Conferences

Six Public (and Free!) Events at the Buffalo Conference

Posted on: October 17th, 2011 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

If free is your favorite price point and you live in the Buffalo metro area, then you should definitely check out the six free and open-to-the-public events happening at the National Preservation Conference this week in Buffalo.

Opening Plenary
Wednesday, October 19, 4-6pm
Shea’s Performing Arts Center

Event will feature a provocative keynote speech from James Howard Kunstler, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (invited) and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown will welcome conference attendees. National Trust President Stephanie Meeks will provide an update on the state of preservation in the country and National Trust activities.

Thursday General Session: Preservation in the Age of Sustainability
Thursday, October 20, 8-9:30am
St. Paul’s Cathedral

In 2009 the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities was created to improve access to affordable housing, create more transportation options and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment in communities across the country. Come learn more about how this program works and how preservationists can get in on the action.

National Trust Preservation Honor Awards Ceremony
Thurs, October 20, 5:30–6:30pm
Kleinhans Music Hall

2011 National Preservation Awards, a gala tribute to the best in preservation.

Friday General Session: Thinking About Shrinking
Friday, October 21, 8–9:30am
St. Paul’s Cathedral

A conversation among national thought leaders on the process of right-sizing a city and the role preservation should play in that process.

Buffalo Unscripted Premiere:  A City Speaks
Friday, October 21, 6-9:30pm
Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre

This summer, a film crew from the National Trust took to the streets of the Nickel City with one goal in mind: Let Buffalonians tell it like it is.

Closing Plenary
Saturday, October 22, 10:30am-12pm
Statler Hotel

Pulitzer-prize winning author Isabel Wilkerson will close the conference with a discussion of African-American migration, inspired by her best-selling book “The Warmth of Other Suns.”

Check out our local partner Preservation Buffalo Niagara's blog post on other tours and events happening in Buffalo this week, and make sure to read last week's blog post on ways to stay connected to the conference happenings online. Better yet, Register here to join us in person!

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.

Catch National Preservation Conference Highlights Online

Posted on: October 11th, 2011 by Julia Rocchi 3 Comments

 

Ah, the joy of the Interwebz -- allowing us to connect across the miles and delve deeper into our shared love of preservation at the National Preservation Conference! Though we much prefer to have you see the Nickel City for yourself, we understand if you couldn't make it in person this year, and we still want you to be involved from your corner of the world.

This year we are featuring conference highlights on several channels:

  • Right here on the PreservationNation blog. We have the great good fortune this year to have students from Columbia University's Historic Preservation program acting as our roving reporters for the conference. Watch the blog for timely posts and vlogs featuring their on-the-ground view.
  • Twitter. National Trust staffers and our #builtheritage chat friends will be busy bees capturing the most salient session points in 140 characters on Twitter. Watch the hashtag #PresConf (or the official @PresConf account) for the latest news and notes. And if you tweet, by all means, join in!
  • Facebook. Keep an eye on the PreservationNation Facebook page for announcements, photos, updates, and more.
  • Flickr. A picture is worth a thousand blog posts, and believe me, Buffalo is one photogenic town. Check in periodically to our Conference Flickr group and see exactly what attendees are seeing as they traverse the city.
  • Buffalo Unscripted. This summer, a team from the National Trust hit the streets of Buffalo to tell the real story of a city that everyone seems to have an opinion about – whether they live there or not. Now we're debuting footage from the project at an interactive public screening event during the conference. Learn more about the project and watch the videos on the project's Tumblr.

Of particular note: We're livecasting the plenaries and general sessions on Ustream! Here's the schedule:

  • Opening Plenary (with keynote speaker James Howard Kunstler)
    Wednesday, Oct. 19
    4-6 pm EST
  • General Session: Preservation in the Age of Sustainability
    Thursday, Oct. 20
    8-9:30 am EST
  • General Session: Thinking about Shrinking
    Friday, Oct. 21
    8-9:30 am EST
  • Closing Plenary (with keynote speaker Isabel Wilkerson)
    Saturday, Oct. 22
    10:30 am-12 pm EST

You can catch these livestreams -- as well as links and feeds for all the other sites I mentioned -- on the National Preservation Conference homepage. Thanks for joining us there!

Julia Rocchi is a member of the National Trust's Digital and New Media team. She's up to her eyeballs in pixels at the conference.

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.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the associate director for digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.

Countdown to the National Preservation Conference: 14 Days!

