs, and strategic goals, Diane is extremely passionate about the organization’s mission to share the cultural past associated with America’s automotive heritage; and to ensure it is never lost nor forgotten.
Two major components of that include Cars at the Capital, their annual exhibition on the National Mall in Washington, DC and, the continued growth of their program that documents historically significant vehicles. That program is the National Historic Vehicle Register. Similar to the Register of Historic Places, and in partnership with the U.S. Department of Interior, the Register program ensures that culturally and historically significant automobiles are fully documented and reside within the Library of Congress in perpetuity.