Pennsylvania Historic Preservation

Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

2020 Blog in Review

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In this crazy year, the PA SHPO’s blog is the one thing you could count on every week to bring you all sorts of current, relevant, fun and interesting information. I have actually won a trivia contest or two because of something I read in one of our weekly posts!

Here is a short recap of the year at pahistoricpreservation.com…

A Little Bit of Everything

2020 brought us a little bit of everything and so did the PA SHPO blog – in a good way!

We pivoted just like the rest of the world to provide our readers with timely and relevant information related to our office, our agency, and the field of historic preservation. (BTW, I hope I don’t ever have to use “pivot” in a sentence in 2021!)

With the help of guest contributors, PA SHPO and PHMC staff, and a legion of supporters, we were able to:

Offer interesting, game-winning trivia tidbits in posts like these:

Stegmaier Brewing Company, Wilkes -Barre, c. 1930-1945. Image shared by Boston Public Library Print Department at Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain.

Cover the pandemic and weathering its impacts in these posts:

Milkcrate Cafe in the 400 block of Girard Ave, 2020.

Provide some fun distractions and populated your post-COVID travel to-visit list in these posts:

Feature content and conversations about historic places and stories underrepresented in Pennsylvania history and how we plan to address issues of diversity and inclusion with these posts:

Philadelphia’s “The Journey: From Vietnam to the United States” mural by Shira Walinsky. 2020.

Publish case study after case study illustrating that preservation works and why it matters in posts like these (it’s a long list so here are just a few):

The A. Merky Company Building as the new Christo Rey charter school after rehabilitation. Photo credit: Powers & Co., 2019.
Most Popular

What is New Years if not the time for a “Top 10” list. Here is our list of the 10 most viewed posts of 2020:

#10: Rethinking the Row House (July 2017)

Early row houses along Delancey Street in Society Hill.

#9: Lykens: A Case Study on the After-Effects of Flooding on Pennsylvania’s Communities (August 2019)

#8: #PreservationHappensHere (April 2019)

#7: The Cornplanter Grant: The Last Native American Settlement in Pennsylvania (November 2018)

#6: PA SHPO’s Community Initiative Award (December 2018)

#5: Finding Meaning in Stone (July 2020)

Large pile of small stones in woods
A flat-topped cairn at the Oley Hills site that is connected to a low curved stone row.

#4: Why is archaeology important? (October 2016)

#3: A Rockshelter Awakens (April 2020)

#2: PA SHPO Environmental Review: Continuity of Operations during COVID-19 State Office Closures (March 2020)

# 1: No More Penn Pilot for Historical Aerial Photos! (July 2020)

June 14, 1958 aerial showing farm, fields, and roads from PennPilot.
Looking backward and forward

Looking back at the year, I would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to all of our readers, writers, and contributors and those who share our posts on social media, share their thoughts and knowledge in comments or emails, and provide all sorts of support, logistical and otherwise throughout the year!

Looking forward, I am really excited about the things we can all accomplish to keep moving historic preservation in Pennsylvania forward. PA-SHARE is coming online early in the year, we have some exciting survey efforts starting soon, and we’ll be attending the first ever virtual National Historic Preservation Week.

Stay tuned to pahistoricpreservation.com in 2021!

Author: Shelby Weaver Splain

Shelby Weaver Splain is the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office. Shelby is a native of Bucks County and holds a Masters degree in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Historic Preservation from Goucher College.

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