Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

Category: Historic Preservation Fund (Page 1 of 2)

Preservation’s March Madness

“March Madness” in the historic preservation world isn’t quite the same as the highly competitive, single-elimination college basketball tournaments that happen each March.

I’ve coopted the phrase to describe National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week and the days leading up to it in our office. Just like the NCAA I players that begin prepping and practicing weeks and months before their games, we kick off each New Year with making plans, preparing materials and partipants, and scheduling visits for Advocacy Week.

One big difference, of course, is that preservationists don’t compete against each other in a nail-biting, winner-takes-all game. One big similarlity, however, is the frenzy of activity, nerves, and excitement before the big event.

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Support Preservation in Pennsylvania by being counted in the 2020 Census

No doubt about it – there is a lot going on this year. I don’t need to elaborate here about the many ways each and every one of us have had our lives turned around, upside down, or inside out over the last six months. Even the idea of just one more thing to do can topple us over like losing game of Jenga.

But this one more thing matters. A lot. It’s making sure to complete your 2020 census form – and encouraging your family, friends, and neighbors to do the same.

Why? Pennsylvania’s share of federal historic preservation funding is based, in part, on how many people live in the Commonwealth. If that population count is low because all Pennsylvanians aren’t counted, then there is less federal money for the commonwealth to preserve the older and historic places that matter to you and your community.

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Advocacy Week 2020

Each year, the PA SHPO and members of Preservation Pennsylvania join other SHPOs and historic preservation partners from across the country in Washington for National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week to learn from and network with other states and educate our federal legislators about the important of historic places and spaces in Pennsylvania.

In this post, hear from two students who joined the PA SHPO this year for Advocacy Week Hill visits.

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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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Add this to your summer reading list! #preservationhappenshere – PA’s Statewide Preservation Plan – is ready for you

Picture yourself – lounging poolside, lakeside, or on the beach – with your tablet or smart phone (or even good old-fashioned paper) enjoying the hottest summer publication that hasn’t yet made the New York Times bestseller list: #preservationhappenshere, Pennsylvania’s next statewide historic preservation plan. Continue reading

PA SHPO goes to Washington! Advocacy Week 2018

Every year in March, State Historic Preservation offices and preservation advocates from across the country travel to Washington, D.C. for National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week.  The Pennsylvania delegation was there to be a part of it.

What is Advocacy Week?

Advocacy Week, as you may recall from this post and this post, is one of big preservation events of the year.  Preservation Action and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO) organize Advocacy Week each year, bringing over 250 preservationists to Washington, DC to promote sound federal preservation policy and programs.  The first day of Advocacy Week typically includes in-depth training, policy briefings, and forums from an array of preservation and policy professionals. The second day is when things really start to get fun!

Advocacy Week logo

Preservation Advocacy Week logo.

Pennsylvania’s Delegation

This year’s PA SHPO team included me, Andrea MacDonald, and Cory Kegerise.  Executive Director Mindy Crawford and Board member Sandy Rosenberg joined us from Preservation PA.  Brenda Barrett, a long-time Advocacy Week attendee and editor of the Living Landscape Observer, and Cindy Hamilton, representing the Historic Tax Credit Coalition, also joined the group.

PA delegation in front of the Capitol.

PA’s delegation in March 2018. From left: Brenda Barrett, Andrea MacDonald, Cindy Hamilton, Mindy Crawford, Sandy Rosenberg, me, and Cory Kegerise.

Walking Capitol Hill

The second day of Advocacy Week is devoted to visits with Pennsylvania’s Representatives and Senators.  We weren’t quite sure how this year would go given the number of Congressman retiring this year and the uncertainly of the new congressional district map. Divided into three teams, we met with staff from 13 offices (12 Representatives and 1 Senator) and walked miles (not really, but it felt like it!) in the tunnels between the Cannon, Longworth, and Rayburn House Office Buildings and across the Hill to the Russell Senate Office Building.

I am happy to report that all of our visits were a huge success!  We had the chance to meet with new staff and old friends to talk about historic preservation and why it matters.

So what happens at these meetings?

The meetings are typically 15 minutes long and can happen anywhere – in a Congressman’s office or the hallway.  Our goal is always to create more awareness and, if we’re lucky, a new relationship.  We provide a folder of information for the meeting, which includes the “Your Guide to the PA State Historic Preservation Office,” information sheets on preservation programs and issues, and our contact information.  This year, we were also able to give the people we met with an on-the-spot thank you card for taking the time to meet with us.

Videos steal the show

One of the ways that we have found to communicate the importance of preservation, especially to the average Joe, is through videos.  These steal the show.  We can talk about the need to support historic preservation all day long, but these video testimonials bring preservation to life.

PHMC’s video and social media wizard, Sean Adkins, produced three new videos for us this year!  You might remember that last year our videos focused on the benefit and necessity of the historic tax credit.  In this year’s videos, we wanted to show the broad range of preservation activities that the Historic Preservation Fund supports. Take a look!

  • City of Lancaster: This video showcases the preservation work happening in Lancaster right now.  The city is a CLG (certified local government), is home to some great historic tax credit and grant projects, and has a local and National Register historic districts.  Former PA SHPO-er Jeremy Young even makes an appearance!
  • Spangler Farm:  This testimonial follows the Noll family as they take you on a tour of their farm, the former Spangler Farm, in Union County.  Listing in the National Register is a tremendous source of pride for them, and their efforts will help preserve this early – and relatively intact – farmstead.  They were so happy they were listed last year that they held a party!
  • Brandywine Battlefield:  Brandywine Battlefield benefits from federal grants, principally from the American Battlefield Protection Program, an involved Task Force, and support from county planning offices and the public.

The George Christian and Anna Catherine Spangler Farm in Union County was listed in August 2016.

You can check out the videos through the above links or visit PHMC’s YouTube channel.

Do we make a difference?

Yes.  I think our time in Washington networking with other SHPOs and meeting with our federal representatives do make a difference.  Congressional staffers hear from people in their districts regularly and it’s important for them to consider us a resource for them and their constituents when preservation issues arise.

5 Things about Preservation in 2016

This time of year is all about traditions, so I’m keeping one of ours here at the PA Historic Preservation blog: the Year in Review.  Its a good time to reflect on all the great preservation in Pennsylvania in 2016.  There is so much to choose from that it was hard to come up with my top 5!  Once you read through my list, leave a comment and tell me what is on your Top 5 list.

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What is National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week?

I had to quickly learn the answer to that question for the first time this year… Advocacy Week is our annual opportunity to have a mass impact on opinion leaders and policy makers – together with a cohesive message in support of preservation-positive legislation.  Advocacy Week is organized each year by Preservation Action and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Offices (NCSHPO) and brings together over 250 preservationists to Washington, DC to promote sound federal preservation policy and programs.

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