Pennsylvania Historic Preservation

Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

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The Elusive Historic Agricultural District

We had some fun recently during a site visit to identify the presence of a historic agricultural district for a solar project…

*Cue Sir David Attenborough’s voice*

Here we are searching for the elusive historic agricultural district. Often impossible to find, we are hoping to get a glimpse of it today, as whispers of its appearance have been heard. What vast expanses of agricultural land use and lack of modern residential development, perhaps we will get a sighting after all. But what is this that appears on the horizon? Large modern grain bins indicative of monocropping, followed by farmsteads lacking historic barns? Ah well, it would appear the earlier rumors of a visit from that elusive beast, the historic agricultural district, have been unfounded. Perhaps when we return to the hunt tomorrow, we may catch a glimpse.

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Preserving the Henry Ossawa Tanner House

Earlier this year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation included the Henry Ossawa Tanner House in North Philadelphia on their 11 Most Endangered List.  With the help of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, I was able to connect with Chris Rogers of the Friends of the Tanner House to talk about what is happening at this National Historic Landmark.

Read on if you’re looking for some good news…

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Highlights of Pennsylvania Archaeology

November is Native American Heritage Month. The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. One of the ways to learn about Native American heritage in Pennsylvania is through archaeology.

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PennDOT’s New Historic Bridges of Pennsylvania GIS Map

As one of the most heavily traveled states in the country, Pennsylvania’s vast transportation network demonstrates technological changes from the 18th century to the present.

These changes, and the growth of Pennsylvania and the United States, would not be possible without bridges. Pennsylvania’s key location placed the Commonwealth at the forefront of development and application of innovative bridge technology and engineering.

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Documenting Veterans Organizations with Baseline Survey

We’ve written quite a bit about PA SHPO’s Baseline Survey initiative over the last three years. We’ll be sharing even more in 2024 when we publish our Year 3 results but – spoiler alert! – I can say that we will have added over 16,000 NEW resources in 55 counties to PA-SHARE by the time this initial effort is completed.

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Update on PennDOT’s Historic Metal Truss Bridge Management Plan

In 2017, PennDOT, in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the PA SHPO, published the Metal Truss Bridge Management Plan (Management Plan). This plan, designed to serve as an ongoing planning tool, was the result of a multi-year effort to address the accelerating loss of historic metal truss bridges throughout the state. Now, roughly six years after the publication of the official document, PennDOT would like to provide an update.

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