Conferences

Preservation Round-Up: Preservationists Take Spokane Edition

Posted on: November 9th, 2012 by Sarah Heffern

 


Spokane's clock tower, river, and brilliant fall foliage -- as seen from the Conference Center.

Beyond Boundaries in Beautiful Spokane -- Preservation Maryland

"This year’s conference highlighted the diverse cultural heritage of Spokane with a number of sessions and field trips devoted to the historic Native American presence and immigrant influence in the region. Preservation of structures, sites, landscapes and cultural resources were given attention and discussion. The sessions definitely reached beyond the usual boundaries of the preservationists’ comfort zone."

#PresConf Recap: Three Take Away Ideas -- Raina Regan

"It’s obvious, at least to me, that we’re at the cusp of major changes in the preservation field. On Wednesday night, National Trust president Stephanie Meeks discussed four “ingredients” that all major movements must have (based on Eric Hoffer’s work); a movement must be soul stirring, spectacular, communal, and an undertaking."

See also: #PresConf Recap: A Timeline // Storify

#presconf: Historic Building Assessment & Opening -- Adventures in Heritage

"Since I was in the systems group I got to go all over the building, from the roof to the basement. The building was AMAZING. From its view of the Spokane Falls, to its original fan system, to the elaborate blue room, every inch was stunning."

See also: Recaps for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

A Call to Action for 2016: Stephanie Meeks Addresses the 2012 National Preservation Conference -- Preservation Leadership Forum Blog

"It’s the same sort of emotional connection that drives people to action in all great causes, whether it be the crusade against breast cancer, homelessness or drunk driving.

Yet, while most of us would agree that saving historic places is as worthy a cause as those endeavors, I doubt many of us would argue that we have penetrated the national consciousness as deeply.

What those causes have -- and what we still need to build -- is the visibility and cohesion that turns a POPULAR CAUSE into a national MOVEMENT."

See also: The "National Preservation Conference" category for daily recaps and Storify slideshows.

Preserving State's Heritage: Why Spokane is Central -- Crosscut Seattle

"Attendees, more than 1,600 of them, had the opportunity to go on tours of Spokane's wonderful Craftsman neighborhoods and taste its mid-century modern moods (who doesn't enjoy the anachronistic wonder of the downtown concrete Parcade?). They also had the opportunity to go on tours farther afield to see Palouse barns, Hanford's B Reactor, even Grand Coulee dam, which was surely eye-opening for those who might regard Eastern Washington as little more than wheat fields and "Coug Mom" license plates; a not untypical Seattle view."

Downtown’s Past Draws Preservation Conference -- The Spokesman Review

"For the past 30 years, Spokane has put a big hug around its historic assets through restorations of the Davenport Hotel, Montvale Hotel, Lusso Hotel, Fox Theater, Bing Crosby Theater and Steam Plant Square -- to name a handful."

See also: Editorial: Spokane’s historical abundance spans city

Did you attend the National Preservation Conference in Spokane? Share your thoughts below -- and don't forget to fill out your session evaluations online!

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

[GALLERY] Spokane in Pictures: @PresNation Edition

Posted on: November 7th, 2012 by Sarah Heffern 1 Comment

 

Last week, members of the preservation community from across the nation converged on Spokane, Washington for the 2012 National Preservation Conference. From signs in storefronts telling preservation stories to our name in lights on theater marquees, the city pulled out all the stops to show us some love.

And I think I speak for most everyone when I say that the feeling was mutual. During the conference, you could hardly take a step in Spokane without seeing a preservationist shutterbug snapping photos left and right of their new favorite places.

So we thought we'd bring a few of those cool places to you with a quick gallery from the @PresNation Instagram account. (Follow us!) We'll showcase some of the other photographers in coming weeks, but we figured we'd whet your appetite in the meantime ... enjoy!


Did you take photos in Spokane during the National Preservation Conference? Share them in our Flickr group!

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

Tonight: National Preservation Conference Kicks Off in Spokane!

Posted on: October 31st, 2012 by Priya Chhaya

 

This post is adapted from the Preservation Leadership Forum blog. Follow along there for daily recaps of all conference activities!

Happy Halloween! Most of the staff today has embraced the holiday and turned out in shades of red, orange and black. But there is an even bigger event going on today -- the kick-off of the National Preservation Conference in Spokane!... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Priya Chhaya

Priya Chhaya

Priya Chhaya is Associate Manager for Online Content, Preservation Resources at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A public historian at heart, she sees history wherever she goes and believes that it is an important part of the American identity.

Counting Down to the National Preservation Conference in Spokane

Posted on: October 19th, 2012 by Priya Chhaya

 


Landmark from the 1974 World's Fair in Spokane.

Let’s sit down for a moment and take a breather. It’s always at this moment -- just over a week from the National Preservation Conference -- that the National Trust staff starts walking and talking over a hundred miles a minute as we finish up final preparations. But I always like to take a moment to remind myself about the place we are going.

