Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

Author: Cory Kegerise (Page 1 of 3)

Cory Kegerise is the Community Preservation Coordinator for Eastern Pennsylvania at the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office. He is a native of Berks County, Pennsylvania and holds a Master’s Degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s Degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Welcoming Milford to the CLG program!

Travel north along Route 209 through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and you’ll arrive at the Borough of Milford, Pike County. The small town of nearly 1,200 full time residents appears like Brigadoon as you leave the lush forests of the Water Gap and has a long and layered history. Milford is also one of the newest Certified Local Governments in Pennsylvania with a lot of preservation success stories packed into a little place.

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Designing for Distance in Pennsylvania’s Historic Communities

To say that COVID-19 changed things about away we live our lives would be the understatement of the century. Virtually everything about the ways in which we live, work, learn, recreate, shop – everything – changed in an instant and we have spent the last 12+ months learning how to adapt, as individuals and communities. The pandemic has also prompted a lot of pondering and forecasting about the long term effects on our society and how many of these adaptations will become part of our “normal” lives going forward. In Pennsylvania’s traditional communities, the sudden loss of foot traffic, festivals, and events hit small businesses and restaurants especially hard. Revitalization organizations and local governments have had to reimagine, with little or no time or experience, how to allow people to use streets, sidewalks, parks, and trails in a safe and responsible manner. Enter Designing for Distance.

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Chadds Ford is Pennsylvania’s Newest CLG

The PA SHPO is excited to announce that Chadds Ford Township, Delaware County is the newest participating community to join the Certified Local Government (CLG) program. The National Park Service issued the final certification in July 2020, making the township the 45th CLG in Pennsylvania and the 3rd in Delaware County.  Chadds Ford is also the first community to join the CLG program under the recently revamped program guidelines, hopefully setting an example for other communities who want to be recognized for their local preservation programs.

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Making #PreservationHappensHere with CLG Grants

The PA SHPO has awarded six communities grants to improve their municipality’s historic preservation program through the Certified Local Government (CLG) Grant Program.  These grant funds will allow each of the communities to undertake projects that will advance preservation goals and achieve preservation outcomes in ways that are important to the community.  A total of $120,324 will be distributed to municipalities in Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Montgomery Counties for diverse and important preservation projects.

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Out of the ashes: Taking stock of our own landmarks in the wake of Notre Dame

The fire that ravaged the Cathedral of Notre Dame in mid-April was a tragedy felt around the world.  In a digitally-connected age, viewers from all parts of the globe were able to watch the flames engulf the centuries old landmark in real time and collectively grieve in ways previously unimaginable. The fire will become an important part of the building’s history and provide important lessons about the fragility of our shared heritage for successive generations.  But I am also hopeful that the response to the fire and its aftermath will be equally instructive and help give this tragedy some meaning and purpose.

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5 Things to Know about the New and Improved Certified Local Government Program

The Certified Local Government (CLG) program is one of the unsung heroes of the historic preservation world.  Less well known than the National Register, Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits and Section 106, the CLG program’s utilitarian name has surely contributed to the bewilderment about what the program can do for community-level preservation efforts over the years.  It’s also fair to say that the CLG program hasn’t been given the proper attention necessary to reach its full potential – until now!  In late 2018 the PA SHPO rolled out revised guidelines for the CLG program in Pennsylvania, complete with a renewed sense of purpose, clearer goals and revamped technical assistance and grant programs.  So, here are five things you wanted to know about the new and improved CLG program in Pennsylvania but didn’t know to ask. Continue reading

Certified Local Government Reboot – Public Comments Welcome

The Certified Local Government (CLG) Program has been part of the national preservation toolbox since the early 1980s.  Like other programs established by the National Historic Preservation Act, the CLG program is administered by each State Historic Preservation Office based on state-specific guidelines approved by the National Park Service.  Pennsylvania’s CLG guidelines procedures were last updated in 2009, but haven’t changed substantially since the program started almost 30 years ago.  That’s all about to change!  The PA SHPO has recently released a draft of proposed changes to the CLG program and will be accepting comments from the public until December 4, 2017. Continue reading

Mill-Rae: A Monument of Women’s History Hidden in Plain Sight

High on a hill overlooking the Somerton neighborhood of Philadelphia stands Cranaleith Spiritual Center, a beautiful Shingle style house that overlooks ten acres of gardens, groves of trees, a pond, and a sensitively-designed modern retreat facility.  It’s a lovely place nestled amongst a quiet residential neighborhood.  But beneath the bucolic setting is a significant story about the struggle for equality, ties to important figures and events in the women’s suffrage movement, and an organization’s commitment to preserving and promoting those legacies.  In January I spoke with Cranaleith staff about how they’re using those stories to raise the profile of the organization and attract new audiences to the facility and its mission. Continue reading

3 Things to Know About Local Preservation Programs in Pennsylvania – Part 2

A long, long time ago (okay it was only 2014, but still…) I wrote about local preservation in Pennsylvania and at the end of that article I promised a follow up with some additional insights.  Time passed and lots of other interesting projects and places were more worthy of being featured on this blog.  But, a promise made is a promise kept, so here’s the second installment of the “3 things to know” series.  This time we’ll focus on one of the more commonly confusing issues in preservation – the differences between the National Register of Historic Places and local historic designation. Continue reading

Talking Local Preservation at FORUM 2016 in Mobile

Every two years, the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions hosts a conference unlike any other – an event focused on providing training and education on issues relevant to historic preservation commissions, review boards, and local governments.  FORUM is a truly national event, drawing participants from all over the country to share ideas, war stories, and best practices for making local preservation efforts more effective.  You might remember that FORUM 2014 was held in Philadelphia and attracted nearly 800 attendees from 48 states!  Mobile, Alabama played host to FORUM 2016 from July 27-31, and nearly 600 people gathered to bask in the balmy Gulf Coast weather and Southern hospitality, including a few of us from Pennsylvania.  Here are some of the highlights. Continue reading

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