How do serve your mission, your visitors and keep the lights on? That’s a question that nonprofit leaders in the cultural and museum fields ask themselves every day and is all in a day’s work for Colleen Dilenschneider, today’s guest on PreserveCast. Colleen provides data and analysis to inform the evolution of visitor-serving organizations so that they may optimize mission execution and financial sustainability. I’ve been following Colleen’s blog for many years – and have always found her analysis to be some of the very best out there for visitor serving organizations – a voice I knew I wanted to bring to our growing PreserveCast audience.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Ep124: Leading from the Front: Aimee Jorjani, First Full-Time Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
Today’s guest is a first for PreserveCast.
Aimee Jorjani was appointed by the President of the United States to be the first full-time chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation – the federal agency tasked with coordinating preservation policy across the government.
From the halls of Congress to the pueblos of the southwest – Chariman Jorjani is doing her bit to promote preservation and we’ll learn what she’s planning next on this week’s PreserveCast.
ABOUT OUR GUEST
Aimee Jorjani earned Senate confirmation in June 2019 as the first full-time chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP).
Ms. Jorjani has nearly 20 years of experience in the fields of government and cultural resources from a variety of perspectives including both executive and legislative branches, as well as the non-profit sector. Her career began on Capitol Hill in 1999 working as a legislative aide to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). In 2002, she moved to the US Department of the Interior (DOI) and held several positions, including serving as the Deputy Secretary’s Special Assistant for Historic Preservation.
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ms. Jorjani graduated from Northern Michigan University with a major in political science and minor in public relations and later earned a Masters in Historic Preservation from Goucher College.
PreserveCast Ep120: [Heathly, Hip & Historic] The Future of History by Greg Werkheiser, Cultural Heritage Partners
In this final episode of PreserveCast's special Healthy, Hip & Historic series, Greg Werkheiser of Cultural Heritage Partners and ARtGlass presents the awesome opportunities that preservationists have to shape the telling of history well into the future – if, we tap into trends afoot in augmented reality, drone imaging and 3D printing, and artificial intelligence.
Greg Werkheiser is a lawyer and entrepreneur who builds ventures that connect the lessons of our past to the leadership of our future. Greg believes that solving critical societal challenges requires leaders who draw on wisdom and strategy from across time, culture, sector, industry, and ideology. To preserve and leverage history, Greg’s ventures advance law, public policy, business strategy, and technology in the cultural heritage field globally. To forge leaders for our age, Greg’s ventures re-imagine leadership development for emerging entrepreneurs of public, private, and social enterprises. To enable all to serve and lead, Greg advocates for civil rights of oppressed communities.
Greg is the co-founder of Cultural Heritage Partners, the premier law, government affairs, and business strategy firm serving exclusively heritage-mission clients, including governments, professional associations, museums, tribes, preservation organizations, private businesses, families, and individuals. He also founded the aligned leadership consulting firm, the Heritas Group. He is also the founding CEO of ARtGlass, wearable augmented reality company helping cultural sites and museums create mind-bending experiences for visitors.
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.
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.
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.
It takes a village to make a preservation project a reality – and in today’s complex financial environment it also takes an expert in tax credit law to take a project from idea to completion. Today’s guest, Bill MacRostie is one of the nation’s leading experts in that complex but critical field. Sharpen your pencil and grab you calculator, because we’re talking the dollars and cents of preservation on this week’s PreserveCast.
In private practice for more than 30 years, Bill MacRostie has advised clients nationwide on projects ranging in size and type from the multi-phased $175 million mixed-use project in Detroit, Michigan to a $1.5 million hotel rehabilitation in Santa Rosa, California. For the 14 years that NPS certification project review was conducted in regional offices, Bill worked extensively in every regional office and most major states around the country.
Bill MacRostie is now a senior partner at MacRostie Historic Advisors where he advises clients on historic rehabilitation tax credit design and regulatory issues. In addition, he also serves on the board of directors of the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association and previously served on the board of Preservation Action.