Posted on: October 5th, 2011 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Written by Priya Chhaya

The Final Program for the National Preservation Conference. Click to download.

I feel like it was just yesterday that we were all sitting in the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas as the lights dimmed for a peek into our next gathering in upstate New York…and then this began to play.

Now with only 14 days left, tasks are being checked off, speakers are being reminded, and plans for lunches are being finalized. So I thought I would put together a daily reminder list for myself, including some advice for my fellow conference goers.

October 5: (Day 1) Read and post Countdown to the National Preservation Conference: Fourteen Days To Go!  Some of these have to be easy to complete!

October 6: (Day 2) Download a copy of the Final Program (paper versions will be available on site) for an initial read. What are the sessions I want to check out? What sites do I want to make sure I see?

October 7: (Day 3) Look up information on the special speakers, James Howard Kunstler and Isabel Wilkerson. Give in to the history geek in me and read Isabel Wilkerson’s book about the Great Migration. (I’m a fast reader, if all goes well I’ll have it done before I get on the plane on the 16th).

October 8: (Day 4) Question to my readers—did you buy all your field session tickets and luncheon tickets? At this point these are going fast! Don’t forget to buy them before you get to Buffalo! For a list of sessions visit the trip planner at www.preservationnation.org/conference. That’s what I’m doing today!

October 9: (Day 5) Today I’ll be working on final touches for the Forum Lunch. If you are a Forum Member, don’t forget to sign up for the interactive Forum Lunch on Saturday October 22, I promise you it will be the perfect way to cap off the conference.

October 10: (Day 6) Make sure to bookmark the National Trust Facebook page. This is just one of the social media platforms we will be using to keep those unable to attend the conference up to date. Which reminds me of another important bookmark—the National Preservation Conference homepage. More on this in the coming week, but trust me—if you are unable to attend the conference, this is where you’ll want to be for all the livecasts, tweets, and other social media goodness.

October 11: (Day 7) Make sure materials for the first ever Forum Unconference are ready. What is the Forum Unconference? Check out page 48 of the PDF (46 in the program) for the full description. The short version: The Forum Unconference provides an alternate track where you determine the topics and issues for discussion. This conference within a conference allows you to set the agenda, ask the questions, meet the people, and get the ideas most critical to achieving your preservation mission. Friday, October 21   1:15-5:15pm.

October 12: (Day 8 ) Run around the Office to the Rocky Theme. One week to go. Ahhhh!

October 13: (Day 9) Set my DVR. For the next week television doesn’t exist. After all when you’re about to interact with over 1500 preservationists who has the time to stare at the boob tube?

October 14: (Day 10) Since I’m blogging about the National Preservation Conference on my personal blog, I need to make sure I have my camera and my computer. I also need to make sure to bring my personal tweeting device so that I can communicate out about the great sessions to my fellow preservationists at home. Are you plugged in and are tweeting from the conference? Use hashtag #presconf or follow us @PresConf.

October 15: (Day 11) Pack. Pack. Pack. Electronics charged? Fall weather gear packed? According to www.weather.com the average temperatures for the week are low 60’s. Note to self—bring the Emergen-C. There is no way I’m pulling a Nashville where I got sick for the whole conference.

October 16: (Day 12) Fly out to Buffalo! Pssst. Today is the last day to Pre-register for the conference. Prices go up with onsite registration!

October 17: (Day 13) First day of set up! Study the map of Buffalo so I can give directions to attendees. Everything is very close by, but it doesn’t hurt to keep one close at hand. Open boxes, help set up registration, which opens today at 3!

October 18: (Day 14) Preservation celebrity sighting day! Watch as attendees trickle in to pick up badges. Catch up with colleagues from across the country.

October 19-22:  Drumroll please ... Let the 2011 National Preservation Conference begin!!

As conference staff I know I won’t be able to attend as many sessions as I would like, but there are a few special events on my MUST ATTEND list: The Opening Plenary and Reception, both General Sessions, The Awards Ceremony for the National Preservation Awards, The Premiere of Buffalo Unscripted, and the Closing Plenary—and if you are coming on Tuesday swing by The PLT Pub Quiz (proceeds go to the Preservation Leadership Training scholarship fund!)

Finally I thought you would want to check out this article about how Buffalo has been gearing up for our arrival—if the level of excitement in the preservation world for this conference is slowly is gathering steam, the preparations from Buffalonians is roaring forward.

See you in two weeks at the National Preservation Conference, and keep an eye on this channel for information on how you can participate in the conference from the comfort of your living room couch, or office chair, or coffee shop ... anywhere you want.

