PreserveCast Ep. 52: Dana Saylor and the Art of Historic Placemaking

January 2, 2018

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. This is PreserveCast.

You can learn more about Dana and how to support projects at her website: (


PreserveCast Ep. 51: On-Site from the American Visionary Art Museum

December 27, 2017

A few weeks ago we took PreserveCast on the road, albeit only a few blocks, to visit a truly unique historic place, the American Visionary Art Museum. Nick sat down with AVAM's founder, Rebecca Hoffberger, in one of the museums several repurposed, historic buildings to discuss the history of the institution that houses the world's largest collection of 'outsider' or 'visionary' art. Nick and Rebecca covered a lot of topics, including the decision-making process that led Rebecca to locate in a campus of historic buildings in Baltimore city. Things may seem a little unorthodox, but that's what visionary art is all about. This is PreserveCast.


Links to a map of Museum grounds will be uploaded soon. Sorry for any tehcnical difficulties.

Information on making a year-end gift to Preservation Maryland (in support of PreserveCast) can be found here: (


PreserveCast Ep. 50: In Defense of Brutalism: Greg Galer of the Boston Preservation Alliance

December 18, 2017

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.

Here's a link to the website for the Boston Preservation Alliance: (


PreserveCast Ep. 49: The Anarchist’s Podcast on Historic House Museums

December 11, 2017

It may not come as a surprise that some historians and museum professionals are not always quick to adapt to change, but that’s only some of us. There are others out there, like today’s guest Frank Vagnone, who not only are capable of adapting, but thrive on inverting the status quo of museums and public history. Frank and I spoke about the book he co-authored, The Anarchist’s Guide to Historic House Museums, his position as the President and CEO of Old Salem, and examples of good ways for house museums to defy expectations. There's anarchy in the USA, the U.K., and beyond on this week's PreserveCast.

You can follow this link to check out Frank's work with Twisted Preservation and his blog: (

And you can check out more about Old Salem here: (

The music in the segment came from a 1994 recording of a Virginia Pow Wow, and included a traditional Eastern Woodlands and Iroqouis song/dance called Gadasjot.


PreserveCast Ep. 48: Jim Lighthizer and the Civil War Trust

December 4, 2017

How are battlefields preserved? Why are battlefields preserved? What should we do with a battlefield site once it is protected? These are all important questions, and we are fortunate to be joined by someone who can possibly provide the answers. Jim Lighthizer is the President of the Civil War Trust and an expert in battlefield preservation. Join Nick as Jim shares insight into how he maintains momentum at the head of the nations leading Civil War Battlefield Preservation Organization on this week's PreserveCast.

You can find the website for the Civil War Trust here: (


This episode is part of focus series on the history of the Antietam Battlefield.


PreserveCast Ep. 47: The History of Women’s Suffrage in Maryland and Beyond

November 27, 2017

Often with history and historic preservation it can be all too easy for the places associated with a particular piece of our history to fall through the cracks. To a degree, that has been the case the case with the history of Maryland's women's suffrage movement, but today we're joined by historian Kacy Rohn, a native Marylander and the author of a recent historic context report focused on the stories of these women and the places that were important to their stories. 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.

For more information on Preservation Maryland's involvement in preserving the history of the Women's Suffrage movement, and on how you can support it, check out this link: (


PreserveCast Ep. 46: True Treats Candy and the Age-Old Sweet Tooth

November 20, 2017

It doesn't matter if it's your molar, your canine, or what, everybody has some kind of sweet tooth. Something that you may not be thinking about is how that sweet tooth has played a role in history. Susan Benjamin is the founder of True Treats Candy in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and author of the book Sweet as Sin: The Unwrapped Story of How Candy Became America’s Favorite Pleasure. Susan has appeared on platforms from NPR to NBC, and she joined us on PreserveCast to share the rich history of candy in American culture, from pre-Colombian Native Americans to the working poor of the Industrial Revolution. Go ahead and spoil your dinner with this week’s PreserveCast.


Here is a link to Susan's website, where you can find out more about their candy and Susan's book: (

And thanks to the Storm Boyz Lenne Lenape Drum, whose music was used in the Preservation Explanation Segment.


UPDATED PreserveCast Ep. 45: Mary Anthony and the 1772 Foundation

November 13, 2017

Hello all, we've recently made some software changes and as a result the file did not upload correctly and some of you may have had trouble accessing the episode. It's been updated and you should now be able to stream and download just like usual. Thanks for your patience, and keep on preserving!

Based in Newport, Rhode Island, the 1772 Foundation’s mission is to ensure the safe passage of historic buildings and farmland to future generations, in the Northeast and around the country. Under the direction of today’s guest, Mary Anthony, one of the key tools the Foundation uses to accomplish this mission is their nationwide historic property redevelopment, or revolving funds, program. Mary explained to us details of how her organization can help save buildings from Colorado to Florida to Maine, and also why it’s important to emphasize the human element of philanthropy, on this week’s PreserveCast.


PreserveCast Ep. 44: Primitive Technology and the Food of the Future

November 6, 2017

As historic preservationists, we often can fall into only thinking about history through the framework of buildings and sites, or even get caught up on buildings from just one era. That is not the case for our guest today, Dr. Bill Schindler. Bill is one of the world’s leading experimental archaeologists and an expert on primitive technologies and historic foodways. Join us as Bill explains how food has driven technological development throughout human history, how we are uniquely positioned in that history, and why we may want to look at ancient foodways to inform how we eat in the future. Hopefully we won’t make you too hungry, this is PreserveCast.

You can go here to check out Bill's work with the Eastern Shore Food Lab.


PreserveCast Ep. 43: PlaceEconomics and the Threat to the Federal Historic Tax Credit Program

October 30, 2017

Understanding why preserving historic places makes good economic sense can sometimes seem complex and hard to explain. But fortunately our guest today is Donovan Rypkema, the Principal of PlaceEconomics and the President of Heritage Strategies Internationa, and a man who has made a career out of explaining the interplay of economics, real estate, and preservation. Donovan is one of the world thought leaders on preservation economics, and he and Nick talked about the research that Donovan and others have done into the economic benefits of preservation, both short and long term, as well as the uncertain future of the Federal Historic Tax Credit program. This is PreserveCast.

Here is a link to the most recent blog post from Preservation Maryland on the Federal Historic Tax Credit. Here you can find a video from Nick explaining the threat to the program, as well as a link to contact your representative in congress and links that go in to more detail on what the program does: (

Also, here is a link to PlaceEcnomics' "38 Reasons to Keep the Federal Historic Tax Credit": (