Underwater archaeology holds a special place in historic preservation. Dramatic, risky, cold, and murky are all words that come to mind. But for the stalwart archaeologists of the United States Naval History and Heritage Command it’s not just about finding history. It’s also about protecting the 242 year legacy of the United States Navy. Dr. Robert Neyland, the head of the Navy’s Underwater Archaeology Branch, is leading that effort and has worked on some of the nation’s most famous underwater projects, including the iconic H.L. Hunley in Charleston, South Carolina. Get ready for a deep dive into the world of naval underwater archaeology on this week’s PreserveCast.
Historic preservation without tradespeople is just theory. That's why today's guest, Matt Hankins, is so important.
Matt is a talented and experienced preservation carpenter and shop supervisor at Worcester Eisenbrandt, the leading historic property renovation and restoration firm in the Mid-Atlantic region.
He has spent years learning how to restore historic places using traditional methods. In this episode, we discuss the trades, jobs, and the future of these critical skills in this week's hands-on version of PreserveCast!
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 seen an image of the skyline of Baltimore City, one thing that might have stuck with you is the massive, glowing Domino Sugars sign. Earlier this month we at PreserveCast got to visit the sugar refinery underneath that sign, which to this day processes some 7 million pounds of sugar a day. We also visited the offices of Triangle Sign and Service, the company that has maintained the sign since they first installed it in 1951. Join the conservation between Nick, and guests Peter O’Malley, Vice-President of Corporate Relations for American Sugar Refining (the company that produces the Domino brand), and Joe Trabert and Dave Shapiro from Triangle Signs, about how and why this local icon has lasted so long, and what it takes to maintain it. Honestly, it was pretty sweet.
If you think about history in Washington, D.C. you'll probably think about all the massive monuments and national museums. While there's nothing wrong with that, D.C. has local history and culture just like any city, and few places capture that history like the Heurich House Museum. Kim Bender and Jennifer Ezell joined Nick from the unique, Germanic castle-house, that was built by a pre-prohibition beer dynasty. They talked about the history of the museum, as well as how they combine historical knowledge and the modern world of craft brewing in their programming. It's not all about beer, but please remember to podcast responsibly on this episode of PreserveCast.
PreserveCast Ep. 58: Highway to History: Archaeology and Preservation in the State Highway Administration
At first glance, it might seem strange to think of an archaeologist working in a state’s highway administration office. But in reality the two can go hand in hand. Julie Schablitsky has conducted archaeological research and digs everywhere from Scotland to Maryland to California, she has utilized augmented reality to allow people to explore reconstructions of slave quarters, and she has done all this as the chief of the Cultural Resources Section at the Maryland State Highway Administration. Move out of the passing lane, you don’t want to miss this week’s PreserveCast.
Big picture questions in public history and historic preservation can sometimes be intimidating to think about. What should the public expect from their historic institutions? How do public history sites remain relevant in a world that seems to change more and more every year? Fortunately, there are people out there like today’s guest, Dr. Taylor Stoermer. Taylor is an academic who knows how to bring history to the people, whether that be as the chief historian at Colonial Williamsburg, a Professor at Harvard and Johns Hopkins, an advisor to Disney on their revamped Hall of Presidents, or on Twitter as the History Doctor. He may not be an M.D., but his home state is Maryland.
What does it mean to be a preservationist? How does the built environment that surrounds you impact your daily life? Why does it matter? It’s never too early or too late to think about these questions, especially according to today’s guests, Matthew Craig and Christian Hughes. Matthew and Christian discuss their work through the Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh to encourage young people to engage with ideas of historic preservation in their communities. Although PreserveCast may be the number one historic preservation podcast, these youngbloods have a few tricks up their sleeves with their own podcast.
Ever walk into a historic building or place and find yourself imagining new ways to use it? Like an art project or public event? Well, it’s one thing to have the idea, but a historic changemaker, like today’s guest Dana Saylor, is someone who actually follows through. Dana is a prominent voice in placemaking, public art, and preservation, and she spoke with Nick from her home in Buffalo, New York about creative ways that people can use historic places.
When is a building worth saving? This can be a controversial question, even among preservationists. Greg Galer, the Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance, joined us on PreserveCast to share his perspective. Greg has worked to preserve many examples of mid-century modern ‘brutalist’ architecture, like Boston City Hall and the Boston Christian Science Center. Should exposed concrete structures be preserved the same as 19th century estates? A brutal question (and hard to answer too), but let’s talk about it on this week’s PreserveCast.