Priya Chhaya is a Program Associate in the Preservation Division at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. While she is really, really, excited about the conference this year (no seriously: really, really excited), she wants to know where July, August and September went. How is it October already? 

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.

Countdown to Buffalo: Inside the National Trust Conference Office

Posted on: September 7th, 2011 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Written by Priya Chhaya

Outside the Colored Musicians Club in Buffalo. (Photo: National Trust for Historic Preservation)

Wow. We’re about forty days away from the National Preservation Conference - where exactly did 2011 go? After a full year of dedicated planning, we’re finally at the homestretch - which means that these next few weeks are the busiest for my colleagues in the National Trust Conference Office as they work to pull together one of the biggest preservation events of the year.

As I pondered what to write in this week’s blog post I thought it might be nice to glance into the office and see what everyone is working on, along with a few tips for our intrepid conference-goers.

Charlotte, our education maven, is editing and scrutinizing the final program. It’s a huge task involving much more than looking at grammar and word choice. While it is very close to being shipped off to the printer, making sure that dates, times, rooms and directions are in place is like putting together a giant puzzle. In addition it’s her job to keep an eye on field sessions to see what tours are close to selling out, and what sessions are still available.

Are you thinking of going on a field session? Here are a few options:

  • October 19: Urban Agriculture in Emerging Neighborhoods
  • October 19: Public School Reconstruction Tour
  • October 19: West Side Community Development Tour
  • October 19: Hidden from Sight-Honoring the History of Native People
  • October 20: Green Makeover of the Market Arcade Building
  • October 21: "Sanctuary to Speakeasy": A Model for African American Heritage Tourism


Jacquie
is in charge of the conference scholarship program. Coordinating a group of first- and second- time conference attendees is a huge task. Plus, she is ardently working on scheduling some great speakers from the Buffalo-Niagara area.

Personally, I’m psyched that the scholarship program mixer (which takes place at the Statler Building on October 20, following the National Preservation Awards Ceremony) is going to include live entertainment by musicians from the Colored Musicians Club. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Jacquie also just told me that sessions have just been approved for USGBC credit, making it the fourth partners in Continuing Education Units that are being offered at the National Preservation Conference. Here is the full list:

  • Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES) (New!)
  • American Planning Association (APA)/American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP)
  • U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Education Provider Program
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA)... 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.

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.

Right-Sizing the Mail: Advocating to Retain or Reuse Historic Post Offices

Posted on: August 24th, 2011 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 2 Comments

 

Written by Priya Chhaya

The Northfield, Minnesota Post Office. (Photo: John Twohig)

There’s a museum here in Washington, D.C. that has always been one of my special favorites. Although it isn't located on the National Mall or in a place where tourists can easily stumble across it, this museum tells a particularly interesting story about the American experience - a story filled with travel and inventive technology - and of the importance of the written word in communications across the United States.

This is the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum. While the museum boasts an impressive collection of stamps (and a great online database of objects called Arago)—the stories it tells about connecting people to people and communities to communities are a testament to the role of the United States Postal Service (USPS) in the American way of life.

The buildings that house the postal service also have stories to tell and often serve as the community gathering place. A few weeks ago the USPS released its post office closure list – a list that will help streamline operations and allow the agency to try and curtail some of its budget deficits.

The Modesto, California Post Office. (Photo: Alvis Hendley Noehill)

And though it is inevitable that preservationists will not be able to save or find new uses for all of these buildings—some amazing architectural and historically important structures—I know that people are looking at their post office and asking: What’s next? Forum recently published “Right-Sizing the Mail: Advocating to Retain or Reuse Historic Post Offices” an article by Elaine Stiles that looks at the options for these post offices while also providing resources to those who are going to be affected by the closures.

And if you are interested in learning more about the role of mail in the United States, check out the wide array of online exhibitions on The Postal Museum's website. The history of the USPS shows time and again how these buildings served as a gathering point in small towns and urban neighborhoods “from sea to shining sea.”

For more information on the United States Postal Service closure list check out the links in this post on Preservation in Pink or visit the USPS website.

There will also be a session at the National Preservation Conference in Buffalo this October. The Shrinking Federal Footprint: What Communities Need to Know will take place on Thursday, October 20 from 3:30-5pm. The session will include a discussion of the Postal Service and how communities are managing the impact of facility downsizing on historic resources.

Priya Chhaya is a program associate in the Partnerships Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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.