Pennsylvania Historic Preservation

Blog of the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Office

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June 29, 2016
by Shelby Weaver Splain

June’s SHPO Shout Out!

June… school’s out, summer officially arrives, vacations galore, and lots of great preservation work going on. I myself just got back from a nice long weekend in the PA Wilds, and they deserve a Shout Out for the amazing work they’re doing to promote the natural and historical wonders of this region. I didn’t want to come home from the quaint cottage we stayed in along Pine Creek but I knew you’d all be waiting for this month’s Shout Out and I didn’t want to disappoint. Continue Reading →


June 22, 2016
by Elizabeth Shultz

ICYMI: Community Connections in Lewisburg, PA at the 2016 Statewide Conference on Heritage

From June 6-8, 250 of Pennsylvania’s spiffiest preservationists made Lewisburg, PA the most happening scene in the Commonwealth during the 2016 Statewide Conference on Heritage, and – by all accounts – every beach bunny, bookbuster, cat, chick, cool head, dove, dude, flap jaw, flower child, fox, hodad, hot dog, hunk, mop-top, mover, skirt, and teenie bopper in attendance had a totally way out blast! As you whiz kids out there may know, 2016 is the year that the preservation community is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the utterly rad National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and part of that wicked celebration involves recognizing, praising, and engaging with Pennsylvania’s diverse and awesome communities that exist throughout the state. Continue Reading →

Independence Hall is the centerpiece of Independence National Historical Park.

June 15, 2016
by Karen Arnold

#FindYourPark: Independence National Historical Park

Several months ago, my colleague Cory Kegerise wrote a blog highlighting his childhood memories visiting Hopewell Furnace as part of the National Park Service’s #FindYourPark campaign .  He inspired me to make sure my kids had the same experiences and appreciated the plethora of historic sites throughout the Commonwealth.  So one Friday in late March when my kids were off from school, we went in search of our own #FindYourPark adventure.  In case you are not familiar with the initiative, Americans are encouraged to share their thoughts, reflections, and aspects about their favorite National Park as part of the National Park Service’s Centennial Celebration.  Most of the #FindYourPark stories speak of the National Park System’s natural wonders and green bucolic open space.  Our adventure may seem in contrast, but Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia with its rich civic history really sparks my interest. So we set off to explore the colonial history and the birthplace of America.  Continue Reading →

Township of Moon Historic Preservation Plan cover by T&B Planning, Inc.  Source: PA SHPO files.

June 8, 2016
by Bill Callahan

A Tale of Three Cities: Moon Township

45 communities in Pennsylvania have a formal working relationship with the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PASHPO) on a variety of preservation-related programs and projects. Known as Certified Local Governments (CLGs) these communities represent a broad geographic, demographic and economic swath across the Commonwealth. From Philadelphia (Pop. 1.5 million) to Mercersburg, Franklin County (Pop. 1500) and located in over a third of Pennsylvania counties, the CLG program provides exclusive funding and technical assistance for local governments. The CLG program is one of several federal programs administered by the PASHPO; in this case, the National Park Service provides guidance, rules and funding for the CLG program.     Continue Reading →

Screen Shot of CRGIS Pre-Contact Predictive Model layers

June 1, 2016
by Noël Strattan
1 Comment

Mapping the Probability of Pre-Historic Archaeological Sites

As we mentioned in our recent post about new archaeology guidelines, The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), and PHMC partnered with URS Corporation to develop a statewide pre-contact archaeological predictive model for Pennsylvania. The project involved developing statistical models to analyze the landscape at known Native American archaeological sites in Pennsylvania and extrapolating identified patterns to all areas of the commonwealth. Due to the variability of environments and pre-contact cultures throughout Pennsylvania, many different models were produced for different areas. One of the major accomplishments of the project is a complete statewide layer of archaeological sensitivity aggregated from 132 spatial subareas. This has been included in CRGIS as a pair of layers that indicate high and moderate probability.

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May 25, 2016
by Shelby Weaver Splain

May’s SHPO Shout-Out

We’re back to our regular SHPO Shout-Out post this month, and I get to tell you about some great local preservation activities, two national award winners, and a cool new park in Jefferson County. Two quick things before I launch into my list of happy news: have you taken our online survey for the next statewide historic preservation plan yet? Or have you registered for the upcoming Statewide Conference on Heritage? There is still time to do both! Continue Reading →

Brighton Street, Philadelphia.  Photo by Ben Buckley from AECOM Technical Services, Inc.  April 5, 2016

May 18, 2016
by Guest Contributor
1 Comment

Community Landmarks in the City of Neighborhoods

By Samantha Kuntz

Philadelphia has managed to accrue some significant historic resources over the past, oh, 300 years or so. It is home to no fewer than 550 resources (including districts) listed on National Register of Historic Places, and it holds over 11,087 resources (including districts) on the local Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.  Philadelphia possesses relics of our nascent nation (the U.S. Constitution, the Liberty Bell), contains a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Independence Hall), and boasts an impressive new heritage association (full membership in the Organization of World Heritage Cities).

In other words, there must be something in the (Schuylkill and Delaware) water here.

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May 11, 2016
by Bryan Van Sweden

Just Listed!

Western Pennsylvania has been a hotbed of National Register activity during the past year. From three Washington County farms, to an industrial facility and a Salvation Army building in Pittsburgh, to a Masonic lodge in Latrobe and a synagogue in Brownsville, the National Park Service has recently listed an eclectic variety of properties in that part of the state.

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Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commision Logo

May 5, 2016
by Shelby Weaver Splain

Special Announcement: Job Opening at the PA SHPO

There is an immediate opening for the following position with the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC):

Historic Preservation Manager


This position is responsible for the direction and operation of the Division of Preservation Services within the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), a bureau of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). This division provides for the identification, evaluation, and preservation of significant historic properties through the administration of state and federal historic preservation programs

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Community Connections: Planning for Preservation in Pennsylvania

May 4, 2016
by Shelby Weaver Splain

Preservation Month Big Announcements!

May is National Historic Preservation Month and a great time to announce two new exciting preservation initiatives at the PA SHPO.   We’re celebrating this year by kicking off our “Community Connections” campaign, the outreach and planning efforts for Pennsylvania’s next statewide historic preservation plan, and our Preservation50 Community Recognition campaign.  Continue Reading →