The Community Initiative Award from the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) recognizes organizations, municipalities, agencies, individuals, and others whose work embodies the theme of Pennsylvania’s recently released statewide historic preservation plan, #PreservationHappensHere.
The 2016 awardees are Bradford Revitalization Team (McKean County), East Liberty Development, Inc. (Allegheny County), and Hidden City Philadelphia (Philadelphia).
What is #PreservAtionHappensHere?
#PreservationHappensHere is the idea that great preservation activities are happening every day across Pennsylvania. These activities may or, may not be thought of as historic preservation, nevertheless, need to be discovered, shared, and celebrated!
2016 was the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act and reminded us – the PA State Historic Preservation Office and our network of partners – of the responsibilities we have in fostering the growth and evolution of the preservation movement and profession.
This year’s PA SHPO special recognition award – the Community Initiative Awards – were inspired by the intent of the National Historic Preservation Act. The award aims to recognize communities, both traditional and non-traditional, who are not only utilizing traditional preservation strategies, but also developing and employing innovative tactics. The Community Initiative Awards look back at past successes, but focus on the future.
The inaugural PA SHPO Community Initiative Awards were presented to three groups who are redefining what historic preservation means in a 21st century community.
Bradford Revitalization Team (City of Bradford, McKean County)
In recent years, the Bradford Revitalization Team created a distinctive economic and community development model that exemplifies flexible, organic cooperation amongst several organizations.
This model is based largely upon the concept of creating economic vitality through marketing, investment and preservation of the community’s historic character. The local government and business development promotion agencies clearly understand that preserving historic resources is integral to the City’s economic and community development future.
East Liberty Development Inc. (Pittsburgh, Allegheny County)
East Liberty Development Inc. (ELDI) was working to revitalize the East Liberty neighborhood long before it became fashionable and before national high‐profile companies laid down roots in the community.
ELDI published its first community plan, A Vision for East Liberty, in 1999, which charted a course for ELDI’s work into the 21st century. ELDI and its partners have intuitively recognized that retention of historic neighborhood character is integral to the successful and sustainable revitalization of East Liberty.
Hidden City Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Philadelphia County)
Over the past eleven years, Hidden City has become a well‐respected champion of all places historic in Philadelphia through their unique style of reporting in their on‐line daily magazine.
Hidden City writes the kind of no‐holds‐barred stories that raise awareness of historic places and communities in Philadelphia, as well as the history and happenings that impact the historic urban environment. They succeed where other history‐ and placed‐based organizations often waver: Hidden City’s style, content, and ethic have captured the interest and attention of the youth and young adult generations that will help shape the Philadelphia of the future.