March 14, 2022
At its core, historic preservation should be about instrumentalizing heritage, broadly defined, to sustain communities and promote resilience.” That’s the argument Dr. Erica Avrami makes in one of her most recent publications on the legacy of preservation policy and the future of the field – a compelling and timely topic of conversation on this week’s PreserveCast where we’ll dive deep into what the future of preservation may hold.
Erica Avrami, PhD, is the James Marston Fitch Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia GSAPP. A preservationist and planner, Avrami also directs the Urban Heritage, Sustainability, and Social Inclusion initiative, and co-directs the Adapting the Existing Built Environment Earth Network. Avrami challenges students to approach preservation as a process of co-learning and co-creating knowledge, engaging multiple publics and disciplines to investigate complex social-spatial histories and navigate the stories and values ascribed to places. Her research and teaching extend the heritage enterprise beyond a practice focused on sites and building, exploring preservation as a form of public policy that functions across geographic scales and diverse demographics. She interrogates the intentions, processes, and outcomes of preservation in relation to social justice and the climate crisis, and seeks to transition heritage tools and preservation policies toward equity, resilience, and decarbonization.
February 28, 2022
Common wheat is one of most important field crops around the world and has been for millennia. In an effort to bring together different museum sites, living history farms, the “Year on the Field” Project seeks to exchange knowledge about common wheat cultivation through the centuries and in different parts of the world. Sites and farms participating in the project will create a valuable database on different regional cultivation traditions, regional seed varieties and traction methods and enable deep networking on an international level, raising awareness and public interest in agriculture, its historical implications for the present and the future of food production.
February 14, 2022
COVID-19 has changed all of our lives. It is a defining moment for this generation – and for American history – which means that the Smithsonian has made it a priority for collecting and interpreting for future generations. How we will remember this moment is something as a historian I’ve often thought about – and a reason I wanted to sit down with an expert at the Smithsonian who is focused on that very question. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re sitting down with Dr. Alexandra Lord, the Chair of the Chair Division of Medicine and Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to discuss how that institution is working to capture this moment in history. Dr. Alexandra Lord is an accomplished historian of medicine and health and is a leader in the effort to document COVID – a perfect guest as we approach the two-year anniversary of the onset of the pandemic.
More About Our Guest
Alexandra Lord is chair of the Division of Medicine and Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. In this role, she oversees a division with over 100,000 objects, ranging from a Revolutionary War surgical kit to Bill Nye’s lab coat, and seeks to promote a better understanding of the history of medicine and science. As a historian, Lord’s research interests include public health history, how diseases related to women and children have been understood, and the intersections between cultural taboos and medicine. Previously, she was branch chief of the National Park Service, supervising the national preservation program, and a historian in the US Public Health Service.
Learn more at: https://americanhistory.si.edu/profile/1185
Learn more about the Smithsonian’s COVID collection at: https://www.si.edu/object/collecting-covid-19-pandemic-perspectives%3Ayt_RSv2RMrofMY
January 24, 2022
On this episode of PreserveCast, Natalie Henshaw of the Campaign for Historic Trades is talking with Mae Bowley of Re:Purpose Savannah in our first ever trades takeover! Join us as Natalie and Mae discuss all things historic trades.
More About Our Guest
Mae Bowley moved to Savannah in 2015. Out of a desire to learn more about the charming and mysterious city, she started taking classes in Historic Preservation and Restoration at Savannah Technical College. When she encountered Emergent Structures (parent organization of Re:Purpose Savannah) in 2018, she fell in love. She was an avid volunteer for six months, and was then hired on as Assistant Executive Director. In 2019 Mae took over as Executive Director after her predecessor, Scott Crotzer.
January 17, 2022
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.
The Commission is the oldest ethnic commission in the nation and doesn’t just talk about preserving history – it directly invests millions of dollars in brick-and-mortar projects across the state. It’s a Maryland story with national implications and one we had to bring to PreserveCast.
MORE ABOUT OUR GUEST
Chanel Compton is inspired and passionate about her role as Executive Director for the Banneker-Douglass Museum (BDM) and Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC). She also currently serves as Board Chair of the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center and board member to Afro Charities, Maryland Humanities and Future History Now. Compton has been a life-long supporter of museums; stating, “A museum can be such a powerful place. As a young person, it was my initial visit to museums and galleries that opened my eyes and mind to new perspectives, cultures, and history. African American museums are instrumental in inspiring a new generation of leaders and innovators because it is a place of empowerment, of learning, and a place of individual and collective transformation.” As Executive Director of BDM and MCAAHC, Compton is dedicated to serving arts communities and artists in Maryland. She has a home and art studio in Baltimore, Maryland.
December 27, 2021
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? Our 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 episode of PreserveCast, we’ll head back to the 1960s to talk TV preservation and memory with an authority on the subject.
October 18, 2021
On this fourth edition of PreserveCast Conversations: The Professor and the Practitioner, a new monthly feature of PreserveCast, co-hosts Nicholas Redding and Dr. Whitney Martinko explore the trends, topics and issues that are making headlines in the world of preservation this month. They’re covering a lot of ground in today’s conversation on preservation and the issues that matter. For regular listeners, also, be sure to send any questions you have about this episode or questions you’d like answered in next month’s conversation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Whitney Martinko is an associate professor of History at Villanova University, where she teaches classes about the early United States, environmental history and sustainability, and material culture. She also directs the graduate program in public history. She earned her AB in History from Harvard College and her MA and PhD in History from the University of Virginia. She lives in West Philadelphia. Learn more about Martinko and her work at https://www.whitneymartinko.com/
October 13, 2021
Saving places requires a variety of tools and skillsets – including an understanding of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. It sounds dull – but it’s a tool everyone who cares about historic places should know about and get involved in – because it can save places and use the loss of historic resources to fuel preservation elsewhere. On this week’s PreserveCast, Jacqueline Drayer, a 106-specialist is leading us down the road to 106 awareness.
