Talented tradespeople make preservation physically possible. Today’s guest is Amy McAuley, the preservation joiner at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, where she uses hand powered tools to repair, restore and preserve one of America’s most historic homes. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re talking with a talented female tradesperson who is doing her part to keep the traditional trades alive.
The Jingle Dress project originated from a dream to unite the beauty of the land and the healing power of the jingle dance during these uncertain times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The origin of the jingle dance to the Ojibwe people happened during the influenza pandemic of 1918-19. It came as a dream to a father whose daughter was sick with the virus. His dream revealed the new dress and dance that had the power to heal. When the dresses were made, they were given to four women to perform the dance. When the little girl heard the sound of the jingles, she became stronger. By the end of the night she was dancing too.
Today’s guest, Eugene Tapahe, also has a dream to take this healing power to the land, to travel and capture a series of images that will document spiritual places where ancestors once walked. The goal is to unite and give hope to the world through art, dance and culture to help us all to heal together. Learn more about the project and support it at: https://tapahe.com/jingle-dress-project.html
Established in 1969, the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture is the nation’s first-ever ethnic commission and has a 50 year track record of exploring, researching, commemorating and preserving important places associated with the African American history of the Old Line State. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking with Chanel Compton, the Executive Director of the Commission, about their work and the exciting future of African American preservation in Maryland and beyond.
For lovers of early American architecture, folkways, crafts and tools, there are few who compare to Eric Sloane. Sloane was a prolific chronicler of the American past – and had a reverence for the way we were that was at moments charming, beautiful and absurd all at once. Today, the legacy of this collector and accomplished artist is being cared for and reinterpreted by the State of Connecticut.
Originally from West Virginia, where he received his B.A. in Social Studies Education from Shepherd University, Andrew comes to the Eric Sloane Museum with experience working at public history sites like Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park, South Mountain State Battlefield for the Maryland Park Service, and Henricus Historical Park managing their 17th century Virginia tobacco farm. In his spare time, Andrew is an avid agriculturalist and supporter of historical trades and may be found climbing the lines, working aboard tall ships. He and his wife are thrilled to be living in New England in a small timber-framed farmhouse with their two pups and cat. Andrew is honored to be a steward of one of Connecticut’s valuable cultural resources.
You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, but do you recall Rankin/Bass – the company behind some of America’s most beloved stop-action holiday films? Today’s guest, Rick Goldschmidt does. He’s a historian of Rankin/Bass Productions – the creative team that created Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Year without a Christmas, and dozens upon dozens more. Preserving the legacy of those films and the actual props has been a lifelong passion for Rick and on this week’s PreserveCast we’ll head back to the 1960s to talk TV preservation and memory with an authority on the subject.
Change can be difficult. Building momentum, engaging diverse audiences, and bringing history to life is the tough stuff of preservation and community engagement.
Today’s guest, Dana Saylor, has made it her mission to help fellow preservationists, artists, community leaders, and interested citizens in developing strategies that turn ideas into action. Dana is a creative community connector and mentor to fellow changemakers. Her work is about building emotional connection to place. She is based in Buffalo, New York, and is an Advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking the nuts and bolts of making change happen with a leading voice for this critical and timely work.
Hey, Nick here, and before we get started – just a quick reminder to please consider making a donation – even $5 would go a long way – and you can do it at preservecast.org; also would you be willing to give us a five-star rating and maybe a quick review. We haven’t had a new review in way too long and I need your help! And, finally, today’s episode is made possible thanks to the support of The 1772 Foundation. Now, let’s make some change happen!
Mining Historic Stream Beds for the Newest Innovation in Eco-Friendly Paint with Michelle Shively of True Pigments
In some cases, the legacy of history is buried deep – requiring research, archaeology, or exploration to find it. In other cases, the legacy of history literally clouds our streams. On today’s PreserveCast, we’re blending modern environmentalism with a discussion of the legacy of mining in rural Ohio – and how old damage is creating new vibrancy with Michelle Shively, the Director of Project Development for True Pigments – a project aimed at using pollution to give the world a fresh coat of paint. Make sure you have your painting smock on because we’re about to let the pigments fly on this week’s PreserveCast.
Today on PreserveCast, we’re talking with Richard Carlin and Ken Bloom, the co-authors of Eubie Blake: Rags, Rhythm and Race, a new biography of one of the key composers of 20th century American popular song and jazz.
A gifted musician, Blake rose from performing in dance halls and bordellos of his native Baltimore to the heights of Broadway. As successful as his career and music were, racism and bad luck hampered Blake's career. Remarkably, the third act of Blake's life found him heralded in his 90s at major jazz festivals, in Broadway shows, and on television and recordings.
Now, let’s get jazzy on this week’s PreserveCast!
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...
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 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.
As preservationists, we here at PreserveCast are usually concerned with the physical history: what we can know from the cold hard facts in front of us.
But seeing as how it’s October and Halloween is around the corner, we thought we’d talk a little about haunted history.
Author Colin Dickey joined host Nick Redding to talk about the history of ghost stories and share what we can learn from the places that scare us.
If you've ever wondered why American horror stories typically feature an old Victorian mansion or forgotten roadside motel...this episode is for you!
PreserveCast Ep. 107: Training a New Generation in the Traditional Trades with Moss Rudley of the National Historic Preservation Training Center
Saving the historic fabric of America's national parks is a massive job, and it requires a wide range of skills. Teaching those skills, and passing down the historic trades within the National Park Service is the responsibility of the National Historic Preservation Training Center. Established in 1977, and headquartered in Frederick, Maryland, the center is the Parks Service's premier preservation training center.
Today's guest, Moss Rudely, is the superintendent of the center and a historic mason by training. And in 2018, Preservation Maryland signed an agreement with the center to launch a new initiative, The Campaign for Historic Trades, which is designed to expand the Center's apprenticeship program. So grab your safety goggles and hammer because, on this week's PreserveCast, we're talking about the role of this unique Center and their efforts to train America's next generation of historic tradespeople.
Moss Rudley is a native of Greenbrier County, West Virginia, where he was raised on a working cattle farm filled with historic vernacular structures. He was first exposed to the trades and the field of historic preservation through the care of hand-hewn log structures of the Scots-Irish and German. A graduate of Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, he has been with the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Training Center since 2000. A historic mason by training, after over 17 years with the Center he was promoted to Superintendent in 2017.
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.
PreserveCast Ep. 98: Preservation Around the World with Melanie Lytle of Restoration Works International
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.
For some of the larger historic buildings out there, it can take a number of craftspeople and specialists to properly restore and preserve them. But few have the knowledge and ability to organize stone masons, window craftsmen, and countless other trade specialists who may otherwise be used to working independently. One of those few is with us today; Tyler Tate is the President of Lewis Contractors, a construction company that partially specializes in historic institutional buildings. Tyler spoke with Nick about details of some of the many unique projects his company has been involved in, like the Washington Monument in Baltimore, the Brice House in Annapolis, and more. We won’t try to ~build~ anticipation any longer, this is PreserveCast!
As historic preservationists we often can feel a sense of despair whenever we see a building that's been abandoned for years or even decades. Our guest today, Matthew Christopher of Abandoned America, knows just that feeling. That's why he is dedicated to gaining access to abandoned buildings and spaces across the country, and photographing what he finds inside. Matthew's images have appeared in countless esteemed publications, and he has photographed abandoned sites ranging from old mental hospitals to public utility buildings to theme parks. Don't go away! Matthew and Nick discuss how he picks his sites, why he thinks these buildings end up so mistreated, and how photography and greater exposure can sometimes help turn things around.
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!