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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
What do you get when you cross information from George Washington’s own handwritten letters, records from the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, and the latest tech in data systems and digital modeling?
Tom Reinhart is here to explain how George Washington’s Mount Vernon is using and expanding Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology to piece together one of the most detailed architectural models ever.
Happy President's Day from PreserveCast!
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.
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.
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.
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.
The UK’s Kiplin Hall: Exploring the Ancestral Home of Maryland’s Most Prominent Colonists with Director James Etherington
When most Marylanders – or most Americans for that matter – think about the first European settlers they generally begin that story on the shores of North America.
However, in reality, these early colonists had long lives in their native countries before they ever set foot in America. Today’s guest, James Etherington, is the Director of Kiplin Hall – a historic site in England that interprets the ancestral home of the Calverts, one of Maryland’s earliest and most prominent colonial families.
On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re heading across the pond to tell the rest of the story of American colonization.
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!
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.
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.
It has been historically all too easy for the places associated with underrepresented communities to fall through the cracks of the historic record.
To a degree, that has been the case with the overly-simplified history presented of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. But with the recent spotlight on the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, new research and a more inclusive and accurate telling of the complex history has started to fill in those cracks.
In this rereleased episode, your host Nick Redding was joined by historian Kacy Rohn, the author of Maryland's historic context report focused on uncovering the stories of the remarkable women of Maryland's suffrage movement.
Join us for a discussion on the fight for women’s right to vote in the United States, and the power of place to help us remember that fight.
This is PreserveCast.
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.
Few names have become as synonymous with grit, determination, and liberty as Harriet Tubman. A Moses for her people, Tubman has become an almost mythical character who represents the best of the American spirit in the face of incredible suffering and inhumanity. Yet, for many years, she lacked a rigorous and scholarly biography.
Today’s guest, Dr. Kate Clifford Larson, addressed that historical inequity and helped bring Harriet’s real story to a new generation. On this week’s PreserveCast, we're heading back to the brackish marshes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore to talk Tubman, slavery, and freedom.
PreserveCast is powered by Preservation Maryland, a non-profit organization.
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.
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 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...