This year it's Spokane, Washington. When someone thinks of visiting the State of Washington, Seattle always seems to be first on everyone’s mind. But no more. Spokane is a city that boasts 17 different historic districts and a variety of arts and culture venues, and I’m looking forward to experiencing as much as possible.

Take Riverfront Park, for example. In 1974 this was the home of Exposition ’74, the “World’s Fair.” Prior to its arrival this area of the city was covered by rail yards. But the city took the Expo’s arrival as an opportunity to clean up its brownfields and create what is now known as Riverfront Park -- home to a variety of attractions, including a Skyride over Spokane Falls which lie at the heart of the city.

As luck would have it, we are arriving during the short period when all of the attractions are open at once, providing an opportunity to fully recognize this great remediation and preservation project.

On top of experiencing the best that this city has to offer, I’m looking forward to my train ride into Spokane aboard the Empire Builder line (more on that when I return), and my stay at the beautiful historic Davenport Hotel. So while we may be a little harried counting down to sessions, tours, and events, we are also counting down to some great days of networking, learning about great preservation work, and exploring an impressive city.

P.S. If you’re going to be in Spokane with us, be sure to stop by the Preservation Leadership Forum booth to satisfy your sweet tooth.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Priya Chhaya

Priya Chhaya

Priya Chhaya is Associate Manager for Online Content, Preservation Resources at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A public historian at heart, she sees history wherever she goes and believes that it is an important part of the American identity.

Balancing Preservation and Development in the Rapidly Growing Capital

Posted on: October 17th, 2012 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Written by Ari Gefen, Public Affairs Intern


Streetscape in Mt. Pleasant neighborhood, Washington DC.

On Friday, October 12, I had the pleasure of attending two of the afternoon sessions at the DC Preservation League's 2012 Conference at the Charles Sumner School. The talks gave great insight into unique concerns that preservationists face in a city that is changing at an intense pace.

The first talk I attended was on streetscapes, which may not be what you think they are. Streetscapes are the trees, planters, and other breaks in the concrete and asphalt that line every street in Washington, DC.

These small patches of flora make the District one of the best stewards of green space within a dense urban center in the country, and are actually quite historic in nature. In fact, these streetscapes date all the way back to the Parking Act of 1870. Facing road deterioration due to weather and Civil War troop movements, as well as severe budgetary restraints, Congress came up with the inventive solution of “parking” its roads.

This parking created a distinctive “greenprint” for DC streets that now covers over 9,000 acres of space on District sidewalks. Besides providing practical benefits such as reducing crime, flooding, and pollution, these parking spaces also create a pleasant and consistent aesthetic that makes DC one of the most walkable cities in the nation.

Trees and planters on the sidewalks are probably not the first thoughts that pop into people’s mind when they think of DC, but this talk definitely made the point that the small things in a city are also an important part of what makes it great.

The second seminar concerned the subject of new developments in historic districts, and covered a wide array of approaches to the issue. The first speaker, James Appleby, spoke about the Bryan School, a disused but historic property in his neighborhood that was falling into disrepair.

Through the formation of a neighborhood association with the school as its landmark property, Appleby was able to work with developers to reuse the school as condominiums, revitalizing a community around a property that most people had written off.


Mural in U St. corridor, Washington DC.

Sheryl Walter, who is the current head of the U Street Neighborhood Association, discussed the challenge of maintaining the historic nature of a community that has become a serious entertainment hub with very desirable and underdeveloped space.

Though Walter seemed mostly welcoming of the massive development coming to her neighborhood, she was attempting to restrain overambitious and tall development that would obscure the nature of the neighborhood. Considering the breakneck pace of development in the U Street corridor, however, it was unclear how much power her community will be able to wield in holding back the onslaught of apartment complexes and retail space.

The third speaker spoke about perhaps the most unique preservation concern -- preservation of a community, rather than a building. Jim Myers lived through and wrote extensively on the horrible murders and mismanagement surrounding the Kentucky Courts public housing project in the 1990s. The Kentucky Courts were built in the modernist style and at first created a successful community in Capitol Hill East. Its interconnected stairwells and open courtyard fomented a sense of togetherness and encouraged neighborly interaction.

However, the same elements that made Kentucky Courts a pleasant place to live eventually came to serve a different purpose, as the building began to fall apart and its passageways became a perfect setting for a gang fortress in the 1990s. Through strong community activism, and with eventual cooperation from the DC government, Myers and his neighbors were finally able to bring down the infamous project and replace it with mixed income housing funded by a private-public partnership.

Myers’ story brought up an interesting point about the diversity of preservation that I believe was well presented in these conference sessions. Preservation often focuses on a particular building or neighborhood, but the preservation of community and character is equally important.

The talks I attended demonstrated that preservation moving forward will have to address both issues while also accommodating necessary change. Successfully navigating these challenges will ensure that DC remains the captivating place it is today, even as it continues to grow at a rapid rate.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.