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:
- 100 Years After Prohibition, the Legacy of Pennsylvania’s Historic Breweries Survives
- A Rockshelter Awakens
- Buildings on the Move: Diners in Pennsylvania
- The Triumphant Note of Women’s Equality: the Justice Bell & Women’s Suffrage
- Of Paper and Parks: A Varied History of Mount Holly Springs
Cover the pandemic and weathering its impacts in these posts:
- PA SHPO COVID-19 Update and PA SHPO Environmental Review: Continuity of Operations
- Supporting Pennsylvania’s Main Streets
- #ReadyforPreservation: Tools & Tips to Support Your Downtown’s Recovery & Revitalization
- When a door closes, a window opens…
Provide some fun distractions and populated your post-COVID travel to-visit list in these posts:
- #FavoritePAPlaces: There were 16 of these so I won’t list them all, but you can check out this example from Cain Chamberlin, Executive Director of the Endless Mountains Heritage Region.
- Dip into History: Five Historic Pools and Swimming Holes in Pennsylvania
- Should I go left or right at the next historical marker?
- Window Shopping at 5 of Pennsylvania’s Historic Department Stores
- A Preservation Story: Franklin County
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:
- Vietnamese History in Pennsylvania
- PA SHPO’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Access
- Telling a Fuller Story about African American History in Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed
- Finding Meaning in Stone
- PHMC’s Plan to Evaluate Historical Markers
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):
- Inspiration in Philadelphia
- Hollidaysburg Canal Era Houses
- Dedicated Volunteers Preserve the Embassy Theatre in Lewistown, Mifflin County
- Manayunk Main Street Historic District Flood Guide
- Section 106 Success @ Reading’s Penn Street Bridge
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)
#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)
#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)
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!