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.
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.
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.
Few names in American history inspire as much controversy, admiration, and consternation. He was a controversial figure in his own time and remains so today. No matter your opinion, Brown’s legacy is critically important and must be explored and remembered.
Today’s guest, Martha Swan, is the founder and Executive Director of John Brown Lives!, an organization dedicated to preserving Brown’s farm in upstate New York and using his legacy to inspire future generations.
On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking about John Brown, memory and how to use the past to engage the present.
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.
Best of the West with Katherine Wonson of the National Park Service’s Western Center for Historic Preservation
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.
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.
Do you ever wonder how authors and historians can keep writing new books about the same 'ole history?
Shouldn’t it never change because it’s all in the past?
The truth is anything but.
No one can explain that better than our guest, Dennis Frye – having been involved in everything from giving tours to leading nationally important preservation and battlefield protection organizations, few people know the complexities of Civil War history like Dennis.
In his recent book, Antietam Shadows: Mystery, Myth & Machination, Dennis makes the case that history should never lie dormant, it always needs to be re-examined, stating, “Historians should always be challenging themselves. They should always be a detective. They should always be mining for new information, and if it completely reverses something that’s conventional, good, good. Throw it out there and let people see it in a different way, in a different manner, in a different light.”
Listen in to this episode of PreserveCast to hear from Dennis about his investigative and inclusive approach to historical research on this special re-broadcast in commemoration of the Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.
Going Net Zero at Historic Sites with Siân Phillips of the National Trust of England, Wales & Northern Ireland
When most people think of a historic site or landscape, they don’t think about the future...
Today’s guest is not most people.
Siân Phillips is a renewable energy specialist with the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland – a legendary preservation organization which is charting a new course for historic places – they’re using our past to literally power the future.
This isn’t your grandaddy’s preservation – and we’re thrilled to bring it to you 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.
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!
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 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 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.
Historic places and resources come in all shapes and sizes. On Maryland’s eastern shore, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum preserves and restores a wide variety of historic resources – including historic boats and ships. Today’s guest, Pete Lesher, the chief curator of the museum is assisting in the latest restoration project of the 1882 Chesapeake Bay nine-log bugeye Edna E. Lockwood. You don’t know what a bugeye is? Well batten down the hatches and check your port and starboard as we set sail for this week’s PreserveCast.
Pete Lesher is chief curator at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, where he has served on staff since 1991 and now oversees museum collections, exhibitions, and programs. He graduated Lafayette College, holds an MA in history from Columbia University, and studied maritime history at Mystic Seaport’s summer Munson Institute for American Maritime Studies.
Active in his community, Pete is a member of the Talbot County Council, chairs the St. Michaels Historic District Commission, and serves on the boards of the Maryland Humanities Council, Council of American Maritime Museums, and Maryland Heritage Areas Authority. In his spare time he sails, taking particular pleasure in his role as jib tender on the 1882 Chesapeake Bay sailing log canoe Island Bird.
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.
PreserveCast Ep. 94: Training a Volunteer Workforce to Save Historic Places with Towny Anderson of HistoriCorps
Towny Anderson has over 40 years of experience with historic preservation. He has restored historic properties first as craftsman, then contractor, and later developer and owner. He was an independent scholar, cum laude graduate of Middlebury College and attended the Preservation Leadership Training program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Anderson served as Vermont’s first appointed State Historic Preservation Officer, as a Director of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers and as Chair of the Vermont Historic Preservation Advisory Council. He is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum. Anderson co-wrote groundbreaking statewide legislation encouraging reinvestment in Vermont’s historic downtowns. He was a founding board member of MainStreet Steamboat Springs. Two of his certified historic rehabilitation projects received National Trust Preservation Honor awards. Appointed Executive Director of HistoriCorps in August 2012, Towny Anderson is bringing together everything he loves about historic preservation – buildings, people, beautiful places, and education.
Ellicott City, Maryland is a place that exudes authenticity. It has been flooded repeatedly, traipsed over by Civil War soldiers, and stained by locomotive smoke. Unfortunately, the most recent floods have resulted in local officials calling to demolish large portions of the historic district, a move that could set a terrible precedent here in Maryland and beyond.
Today’s guest, Mary Catherine Cochran is working to stop that plan and to find a way to balance life, history, and safety. As a Howard County native and lifelong preservationist, Mary Catherine co-founded Preservation Howard County and has served as the executive director of the Patapsco Heritage Greenway. In recognition of her work, she was inducted into the Howard County Women's Hall of Fame in 2017.
As a tireless defender of Ellicott City, Mary Catherine is working in partnership with a grassroots collective of supporters and larger organizations like Preservation Maryland to defeat a new proposal that would demolish large portions of this historic town.
In this episode, Nick and Mary discuss:
- the importance of making science-based decisions to mitigate flooding in an age of climate change
- ways to engage a community that has been traumatized with the physical and the financial losses of their businesses
- the challenges associated with public acquisition of private businesses located in historic buildings
- how to contact the Howard County Council to voice your opinion on saving this community
Grab your hard hats and get to work with Nick and Mary on this week's episode of PreserveCast!
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Just last week, the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced its annual list of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in America. Two of these eleven sites are located in Maryland! Since Preservation Maryland is the host of PreserveCast, this news hit close to home, quite literally.
The historic waterfront of Annapolis and George Washington’s historic view at Mount Vernon in Maryland have received proposals to undergo altered landscapes. Listen in as Nick and Meagan discuss the impact and opportunities of such listings and early efforts already underway to address these challenges head on.
Not all preservationists are environmentalists and not all environmentalists are preservationists – but today’s guest is, in fact, both. Kristen Harbeson is the Political Director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters – the political voice of the environment. She’s a tireless advocate for healthy communities and has made a career in standing up for issues that matter – and while she’s currently fighting for a healthier earth, she’s also been a passionate voice for preservation. Kristen will explain how and why the environmental and preservation communities can play better together and how that might just save the world on this week’s PreserveCast.