Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

Calling all Preservationists! We know you have great things to share!

Preservation PA and the Statewide Conference Planning Team are seeking proposals for insightful and educational conference sessions, of interest to an audience composed of professionals and volunteers in the fields of historic preservation, architecture, cultural resource management, planning, real estate development, government, nonprofit, and for-profit communities. We want you to share your preservation knowledge and success stories!

Preservation Pennsylvania with support from PHMC, Wilson College, and PennDOT will host the Statewide Conference on Heritage from June 19-21, 2019 at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Franklin County, PA.

Join us in historic Chambersburg, PA! This historic college campus and adjoining town are the perfect backdrop to dive deep into the issues that are affecting preservationists across the state. This year’s conference is inspired by the three goals outlined in Pennsylvania’s historic preservation plan, #PreservAtionHappensHere. You can read the plan on PHMC’s website at Successful proposals will provide meaningful learning opportunities and should aspire to go beyond a simple narrative or case study of a project. Conference attendees should feel they have gained a new perspective or learned a new approach. See attached for more detailed descriptions of the theme and categories for submission.

Each conference session runs 75-minutes and should help address one of three thought-provoking questions from the statewide plan.  Sessions may feature a single speaker or two to three speakers and a moderator. All sessions should allow time for audience participation/Q&A.

The submission deadline is fast approaching! We need your proposal outlining the great things you have to share with your colleagues by Monday, December 17th!  Have questions? We’re here to help!  Contact Julia Chain at 717/234-2310 x3 or


Wilson College’s Main Building on a 1921 postcard.

Here is how to submit a proposal…

Go to for a copy of the form and instructions.

Proposals are requested to fit under one or more of the following concept questions, which are based on the goals of the 2018-2023 #PreservAtionHappensHere statewide plan. More information about the goals of #PreservAtionHappensHere can be found in the executive summary found on the PHMC website.

Our theme of “Preservation Summer School” expresses the value of sharing new ideas and technologies and learning from one another. Each session should demonstrate clear educational takeaways. Topics may address historic preservation, cultural resource management, archaeology, transportation, downtowns, rural history or other related areas of interest. Help us connect people, projects and ideas by sharing innovative work you’re doing across the state, even if it’s not being called “preservation” but is using preservation tools to achieve a positive result or engage the community.

2018-2023 Statewide Historic Preservation Plan

Let’s illustrate #preservationhappenshere with great examples!

The list below is intended to inspire your thinking. Use the topics as written or as brainstorming prompts.

How can we use the POWER OF PLANNING to transform Pennsylvania’s historic places into vibrant and diverse communities?

  • Historic resources survey and documentation: uses, needs, tools, and techniques
  • Understanding landscapes and rural historic districts: defining, identifying, and documenting
  • How to engage audiences and understand what places are important to them and then use practical, reasonable, and helpful to plan for those important places
  • Mitigation to fit into community needs
  • Using engagement to help residents manage change in their communities
  • Engagement via digital technologies
  • Getting a seat at the table: Integrating historic places into other types of planning, such as transportation planning, hazard mitigation, economic development, etc.

How can we POSITION PENNSYLVANIA to better respond to new preservation challenges and opportunities in the 21st century?

  • Defining Relevance: Why do old places matter?
  • Value of historic preservation, local history, archaeology, and place
  • What systems or techniques need to be changed to be proactive and more effective?
  • Creative approaches to addressing vacancy and neglect in PA’s small towns
  • Innovative Cultural Resource Management (CRM) Projects [especially examples outside of transportation industry]
  • How can smart partnerships help bridge gaps or address shortcomings?
  • Disaster planning for stormwater management/flooding mitigation

How can we INVEST IN THE FUTURE of Pennsylvania through the commonwealth’s historic places and the people and programs that protect and celebrate them?

  • Invest in places by encouraging good stewardship e.g. Historic Structures Reports (HSRs) and Preservation Plans for historic places
  • Invest in people e.g. Architectural History Refresher Session, Archaeology Refresher Session
  • Invest in programs and incentives e.g. Tax credits and funding sources, teaming up with small business to preserve and manage historic buildings

Please submit proposals to Julia Chain at

Selections and a preliminary program will be announced by or before March 4th, 2019.  Speakers will be asked to deliver digital presentation one week in advance.  Conference Speakers receive discounted registration rates!  

1 Comment


    I will share this with my students. Thank you so much.

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