Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

Category: Landscape Conservation (Page 1 of 2)

2020 Blog in Review

In this crazy year, the PA SHPO’s blog is the one thing you could count on every week to bring you all sorts of current, relevant, fun and interesting information. I have actually won a trivia contest or two because of something I read in one of our weekly posts!

Here is a short recap of the year at…

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Don’t Just Look Forward or Backward: Look Around for Preservation Partners

In 2016, the preservation community has been looking back over the past 50 years to reflect upon the legacy of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.  The legislation laid the groundwork for the tools and strategies of preservation.  For Pennsylvania, 2016 also marks the beginning of a multi-year planning process to look forward over the next five years (and beyond) through the development of a new Statewide Historic Preservation Plan.  I had the chance to look around at the recent American Planning Association – Pennsylvania Chapter (APA-PA for short) conference and it got me thinking about how preservation is connecting to the bigger planning world.

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December’s SHPO Shout-Out

It’s hard to believe that a month has gone by since our first ever SHPO Shout-Out! I’ll give my own Shout-Out to everyone who liked, posted, shared, tweeted, and emailed our November post to spread the word not only about the great projects I featured but also to let people know that we’d like to crowd-source candidates for future posts.  The number of emails I got from readers with ideas for candidates were low – like zero! – but I understand that you’re all just getting used to the idea, right?!  I can’t possibly know about all the good preservation victories across the 46,055 sq. mi. that make up Pennsylvania and I need your help!

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2015: The Year of the Pennsylvania Barn

by Curt Musselman


Official Year of the Pennsylvania Barn logo designed by Bob McIlhenny, 2014, using barn woodcut by Annie Rubel, 2013

Ten years ago,  Historic Gettysburg Adams County (HGAC) received a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) to help establish a barn preservation program within Adams County. One of our first steps was to begin a survey of the historic barns in the county so that we would know more about the resources we were trying to save. Teams of HGAC volunteers photographed, measured and made observations about the style and construction techniques used on each barn. One of the first things that we learned was that 80 percent of the barns in Adams County are of an architectural type known as the Pennsylvania Barn. This type of barn has two distinctive characteristics; entrance to the second floor by means of a bridge or a built-up ramp, and an overhang or cantilevered forebay on the front of the barn. Within Pennsylvania, these bank barns evolved in the 18th and 19th centuries to their ultimate form, which was influenced by traditional designs brought to America by immigrants coming from Switzerland through Germany. Continue reading

The National Park Service @ 100: #FindYourPark

2016 is shaping up to be a great year for celebrating historic preservation.  The National Historic Preservation Act turns 50, and the National Park Service turns 100!  Throughout the next year, the National Park Service and its partners will announce a number of initiatives for this centennial celebration.  A few days ago, President Obama declared this week (April 18-26, 2015) as National Park Week, which the National Park Service (NPS) and its partner, the National Park Foundation, call “America’s largest celebration of national heritage.”  All week long people can explore the country’s National Parks and connect with others who love and support these treasures and ensure their longevity over the next 100 years.

But, you ask, what do the National Park Service’s centennial celebrations have to do with Pennsylvania’s State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO)? Hint: It’s not only because Pennsylvania boasts 5 National Parks (in addition to several National Historic Sites, Trails, Monuments, Heritage Areas, Recreational Areas… and the list goes on!) or because NPS funds a large number of the federal programs administered by our office…. Continue reading

Spotlight Series: Easton Cemetery

The monumental 7th Street Gate to the Easton Cemetery.  Photo by Jeremy Young, October 2014.

The monumental 7th Street Gate to the Easton Cemetery. Photo by Jeremy Young, October 2014.

High on a hill overlooking the City of Easton is the serene, picturesque, and endlessly fascinating Easton Cemetery.  The cemetery occupies a point of land created by a bend in the Bushkill Creek that, at the time of the cemetery’s establishment in 1849, was on the edge of a rapidly growing industrial community in desperate need of both parkland and sanitary burial options.  The historic core of the burial ground, 48 acres assembled in two parcels during the 19th century, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1990 for its significance in landscape architecture and art.  Continue reading

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