Preservationists across America are celebrating today as National Historic Preservation Month kicks off.
What is National Historic Preservation Month you ask? Well, we here at the SHPO think it’s one of the most important months of the year!
Hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. celebrate and advocate for historic places every day, but, in May, preservationists redouble their efforts to draw attention to the older and historic places and spaces that define our communities and our country.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of Preservation Month, which was started by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1973. Preservation groups, communities, and agencies of all shapes and sizes celebrate Preservation Month with a series of online and in-person events focused on promoting historic and archaeological resources, heritage tourism, and the economic and social benefits of preserving older and historic places.
So, what is happening in Pennsylvania? Lots!
1. Governor Wolf recognizes May 2018 as Pennsylvania’s Historic Preservation Month.
Governor Wolf issued a proclamation recognizing May 2018 as Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Month. This is a big deal!
The proclamation, which you can read here, recognizes Pennsylvania’s role in the history of our country, the role of Pennsylvanians in shaping the national preservation movement, and the important role preservation plays in our social, economic, and cultural wellbeing.
Join him in encouraging all Pennsylvanians to support the preservation of our rich history!
2. Preservation Awareness Roundtable
In November 2017 and again in March, a group of statewide preservation leaders convened in Harrisburg to discuss the state of historic preservation in Pennsylvania and how the groups around the table could work together better for more preservation successes.
The group includes:
- Heritage PA
- PA Heritage Foundation
- PA Historical & Museum Commission
- PA Museums
- PA State Historic Preservation Board
- PA SHPO
- Pennsylvania Archaeological Council (PAC)
- Pennsylvania Downtown Center
- Pennsylvania Humanities Council
- Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia
- Preservation Pennsylvania
- Preservation Pittsburgh
- Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology (SPA)
This group agreed that, by combining their resources and activating their networks, Pennsylvanians and the commonwealth’s older and historic places will benefit from greater education, awareness, and support.
The P.A. Roundtable’s first project together is …
3. A Social media takeover!
To kickstart this new collaboration, the P.A. Roundtable member organizations are going to take over (well, maybe not take over but definitely overwhelm) social media outlets with positive preservation messages.
We’re calling this “31 for 31” for sharing one preservation story each day in the month of May. The goal is to have each group have one or more posts on their social media accounts each day in May to deliver positive preservation messages to their networks. We want to get before as many eyes as possible!
You’ll see us posting great stories from our partners on the PA Trails of History page. To enjoy these daily preservation posts, follow PA Trails of History, or any of the other P.A. Roundtable members, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also search for them using the #preservationhappenshere and #31for31 hashtags.
Don’t worry if you miss some! We’ll have a roundup of the month’s posts on our weekly blog on Thursday, May 31st.
4. Events, awards, and more…
Preservation events, awards, and other activities go on all year long – not just in May! Be on the lookout this month for opportunities to learn more about historic preservation, support historic places, and spend time with friends and colleagues.
Check out the events calendar of your favorite preservation organization to see what’s going on this month. I can share a few things that we know about:
- Preservation Pennsylvania’s “Investing in History – Federal & State Historic Tax Credits” Workshop in Philadelphia on May 16th
- Nominate a place, person, or organization for a PA Historic Preservation Award!
- Join the Preservation Alliance and their Young Friends group for some really cool tours, happy hours, and events.
- Join people in all parts of the commonwealth for events in one (or more) of Pennsylvania’s 12 Heritage Areas
- Travel to Gettysburg to see what they’re doing to celebrate Preservation Month
This is just a very short list of some of the things happening across the commonwealth to celebrate National Historic Preservation Month, and I know the list is far from complete. Something going on in your area? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
5. Statewide Historic Preservation Plan will be released!
Last but not least… we are expecting to release Pennsylvania’s next statewide historic preservation plan at the end of the month.
What better way to end a month-long celebration of historic preservation than with a plan to guide preservation efforts over the next five years and “call to action” for all Pennsylvanians to work toward a creating a better Pennsylvania through preservation.
Stay tuned to learn more about how #preservationhappenshere every day in Pennsylvania.