It's easy to be surprised by the history in your own backyard, even if you're a historic preservationist. Nathan Dennies, the chairperson and founder of the Greater Hampden Heritage Alliance, joined Nick to trace the history of Baltimore's iconic Hampden-Woodberry neighborhood, including the many recently repurposed historic mills, Baltimore's famous "Avenue," and the Jones Falls river. The area isn't just home to Baltimore's famous Hon-Fest, it's Preservation Maryland's home as well. After all, this is PreserveCast.
Often if we don't make a special effort to remember and tell the stories of individuals and groups within history, their contributions to our shared story can all too easily be forgotten. That is as true for Jewish-Americans as for any other group, and that is why Jerry Klinger founded the Jewish American Soceity for Historic Preservation. Jerry joined Nick to share some of the amazing stories he has learned of Jewish people throughout the country's history, as well as to share about projects coming in the future for his organization. This is PreserveCast.
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.
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 on this episode of PreserveCast.
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.
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.
Editor's note: 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.
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.
This episode is part of focus series on the history of the Antietam Battlefield.
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.
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.
Editor's note: Many thanks to the Storm Boyz Lenne Lenape Drum, whose music was used in the today's segment of "Preservation Explanation."
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.
Producer's note: We apologize for any issues you might have had while accessing this episode. We've recently made some software changes and the original file did not upload correctly. It's been updated and you should now be able to stream and download as usual. Thanks for your patience, and keep on preserving!