September 9, 2021
Foxfire is the bioluminescence created by some species of fungi present in decaying wood. It is a wonderfully evocative word selected by a teacher and student over 50 years ago to be the title for their new project to document life in the southern Appalachians.
What started initially as a student project has live on for decades and is today an open-air museum and outdoor village with over 20 historic log buildings and the Foxfire Archive, which consists of over 50 years of oral history interviews, images, and video.
With the light of the foxfire marking our path, on this week’s PreserveCast we’re talking with Kami Ahrens, the Assistant Curator for the Foxfire Museum about the special work they’re doing to preserve the past.
May 17, 2021
To regular listeners of PreserveCast, you know that I’m a huge fan of the BBC “farm” series – which have explored Tudor, Victorian, Edwardian and other eras of British history. Alex Langlands rounds out our interviews with each of the presenters from the series – and Alex also recently published a new book, Craeft: An Inquiry into the Origins and True Meaning of Traditional Crafts, which is a perfect topic of conversation at a moment when the world is almost entirely virtual.
May 10, 2021
Connecting place to story to digital resources is a challenge confronting communities across the globe. That’s why when I learned about nashvillesites.org, I knew we had a winner for PreserveCast. Not only is Nashville an amazing town – but this story holds many lessons for countless other places looking to bring their history to life.
There are over 150 metro markers, over 50 more state and nationally designated and recognized historic markers, sites, buildings, and districts in Metro Nashville. NashvilleSites.org augments Nashville’s unique history with multimedia information and dynamic online resources.
April 26, 2021
Candacy Taylor is an award-winning author, photographer and cultural documentarian working on a multidisciplinary project based on the Green Book. In Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America, Taylor has masterfully pulled together this story of resilience and segregation in a way that elevates and memorializes this history – a history still rooted in countless towns and cities across America.
March 29, 2021
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
March 22, 2021
I have been a big fan of Peter Ginn ever since I watched the first episode of Victorian Farm, where he portrayed a Victorian-era farmer in England alongside Ruth Goodman and Alex Langlands. Peter has deftly combined his knowledge of the past with entertainment and is a proud ambassador for preserving historic trades and crafts. In short, he’s the ideal PreserveCast guest.
March 15, 2021
Without trained hands able to restore buildings – we can’t “do” preservation. It’s just that simple. Today’s guest is a true trailblazer in the preservation trades; an accomplished historic architect, accomplished tradesperson and notably, the first woman to complete the National Park Service preservation trades training program. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking with Lisa Sasser about women in the trades and the future of trades training in America.
March 1, 2021
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.
February 22, 2021
Historian, businesswoman, investor, developer, and philanthropist. Colonel Jennifer Pritzker has led an amazing life. A retired Lieutenant Colonel of the U.S. Army, for nearly three decades Col. Pritzker served in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve, and the Illinois Army National Guard. Today, her legacy of service continues in her philanthropic investments across the nation in heritage, veterans’ issues and beyond. On Today’s PreserveCast we’re talking with a legend of preservation philanthropy. Learn more at: tawanifoundation.org
February 8, 2021
What if individuals could band together to make change that they couldn’t possibly accomplish alone? That’s the concept behind Small Change, a real estate crowdfunding investment platform founded by today’s guest, Eve Picker. We’ll dive into the new world of crowdfunded real estate investments and how that could shape the future of preservation on this week’s PreserveCast.
January 25, 2021
As nearly anyone who has seriously studied American history can attest – there is no American story without the story of slavery. It is central to our origin and must be included in order to get a full and complete picture of our history. Unfortunately, the records of slavery are spread far and wide and are often siloed and incomplete. In this two part series, we’re talking to two of the minds behind Enslaved: Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade – a digital preservation effort aimed at connected the dots and knocking down the silos of slave history. Learn more at www.enslaved.org.
January 11, 2021
What we preserve tells as much about us as it does about the history itself. Preservation is a movement with a history unto itself – but all too often that story is overlooked in favor of the history of the sites that are preserved. Whitney Martinko, an associate professor of History at Villanova University, is tackling that story and recently published Historic Real Estate: Market Morality and the Politics of Preservation in the Early United States, an in-depth look at why and what we preserve and how interconnected our preservation landscape is to our market driven economy. On this week’s PreserveCast we’re talking about the impulse to preserve and what it says about us, the preservers.
January 4, 2021
The American Civil War was the first war to be truly photo-documented. The haunting images stare back at us and make the brutal conflict real and humanize the tragedy. Yet, for all of the photos, many of the identities of the individuals captured are now unknown. Today, Civil War Photo Sleuth is using modern-day technology to rediscover the lost identities in American Civil War-era photographs. This new endeavor holds tremendous potential not only to uncover the lost history of the Civil War–but of countless other anonymous photographs. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking artificial intelligence, Civil War history and the future of historical investigations.
December 28, 2020
Food is powerful. It has the ability to transcend artificial divisions and to unite – and it can speak to our history and heritage if we’re willing to listen, or think with our tastebuds.
For today’s guest, using food to tell a story is all a part of his daily work. Brent Rosen is the President and CEO of NatFAB, the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, and the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans, Louisiana.
So, pack your back, but don’t bring any food – we’ve got that covered on this week’s PreserveCast.
November 30, 2020
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!
November 2, 2020
Our nation is confronting challenges on almost every front – so why invest money in historic sites when the challenges are so great?
Places like Historic Sotterley, located in Southern Maryland, can make the case for why we should invest. Sotterley has worked to become an exceptional cultural and educational resource for its region and state, and through ongoing work strives to help build a better community with local and regional partners.
On today’s episode of PreserveCast, we’re talking with Nancy Easterling, the Executive Director of Historic Sotterley about tackling the complex history of a plantation and how that conversation can improve communities.
October 19, 2020
There are some topics that are easy to introduce to our PreserveCast listeners. Today’s episode is not one of those – but it is a topic we feel compelled to cover and explore.
Among his many responsibilities and positions, today’s guest, Dr. David Fakunle, is also currently serving as the as Chair of the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the first state body in the United States dedicated to chronicling and bringing justice to racial terror lynchings.
It is a dark and painful chapter in our history – but a history which we’ll confront and discuss on this week’s PreserveCast with a leader dealing with the legacy of lynchings and the effort to bring justice to those who were denied it.
September 29, 2020
Wyoming is a mysterious and magical place. The very word conjures up visions of roughhewn buildings, horses, and wide open spaces. Preservation seems a natural fit in that majestic setting – and today’s guest is plying the craft and trade of preservation in Jackson Hole as the Director of the National Park Service’s Western Center for Historic Preservation. So, tighten your girth and slacken your rein, we’re headed to Wyoming to talk preservation, western style, on this week’s PreserveCast.
July 20, 2020
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.
July 6, 2020
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.
June 22, 2020
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.
May 25, 2020
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...
March 26, 2020
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.
March 25, 2020
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.
March 24, 2020
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.