Pennsylvania Historic Preservation

Blog of the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Office

Former St. Columba's in Cambria City, Johnstown

December 5, 2016
by Karen Arnold

What a Difference a Program Makes!

Each year, one of the most meaningful programs of the Commission is the Keystone Historic Preservation Grant program. With this grant program, the PHMC partners with local communities to address key historic preservation issues. As we found out through our local recent preservation plan community forums, every region of the Commonwealth has its own unique challenges.  Some problems are immense, but we are proud that we are able to partner with local organizations to make inroads with these challenges and find alternatives to demolition of Pennsylvania’s historic resources.

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shout out small

November 30, 2016
by Shelby Weaver Splain

November’s SHPO Shout Out!

Tis the season to be thankful – after all, Thanksgiving was just last week and more holidays are just around the corner – and I for one have been rattling off a list of all the great places in Pennsylvania that I am thankful for and appreciate.  The SHPO Shout Out, which, btw, turns 1 year old this month, was intended to send out a big thank you in celebration of all the great people and projects that preserve Pennsylvania’s history everyday.  Thank you for all you do to help preserve, protect, and promote Pennsylvania’s historic places and spaces!  Read on to see who gets a Shout Out Thank You this month.  Make sure to let me know who else we should be thanking and recognizing! Continue Reading →

The Upper Slate Run Bridge carries PA 414 over Pine Creek  in Lycoming County is in the only example of a Quadruple intersection Warren thru truss in the state.  Courtesy of 2016. Used by permission of Nathaniel Holth.

November 16, 2016
by Tyra Guyton
1 Comment

Fall in Love with a Metal Truss Bridge

Have you ever driven along the back roads of Pennsylvania and come across one of the state’s beautiful metal truss bridges?   Or seen a massive truss bridge spanning a major river crossing?   These awe-inspiring bridges are a part of Pennsylvania’s landscape and an important part of the state’s engineering and technological history. Continue Reading →

Community Connections: Planning for Preservation in Pennsylvania

November 9, 2016
by David Maher

Don’t Just Look Forward or Backward: Look Around for Preservation Partners

In 2016, the preservation community has been looking back over the past 50 years to reflect upon the legacy of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.  The legislation laid the groundwork for the tools and strategies of preservation.  For Pennsylvania, 2016 also marks the beginning of a multi-year planning process to look forward over the next five years (and beyond) through the development of a new Statewide Historic Preservation Plan.  I had the chance to look around at the recent American Planning Association – Pennsylvania Chapter (APA-PA for short) conference and it got me thinking about how preservation is connecting to the bigger planning world.

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F. Otto Haas award, created by Moravian Tile Works in Doylestown, Bucks County.

November 2, 2016
by Andrea L. MacDonald

Positive Preservation @ PA’s Historic Preservation Awards

The 2016 Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards offered me the opportunity to get a break from Harrisburg, away from everyday work, and to see the bigger picture. While traveling south to York for the ceremony blue skies and sunshine beamed through my car windows. It was a remarkably beautiful fall day. Continue Reading →

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commision Logo

October 20, 2016
by Shelby Weaver Splain

Special Announcement: Job Opening at the PA SHPO

Interested in working at the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office?  PA SHPO has received approval to hire an Architectural Designer 2 (AD2) for the position of Tax Credit Reviewer.  PA SHPO encourages anyone with an interest in working with the PA SHPO’s state and federal historic tax credit programs who meets AD2 class specifications to take the Civil Service test to be posted to the AD2 list.  The test closes on February 25, 2017. Continue Reading →

Gallery page of the Digging I95 website,

October 19, 2016
by Guest Contributor

Artifacts from PennDOT Dig Shine at Wheaton

There’s a scene in the 1960 classic, The Time Machine, where Rod Taylor escapes the imminent nuclear war by throwing his machine fast into the future.  Quickly, the ground rises all around him and for what appears to be an eternity, he is sitting there isolated from the outside world.  At that moment, as we watch him shivering, we wonder with him what is going on above ground.  An archaeologist would empathize with Rod Taylor at that moment, not because he has put himself into a tight spot, but because Taylor’s experience is the experience of all artifacts in the ground.  They are part of the world, then they are no longer part of the world, having disappeared beneath the earth.

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Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commision Logo

October 14, 2016
by Shelby Weaver Splain

Special Announcement! Job Opening at PA SHPO

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

                Historic Preservation Specialist


This professional position within the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), a bureau of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), is responsible for the development, processing, and management of records pertaining to historic properties and the ongoing management of electronic data. This position assists the SHPO with supporting and promoting the Commonwealth’s archaeological site survey records including maintaining the integrity of archaeological site and survey information in the Cultural Resources Geographic Information System (CRGIS) and promoting and facilitating recordation of new sites in order to assist the SHPO, other agencies, and the public in evaluating the archaeological resources within the Commonwealth. Continue Reading →