Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

Category: Georgian

How Women Shaped Preservation in Pennsylvania

Several years ago, my colleagues and I at the PA SHPO compiled a history of preservation achievements in Pennsylvania. This interesting trek through the preservation timeline was published in the Winter 2016 issue of Pennsylvania Heritage magazine and was added as a chapter in the current statewide historic preservation plan, #PreservationHappensHere. This week in honor of Women’s History Month, I’m taking a deeper dive into the role of women in Pennsylvania’s preservation accomplishments.

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The Keystone Grant and the Mystery of the Missing Piazza

Ever wonder just how much scholarship of construction chronology is behind your visit to a historic property in Pennsylvania?  Or how that research is funded?  Woodford is one of Fairmount Park’s most carefully documented and researched buildings because of its architectural significance and as its interpretive use as a historic house museum.  Recorded in the Historic American Building Survey (HABS) in 1932 and listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1963, the building was studied and theorized by architectural historians for decades.  The Naomi Wood Trust at Woodford Mansion turned to the PA SHPO’s Keystone Historic Preservation Grant program for financial help to plan the historic restoration of Woodford’s 1772 piazza on the west elevation of the 2-story main house. In addition to sifting through all of those relevant published sources and past theories, an archaeological investigation would be the foundation to restore this missing element. Continue reading

#FindYourPark: Independence National Historical Park

Several months ago, my colleague Cory Kegerise wrote a blog highlighting his childhood memories visiting Hopewell Furnace as part of the National Park Service’s #FindYourPark campaign .  He inspired me to make sure my kids had the same experiences and appreciated the plethora of historic sites throughout the Commonwealth.  So one Friday in late March when my kids were off from school, we went in search of our own #FindYourPark adventure.  In case you are not familiar with the initiative, Americans are encouraged to share their thoughts, reflections, and aspects about their favorite National Park as part of the National Park Service’s Centennial Celebration.  Most of the #FindYourPark stories speak of the National Park System’s natural wonders and green bucolic open space.  Our adventure may seem in contrast, but Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia with its rich civic history really sparks my interest. So we set off to explore the colonial history and the birthplace of America.  Continue reading

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