You spoke and we listened! After all the rave reviews about last year’s downtown-centered location for the Pennsylvania Statewide Conference on Heritage, this year we’re poised to take over historic Carlisle from Wednesday, June 14 to Friday June 16.

Pennsylvania Statewide Conference on Heritage is in Carlisle this year!

This year’s theme, Community Connections: Stories, Places, and Ideas that Matter, highlights the importance of community and place-making in the historic preservation field.  The conference kicks off Wednesday morning with five great tour options: the Carlisle Indian School; Preservation Case Studies in the Cumberland Valley; History Highlights: Walking Tour of Downtown Carlisle; Carlisle and the Civil War: “House Divided” Workshop and Walking Tour; What’s ‘INN’ Again? New Life for the 1803 Charles McManus Tavern.

Perhaps you’ll catch a glimpse of this Carlisle mural on the walking tour. Photo by Elizabeth Rairigh, PA SHPO.

Make sure to take some time on Wednesday morning to stop in at the former Odd Fellows Building on W. High Street.  It’s your chance to see the amazing space for yourself and help the Cumberland County Historical Society decide what’s next for this unique hidden treasure.

If you’re looking for a lunch date on Wednesday, Preservation Pennsylvania will hold its annual meeting at lunchtime on Wednesday, featuring Barbara Landis speaking on the history of the Carlisle Indian School.  If you’d like to attend the annual meeting, please note that separate registration is required.

Sioux boys as they arrive at the Carlisle Indian School in 1879,

Wednesday’s afternoon Plenary will highlight Community Heart & Soul, described by the Orton Family Foundation as “a barn-raising approach to community planning and development designed to increase participation in local decision-making and empower residents to shape the future of their communities in a way that upholds the unique character of each place.”

Historic Carlisle in Cumberland County, PA.

The engaging Plenary will set the stage for twenty-one different conference sessions, which will run from Wednesday afternoon through Friday morning.  Some of the sessions include:

  • “Preservation and Preparedness: Identifying and Surveying Flood-Vulnerable Historic Resources”
  • “The Key to Emergency Preparedness in the Keystone State: The Pennsylvania Cultural Resilience Network”
  • “African American Cemetery Conservation: Preserving Hallowed Ground”
  • “Community Murals and Revitalization”
  • “Getting the Public Involved: Down and Dirty Hands-on Programs”
  • “Documenting the Recent Past with Community Based Public History Projects”
  • “Preservation Generation: How Young Preservation Organizations are Training Tomorrow’s Preservationists”
  • “Pennsylvania Byways and Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside”
  • “Rebuilding History with Photogrammetry”
  • “To Conserve and Sustain: Emerging Archaeology on DCNR Lands”
  • “Chester County: Grassroots Local and Regional Preservation Success Stories”
  • “Pennsylvania Modern: Post World War II Single-Family Residential Architecture.”

On Thursday afternoon, the PA SHPO’s Project Review staff will talk about recent updates to two program areas: CRGIS and Project Review.  CRGIS staff will introduce the system’s new mapping interface and discuss the upcoming electronic data entry and its roll out and user training. Project Review updates include a presentation of changes to the Archaeological Site Identification Criteria, and Above Ground pipeline surveys and submission of Historic Resource reports and resource form electronic copies.  This session is essential for anyone working with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the PA History Code, and these PA SHPO programs.

Thursday night offers an opportunity to network and converse with colleagues at the “Night at the Museum” reception. The Cumberland County Historical Society will open its second-floor museum for visitors to learn more about the region’s fascinating past while enjoying local taste treats.

The 2017 conference is co-sponsored by Preservation Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, PennDOT, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Cumberland County Historical Society, Dickinson College, and the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau.

Planning partners for this year’s Statewide Conference on Heritage

Please visit the Pennsylvania Statewide Conference on Heritage website for more information and to register.  Don’t delay! Early Bird Pricing ends May 1.

Interested in supporting the conference and advertising?  Click here to learn more about sponsorship packages and advertising opportunities.

Hope to see you in Carlisle this June!

The guest contributor this week is Sabra Smith, Communications Director for Preservation Pennsylvania, the commonwealth’s only statewide, private, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the protection of historically and architecturally significant properties. She received a Master’s Degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania School of Design and now blends her love of old buildings and their stories with a curious compulsion to create #hashtags on social media.