Pennsylvania Historic Preservation

Blog of the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Office

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July 27, 2016
by Shelby Weaver Splain

July’s PA SHPO Shout Out!

We’re all looking for ways to cool off these days – this heat wave is one for the records!  Grab your iced tea, sit next to the AC, and take a few minutes to read this month’s PA SHPO Shout Out.  We’ll cover an unusual historic marker, a really cool Section 106 project, and a reader submitted Shout Out.  If you’re still looking for something to do while you cool down, catch up on any older posts that you might have missed and, if you haven’t already, take our Community Connections online survey to help inform Pennsylvania’s next statewide historic preservation plan.  We’re at 1600 responses already! I really want to break last time’s record of 2,200 and I think we can do it. Continue Reading →

Newport, RI Keeping History Above Water conference

July 20, 2016
by Jeremy R. Young

Changing the Tide with Disaster Planning

What new challenges will preservationists face over the next 50 years?  It’s clear that the impacts on historic places by hurricanes Katrina and Sandy and other recent tropical storms, combined with growing international concern about rising sea levels, has started to “change the tide” and bring a new focus to preservation professionals.  In April and June 2016,  national and international experts in historic preservation, climate change, emergency management, architecture, and planning gathered in three U.S. states to participate in a series of “firsts” to address the threats facing the nation’s historic coastal and riverine (meaning ‘situated or dwelling beside a river’) communities from flooding and climate change. Continue Reading →

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commision Logo

July 14, 2016
by Shelby Weaver Splain

Job Opening at the PA SHPO!

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

Project Manager 1


This is a limited-term position expected to expire on or before June 30, 2021. The position responsible for directing the construction and implementation of a new State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) electronic data management system and moving the project forward through all steps to completion.

Continue Reading →


July 13, 2016
by April Frantz

Celebrating African American History at Carver Court

As part of our Preservation50 activities during this milestone year, we’d like to share some stories we think showcase the people and projects that celebrate, protect, and promote important pieces of Pennsylvania’s heritage.  The first story we want to share is about the Carver Court neighborhood in Caln Township, Chester County, just on the edge of Coatesville.  This week’s blog post celebrates the recent efforts made by Carver Court’s community members, a group made up of current and former residents, government officials and entities, historians, and more.  The happy outcome for this story is the listing of Carver Court in the National Register of Historic Places on May 31, 2016.  Continue Reading →

Summer 2016 Interns

July 6, 2016
by Pamela Reilly
1 Comment

Summer 2016: New Faces at the PA SHPO!

The warm days of summer almost always mean that the PA SHPO has a new group of interns on board and a number of special projects underway. That is certainly true for summer 2016 as new faces and new ideas brighten our cubicle world in the Commonwealth Keystone Building. This year we are hosting two PHMC Keystone interns, four collaborative PA SHPO/PennDOT cultural resource interns and three short-term project employees. Continue Reading →

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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.

Continue Reading →