From left to right, Suzy Staffer, Sherry SHPO, Preservation Pete and Connie Constituent.

And Suzy Staffer and Congressman Stuffington, too.

No, I haven't gone crazy and these aren't my imaginary friends. They're all characters from an advocacy 101 skit that I had the privilege of taking in yesterday as the training portion of Preservation Lobby Day 2009 kicked off in grand style. Today, I'll be following Team Way Outside the Beltwayers as they complete an all-day, twelve-meeting marathon on what will be my first real trip to Capitol Hill. Here are just some of the notes I scribbled down as I tried to figure out what to expect:

  • Wear comfy shoes, as some of the buildings on Capitol Hill are far apart and downright cavernous by design.
  • Be a big time early bird. Remember that you'll have to be screened by security in every building you enter, and those lines can be up to 20-30 minutes long sometimes. Also, build in time to get lost. The office numbers/locations are unpredictable at best, especially for first-timers.
  • Because many Hill staffers are fresh out of their college poly sci classes, you might find yourself in a meeting with someone who looks like they aren't a day over 21. It's not a bad thing, especially if it puts you in the role of educator. Just be mentally prepared for what can be an initial curveball.
  • Do your homework. Things to pay close attention to are voting records, congressional committee memberships and personal interests. If you forget or don't have time, ask a few quick questions while all the hands are still shaking.
  • Don't expect that you'll get a full hour. In truth, fifteen or so minutes is average (and sufficient if you play your cards right).
  • For staffers, if you're wavering between first name only and Mr. or Ms. X, just ask. It's totally okay to do so.

    ... 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.

Jason Clement

Jason Clement

Jason Lloyd Clement is the director of community outreach at the National Trust, which is really just a fancy way of saying he’s a professional place lover. For him, any day that involves a bike, a camera, and a gritty historic neighborhood is basically the best day ever.

Ready, Set, Lobby!

Posted on: March 9th, 2009 by Jason Clement

 

One-sheeters and leave-behinds? Check. Perfected elevator speech? Check. Shoes that can be slipped on and off quickly when passing through security? Check. Unwavering passion for all things preservation? Duh!

Preservation Lobby Day 2009 is here, and my time with the Washington State delegation (which from this point forward will only be referred to by their adopted nickname, Team Way Outside the Beltwayers) got off to an action-packed start today during our advocacy training (and veritable lobbying pep rally). Hopefully you saw last week's post announcing that we'll be following them from meeting to meeting during their time here in D.C. If not, check it out and then head over to PreservationNation.org to meet the entire team.

The marathon (and that's not just a figure of speech; I'm told there is often some running involved) of meetings starts tomorrow morning at 10:30 AM, and we'll be live from Capitol Hill until about 5:30.

So, check out the pictures above and stay tuned as we hit the Hill!

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.

Jason Clement

Jason Clement

Jason Lloyd Clement is the director of community outreach at the National Trust, which is really just a fancy way of saying he’s a professional place lover. For him, any day that involves a bike, a camera, and a gritty historic neighborhood is basically the best day ever.

Teaching Preservation: The Truth About Sixth Period

Posted on: March 9th, 2009 by Guest Writer

 

Something

The Good Hope Quilt

As we get deeper and deeper into the semester, there’s really something you should know about us.

When we talk about Research History, we’re not talking about a normal class that meets at the same time every day. (Come on, you should know by now that there’s really nothing normal about Research History.) The truth is, we’re actually spread out over multiple periods throughout the day.

For me, sixth period is Research History, and I fondly remember my first day because it’s when I discovered that I would be a class of one. Seriously. All of my classmates who you’ve met here on our blog are all signed up for different periods, so I literally have the classroom to myself. To say the least, it was an environment that I wasn’t used to; most classes have more than one student, allowing you to ride the coattails of those around you (not that I would ever do anything like that, of course). And though I have lots of room to spread out, I wasn’t sure if flying solo was going to be a good thing in the long run.

I started the semester out by listening to a transcript of one of the first Vietnam veterans who we interviewed for the Veterans History Project. It was during this first project that I quickly realized what makes Research History tick. The first-hand accounts of history are so rich and interesting that it makes us students really enjoy what we're doing and learning about.

