Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

#ReadyForPreservation: Tools & Tips to Support Your Downtown’s Recovery & Revitalization

Pennsylvania downtowns are the economic, social, and cultural heart of many communities. Downtown buildings, businesses and activities often reflect a community’s history, values and economic core as well as the aspirations of local leaders and community members.

Today, Pennsylvania downtowns are facing the daunting task of responding to the current economic havoc and planning for future challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of those efforts, there are many ways in which the application of a traditional downtown design ethic can be appropriately and thoughtfully integrated into recovery efforts.

On May 28, 2020, the Pennsylvania Downtown Center and staff from the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office recorded a one-hour webinar to explore different ways communities can sensitively manage the changes they face as a result of the pandemic’s impact.

Based upon the Main Street principles of Economic Vitality and Design, this webinar focused on providing realistic and practical suggestions for communities of all shapes and sizes whether they are in the reaction, response, or recovery phase. Topics covered included messaging, vacancy management or prevention, Historic Architectural Review Board or Preservation Commission activities and more.

Speakers included:

  • Mary Tate, Pennsylvania Downtown Center
  • Cory Kegerise/PA SHPO Eastern Region Community Preservation Coordinator
  • Bryan Van Sweden/PA SHPO Central Region Community Preservation Coordinator
  • Bill Callahan/PA SHPO Western Region Community Preservation Coordinator

Watch the recording


  1. Bill Ward

    Is there a link to the video recording of this presentation?

    • Shelby Weaver Splain

      Hi Bill – If you click on “watch the recording” it will open a new tab in your browser to view the webinar. You do need to enter your name and email to view the recording. Once you click “register”, your screen will open to a black box and the webinar will start a minute or so later – it just takes a little bit of time to start playing for some reason. Please let us know if you have any problems.

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