This past March, the Vaux Big Picture High School in Philadelphia participated in a unique educational program. The Center for Architecture and Design (CAD) and the Dox Thrash Project (DTP) partnered to plan the experience as part of CAD’s Architecture and Design Education (ADE) program. A group of 9th grade design students explored themes of history, legacy, and commemoration as it relates to the built environment.
The first half of 2022 was a busy one for National Register listings, with 13 new properties listed in the National Register from Pennsylvania! They include a diverse range of institutional, ecclesiastical, commercial, educational, and industrial properties across 9 counties.
Each year, the PA SHPO awards grants to the Commonwealth’s Certified Local Governments (CLG) for the purpose of advancing local historic preservation activities.
New preservation projects will be sprouting up across Pennsylvania this summer. PHMC’s preservation partners will start 48 new projects with the assistance of the Keystone Historic Preservation Grant program in the coming months.
This week’s 2022 Community Initiative Award winner spotlight is on Concord Township’s preservation of the Spring Valley AME Church in Delaware County.
This project in Delaware County caught the eagle eye of one of my colleagues last year from some press reporting and I’m glad it did. She just happened to be the SHPO’s reviewer for most projects that were undertaken with funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), particularly using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money.
Using CDBG funds for historic preservation – like Concord Township did – is a great way for communities to invest in the older and historic places that matter to them and that tell their full stories.
This week’s 2022 Community Initiative Award winner spotlight is on the Blairsville Underground Railroad organization in Blairsville, Indiana County.
Blairsville was laid out in the early 19th century along the Conemaugh River at the southern end of Indiana County, about 40 miles east of Pittsburgh along the planned route of the Huntingdon, Cambria, and Indiana Turnpike. Blairsville’s history and growth is closely tied to its transportation corridors – the river, the stagecoach in 1818, the canal in 1829, and the rail in 1851 – and natural deposits of salt, coal, and iron, which together supported a thriving and flourishing community.
What many may not know about Blairsville is its African American history, particularly related to abolition and the Underground Railroad (UGRR). The borough had one of the larger Black communities in Indiana County and the county’s first African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church was organized there in 1844. Indiana County was an important and active Underground Railroad stop in Pennsylvania as freedom seekers escaped from their enslavers in search of freedom.
I asked Denise Doyle from the Blairsville Underground Railroad organization to share their story with us.
What better time of year than National Historic Preservation Month to announce the latest round of PA SHPO’s Community Initiative Award winners! The four recipients and their projects showcase a range of preservation success stories, demonstrating the value of volunteers, creativity, and community engagement.
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) recently approved 37 new historical markers, making this one of the largest number of new markers in the program’s history.Continue reading
The Pennsylvania Baseline Survey Team is excited to share another year of findings! Between January 2022 to October 2022, our five Year 2 Baseline Survey teams surveyed in 18 counties and recorded 6,663 new resources in 396 municipalities. Quite an impressive number!Continue reading
Researching the history of a building can feel like trying to do a jigsaw puzzle from a thrift store without the box. You might get most of the pieces to fit together so that you can tell the story of that place, but some are still missing, leaving gaps in the narrative.
If you’re anything like me, you might find those gaps frustrating, but they’re also opportunities to learn things you never could have imagined about a place.Continue reading