Pennsylvania Historic Preservation

Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office



Colorized historic postcard showing wood church building.

April 7, 2021
by Karen Arnold
3 Comments

Preserving Pennsylvania’s Stick Style Architecture: Old Lutheran Church in Franklin

The mid-nineteenth century oil boom is synonymous with northern Venango County, which brought population and construction growth to the city of Franklin.

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March 31, 2021
by Karen Galle
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Approved Markers for 2021

Soon fans of Pennsylvania’s historical markers will be braking for 23 new ones. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) recently approved the next batch of new historical markers at their March 2021 meeting.

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March 24, 2021
by smassey
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Rehabilitating Wilkes-Barre’s Memorial Presbyterian Church

Rehabilitating a religious property, like a church, using historic tax credits can be very challenging because it is often difficult to match the building’s desired new use with the historic floor plan and character-defining spaces. Design professionals and building owners have to negotiate a difficult balance between preserving a church’s large, open sanctuaries with the need for income-producing spaces like apartments or multi-tenant office spaces.

The rehabilitation of Wilkes-Barre’s Memorial Presbyterian Church is a good example of how to apply the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, which are the guiding principles for historic tax credit projects, to church buildings.

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March 17, 2021
by Shelby Weaver Splain
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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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March 10, 2021
by Noël Strattan
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The 2020 PASS Report

For the past several years, PA SHPO archaeologists have issued an annual report – known as the PASS Report – detailing the ongoing efforts to record Pennsylvania’s archaeological sites. 

Despite 2020’s many challenges, over 280 new archaeological sites were recorded thanks to cultural resource management (CRM) projects and continued contributions from independent research projects, members of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology (SPA), and long-time avocational archaeologists.

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March 3, 2021
by Guest Contributor
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Virgil Cantini: Saving Cantini’s Mosaics

Last week’s blog post introduced the life and work of artist Virgil Cantini and highlighted the vulnerable position of postwar public art objects and installations, which often require special expertise to understand and articulate their significance for preservation. 

This week’s post recounts part of the struggle to save one of Cantini’s largest works of public art, which came dangerously close to disappearing forever.

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February 24, 2021
by Guest Contributor
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Virgil Cantini: A Purpose in Public Art

On a sunny August morning in 2017, a group of Pittsburgh-based architects, historians, artists, students, preservationists and art enthusiasts convened before venturing out with a shared goal; to experience first-hand nearly all public artworks accessible in the vicinity, both indoors and outdoors, created by the late Virgil Cantini (1919-2009). 

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February 22, 2021
by Shelby Weaver Splain
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Welcome to PA-SHARE!

PA SHPO is excited to announce the launch of PA-SHARE!

PA-SHARE is Pennsylvania’s new online GIS and project mangement system for working with cultural resources in the Keystone State.

You can access PA-SHARE at https://share.phmc.pa.gov/pashare/landing.

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February 17, 2021
by Guest Contributor
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Recent Archaeology on the Upper Ohio River Floodplain

In 2014 and 2015, professional archaeologists conducted archaeological excavations along the Upper Ohio River in Beaver County.

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