I have to say, no textbook has ever caught my attention like the stories of the men and women who served our country on foreign soil. The transcribing that I’ve done so far has taught me more about Vietnam than I ever thought I’d know. The raw emotion of the soldiers, the logistics of some of the campaigns, all the names and places…things that would require pages and pages of reading to pick up on, I got in an hour of listening to a cassette tape. It’s pretty mind blowing when you stop and think about it.

For my second project of the semester, I was paired up with Shannon (a classmate from a different period). We were tasked with writing an article on the Good Hope Quilt, which was auctioned off after being made by the women of Good Hope during the final years of World War I. Ultimately purchased by a Civil War veteran, the quilt was signed by 180 people in our area. Just a few days ago, I completed the article, which includes quotes from the oral history of one of the family members of the original purchaser of the quilt.

At the end of the day though, one of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned in sixth period is how to stay organized and manage my time. (You kind of have to when all eyes are on you!) From being in a class of 25 to a class of just one, I’ve really realized (and started to better appreciate) my ability to hold my own.

Good luck finding that in any textbook.

- Dennis A.

Dennis A. is a senior at Washington High School in Washington Court House, Ohio. This semester, he’ll be working with his Research History classmates to document and preserve Good Hope Cemetery. Stay tuned as they share their experiences here on our blog and on their Flickr photostream.

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.

Guest Writer

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.

Women Writing Women's Places

Posted on: March 9th, 2009 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

When Jennifer Goodman, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, thinks about historic places, she often thinks about the places that tell the stories of women’s lives in America.

As a nation, we have not always been very good at telling the history of women, especially women whose stories were not intimately tied to famous--read white male--historical figures.  Luckily, women have always been at the forefront of saving historic places.  Jennifer Goodman and Gail Lee Dubrow, editors of Restoring Women’s History through Historic Preservation, continue this important work.  Their book not only brings alive women’s stories through women’s places, its essays teach us to explore and uncover, explain and exploit and, most importantly, preserve the very places that give voice to the history of women in America.

This book argues that not only do women populate the pages of American history, they shape it in significant and poignant ways.  Research and preservation projects allow prostitutes in Los Angeles, nurses in Montreal, and the women of the coalfields of West Virginia to have their say.  The book is also a call to action, making the case for preserving and promoting women’s history wherever it is found: in libraries, on the National Register of Historic Places, in our own city streets.

Restoring Women’s History through Historic Preservation is available from the Johns Hopkins University Press. Jennifer Goodman can be found fighting for historic buildings of all kinds in New Hampshire. Her organization, the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, is a Statewide Partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

-- Susan West Montgomery

Susan West Montgomery is associate director for Statewide and Local Partnerships in the Center for Preservation Leadership at 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.

 

photo credt: Ezra Stoller

Consultant Backs Demolition of Bell Labs, Replace with Golf Course, Pretty Horses: A consultant's report commissioned by the Holmdel Township Committee called for the complete demolition of the Bell Labs building -- designed by Eero Saarinen -- and a development project that would “enhance the Holmdel Community as a whole and add to the Township’s tax base.” Enhancements would include: private golf course, multi-million dollar homes and an equestrian center among other projects. [PreserveNJ]

Lessons from the Great White North: The Landmark Society of Western New York outlines the similarities and differences between Edmonton and Rochester in regards to geography, layout, terrain, climate and culture. [Confessions of a Preservationist]

Canada's Most Sustainable Cities: Speaking of Canada, the third annual list of our northern neighbor's most sustainable cities has been released. [Corporate Knights]

A Tale of Two Houses: In this difficult time for homes and home owners, two historic houses in downtown Greensboro may find new life through a public-private partnership in preservation. [Greensboro's Treasured Places]

The Mall is Like, So Dead These Days: Did you know: Only three enclosed shopping malls have been constructed in the U.S. since 2005, none were built last year, and only one is slated for 2009? "A driving force in the decline of the American shopping mall as we know it is a realization that the model is not sustainable, either economically or environmentally." So what to do with so-called "dead malls?" Turn them into mixed-use "lifestyle centers...that are tied into the street grids of surrounding neighborhoods and by connections to public transit and bike and walking paths." [Sustainable Industries]

Learning from Slums:"The world's slums are overcrowded, unhealthy - and increasingly seen as resourceful communities that can offer lessons to modern cities." [Boston.com]

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.