September 27, 2021
Preservation without funding is just good intentions. That’s why people like Merrill Hoopengardner and her team at the National Trust Community Investment Corporation are so integral to the future of this work. Right now, they’re working on big changes to federal funding for preservation – a timely and critical issue we knew had to be on PreserveCast.
Merrill Hoopengardner may not be a household name in preservation – but she should be. Merrill is the President and CEO of the National Trust Community Investment Corporation and is part of an effort to vastly improve the nation’s historic tax credit – the federal government’s largest investment in preservation. As President of NTCIC, Merrill directs fundraising and acquisition opportunities, develops and implements overall strategy and new lines of business for the company, and coordinates governing board/staff relations.
On this week’s PreserveCast, listeners have an opportunity to take action and make a difference and Merrill is leading the charge.
August 23, 2021
Sara Bronin has spent her career exploring, researching, and publishing on the intersection of law, policy, and preservation. Today, as the preservation community grapples with the challenges of equity, climate and inclusionary zoning – Sara’s research and expertise is filling an important role. Bronin was recently nominated by the Biden administration to chair the U.S. Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and will have an opportunity to shape preservation policy at a seminal moment – a perfect guest for this week’s PreserveCast.
Sara and I connected via Twitter following her appointment by President Biden to chair the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation – and with her long list of credentials, publications and keen awareness of equitable land use planning, I felt she’d make an ideal guest as our field grapples with these heavy but important issues when it comes to saving historic places.
July 26, 2021
On this third edition of PreserveCast Conversations: The Professor and the Practitioner, a new monthly feature of PreserveCast, co-hosts Nicholas Redding and Dr. Whitney Martinko explore the trends, topics and issues that are making headlines in the world of preservation this month. They’re covering a lot of ground in today’s conversation on preservation and the issues that matter.
July 19, 2021
Preservation requires a solid and significant understanding of our past – and on this week’s PreserveCast we’re talking with Jason Church, a National Park Service preservationist who is leading an effort to expertly document the powerfully important physical vestiges of slavery and tenant farming. As these humble and simple structures fade away, work like this takes on a new level of importance and significance.
All across America, the physical evidence of slavery is being lost to the ravages of time and indifference. Without expert documentation – there’s a real chance we could lose all memory and understanding of these important buildings. That’s why Preservation Maryland is partnering with the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training to laser scan structures on Maryland’s eastern shore as a part of a broader national effort – a topic we knew we had to bring to our listeners.
July 12, 2021
This week’s guest is unique; we’re bringing back Bonnie McDonald to talk about the work of her organization, Landmarks Illinois, as they celebrate their 50th anniversary and look forward to the next 50 years of saving places and making preservation relevant in a rapidly changing world.
June 28, 2021
On this second edition of PreserveCast Conversations: The Professor and the Practitioner, a new monthly feature of PreserveCast, co-hosts Nicholas Redding and Dr. Whitney Martinko explore the trends, topics and issues that are making headlines in the world of preservation this month. From philanthropy to Mohawk ironworkers, they're covering a lot of ground in today's conversation on preservation and the issues that matter. For regular listeners, also, be sure to send any questions you have about this episode or questions you’d like answered in next month’s conversation to email@example.com.
June 14, 2021
In Burgundy, France, around forty workers are taking up an extraordinary challenge: to build a fortified castle using the techniques and materials used in the Middle Ages. It’s almost a surreal project and today we’re talking with Sarah Preston, a bilingual tour guide at Guédelon, a site that is literally resurrecting age old trades in the name of preservation, history and understanding.
I was introduced to Guédelon by a previous PreserveCast guest, Peter Ginn – who participated in “Secrets of the Castle,” a BBC series which explored the challenges of building a castle using only medieval techniques. Peter connected us to Sarah Preston, today’s guest, and the rest is history.
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.
May 3, 2021
It’s been roughly a year since the world was plunged into a COVID lockdown – and many of those quarantining turned to baking and cooking as a way to pass the time. For Seamus Blackley, particle physicist, inventor of the Xbox and fermentation expert, he was able to resurrect and recreate Egyptian bread using traditional tools, techniques and yeast dating back 4,000 years. This week, we’re talking about preserving the craft of historic bread baking with a renaissance figure in this unique and fascinating field of yeasty experimentation.
April 12, 2021
If these walls could talk is an old refrain used by lovers of historic places and buildings, and thanks to the in-depth research and loving care of today’s guest, a historic log cabin in West Virginia’s historic panhandle is talking again.
Joe Goss is a somewhat unlikely preservationist – an engineer with decades of experience in large-scale infrastructure projects – but the purchase of a historic, circa 1780 log home in Shepherdstown, West Virginia tested his skills and critical thinking to the utmost. On this week’s PreserveCast we’re talking preservation, research and logs with a passionate advocate for one home’s story.
April 5, 2021
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.
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 8, 2021
Collecting, cataloguing, conserving. The heart of a museum is its collection, but how do Museums make decisions and who gets to answer the question, “Why Keep That?” The innovative staff at the National World War I Museum and Memorial have taken that question and built an entire exhibit around it. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking with Stacie Peterson, Collections Registrar, National World War I Museum and Memorial, about the challenge of collecting, interpreting and exhibiting.
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