Pennsylvania Historic Preservation

Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office



November 23, 2022
by mmcnish
0 comments

Retelling the Stories of Existing Resources: Adding New Areas of Significance to National Register Properties

Researching the history of a building can feel like trying to do a jigsaw puzzle from a thrift store without the box. You might get most of the pieces to fit together so that you can tell the story of that place, but some are still missing, leaving gaps in the narrative.

If you’re anything like me, you might find those gaps frustrating, but they’re also opportunities to learn things you never could have imagined about a place.

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Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commision Logo

November 21, 2022
by Shelby Weaver Splain
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Special Announcement! PA SHPO is Hiring a National Register Reviewer

Are you a highly skilled historic preservationist with National Register and GIS experience? The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) is seeking an Historic Preservation Specialist to work as a National Register reviewer and triage specialist, focused on historic districts and survey.

APPLY BY 12/10/2022 11:59 PM EST. All applications must be filed online at http://www.employment.pa.gov/.

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Group of people standing outside on a lawn.

November 16, 2022
by Shelby Weaver Splain
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SHPO Staff Explore Lackawanna County

My SHPO colleagues and I, just like the rest of the world, are continuing to emerge from our COVID cocoons. We’ve been getting out and about more each month but still find ourselves wanting to be physically connecting with places in every way we can.

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Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commision Logo

November 14, 2022
by PHMC
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Historical Marker Program Announcement

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) is temporarily pausing its Historical Marker Program.

Ongoing supply chain issues, from sourcing raw materials to workforce availability, are impacting all areas of manufacturing, including the production of the iconic, blue-and-gold Pennsylvania Historical Markers.

The company responsible for the fabrication of the markers for Pennsylvania has communicated to PHMC that they are unable to guarantee timely delivery of new markers. This has necessitated rescheduling or cancelling planned marker dedications.

The issues impacting marker fabrication are not limited to Pennsylvania. Across the country, other states are experiencing similar delays affecting their marker programs.

These delays in marker production are exacerbated by the fact that during the pandemic several marker dedications were postponed, resulting in a backlog of approved markers to be fabricated.

Pennsylvanians continue to have great interest in the marker program, and last year the number of marker nominations submitted nearly doubled. PHMC is committed to ensuring that any markers pending review can be manufactured and installed prior to considering new nominations.

With this increase in volume and the uncertainty of the production schedule, PHMC will not be accepting new marker nominations after the current round scheduled for consideration at the December 7, 2022, commission meeting.

Although this is a regrettable situation, PHMC wants to avoid causing a greater backlog until we are certain when production can resume.

During this temporary hiatus, PHMC marker staff will focus on repairing and maintaining damaged markers and will be reviewing the marker program in the interest of continuous improvement.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support of the Pennsylvania Historical Marker Program.
We invite you to visit PHMC online or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn for the latest news on this and other PHMC programs.

Color postcard of large brick building with landscaping in front.

November 9, 2022
by April Frantz
1 Comment

Caring for the Country’s Veterans: Pennsylvania’s Butler VA Hospital

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is the steward of a large collection of medical facilities that reflect the evolving care for and needs of our military’s veterans. The VA’s health care system provides diverse care through approximately 170 VA medical centers and outpatient clinics across the country, serving millions of veterans each year. Pennsylvania is home to a wide range of federal facilities offering medical services for veterans.

Western Pennsylvania’s Butler Veterans Administration Hospital recently joined two other current VA hospital properties in Pennsylvania listed in the National Register of Historic Places, recognizing its important and unique role in caring for military veterans.

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November 2, 2022
by Shelby Weaver Splain
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Be a Part of Discovering and Celebrating the Humanities in Pennsylvania

PA Humanities and Drexel University have launched the PA Humanities Discovery Project, an effort to map, network, and celebrate Pennsylvania’s wonderfully rich humanities landscape to build a more expansive and connected statewide community for sharing, learning, and advocacy.

The first step is to collect information from Pennsylvanians like you about what important humanities-centered work you and your organization are doing with an online survey.

Don’t wait to participate! The survey closes on December 5, 2022.

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Metal truss bridge over water and surrounded by trees.

October 26, 2022
by Guest Contributor
1 Comment

A New Funding Source for Metal Truss Bridges

If you have been following the PA SHPO Blog, then you have probably read about the Metal Truss Bridge Management Plan (Management Plan) and the ongoing effort by PennDOT and the PA SHPO to preserve historic metal truss bridges whenever feasible. Recently, as of 2021, a new federally funded program has been created to support the rehabilitation of these bridges.

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Group of nine people standing in a cemetery.

October 19, 2022
by Casey Hanson
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Community Archaeology at Midland Cemetery

Last fall the State Museum of Pennsylvania hosted their annual workshop in archaeology entitled Hidden Stories: Uncovering African American History through Archaeology and Community Engagement. The theme was born out of the acknowledgement that African Americans are vastly underrepresented in the historic record and the representations that are present are typically unfairly biased.

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October 12, 2022
by Emma Diehl
2 Comments

Have a Barn in Need of Repair? HBFF has a Grant Opportunity for You!

Do you have a barn or agricultural outbuilding that is 50 years or older in need of repairs? Does it retain a significant degree of historic character and materials? Then the Historic Barn and Farm Foundation of Pennsylvania (HBFF) has a grant opportunity for you!

This year marks the inauguration of HBFF’s matching grant program to encourage the maintenance and repair of historic barns and outbuildings throughout Pennsylvania as one way to promote and support the preservation of Pennsylvania’s rural heritage.

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Man standing outside next to a machine removing soil.

October 5, 2022
by Guest Contributor
1 Comment

Meet the Paleo-Digger

October is Archaeology Month! Today’s post by Guest Contributor PennDOT archaeologist Steve McDougal covers using a non-traditional method for field tests: the Paleo-Digger.

Every archaeological survey poses different conditions and challenges. For PennDOT’s SR 22/322 safety improvement project in Northern Dauphin County, one of the big challenges is the depth of soils involved. Past excavation in the 1990s for this area showed us that the soil column with archaeological potential could extend 3.5 to 4.5 meters (11.5 to 14.75 feet) in depth below current ground surface.

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