by Jennifer Horn, Preservation Pennsylvania

Every summer Pennsylvania’s preservation and conservation communities convene for a weeklong conference to explore current trends in archaeology and historic preservation. This year, the Statewide Conference on Heritage will be held at the historic William Penn Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh, PA. The conference will begin on Tuesday, July 16thwith a pre-conference workshop on the Federal and State Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit programs and conclude with Preservation Pennsylvania’s Annual Meeting and Luncheon on Friday, July 19th.  The conference is co-sponsored by Preservation Pennsylvania, PennDOT, PHMC, DCNR, Heritage PA, and local partners and attracts over 350 attendees annually.


Girls in Ethnic Outfits dancing at Carrie Furnace. Photo courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh’s Paul Slantis Photograph Collection, ca. 1946-1956.

Girls in Ethnic Outfits dancing at Carrie Furnace. Photo courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh’s Paul Slantis Photograph Collection, ca. 1946-1956.

Pittsburgh’s industrial past, rich ethnic heritage, vibrant and well-preserved downtown, and stunning collection of historic bridges provide the perfect backdrop for a lively discussion about how to preserve historic and archaeological resources. The conference includes four days packed with concurrent educational workshops and sessions, including:

  • Historic Preservation Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit: Making Money the Old Fashioned Way
  • Open for Business: A Real-Estate Developer’s Perspective on Successful Revitalization Strategies
  • River Heritage: Archaeology
  • The Economic Impact of Recreation & Preservation Along Pennsylvania’s River Routes
  • Cultural Resource Essentials – Basics & Forum
  • Trails & Tourism
  • Economics of Heritage Tourism
  • All Aboard! Strategies to Preserve Pennsylvania’s Recreation Railroads
  • Down But Not Out: Historic Brownsville Seeks to Recapture its Vibrancy
  • The Good, the Bad and the Uncertain: The Marcellus Gas Play & Pennsylvania Communities
  • Iron City, Steel State: Preserving a Cultural Legacy of Metal Truss Bridges in the Transportation System

The conference also provides an opportunity to explore successful preservation strategies in the Pittsburgh-area with mobile workshops, including:

  • Transit & History Tour – a tour of the Monongahela Incline & Station Square
  • Babushkas & Hard Hats – a tour of Carrie Furnace & the Bulgarian Macedonia National Educational and Cultural Center
  • Pittsburgh Underground – a walking tour of Pittsburgh’s Archaeological Past
  • Transportation Project Scoping for Cultural Resources – a mobile workshop to explore the West Ohio Street/Ridge Avenue Bridges project
  • Mid-Century Modern – a walking tour of Pittsburgh’s recent past resources


Gateway Clipper – Photo courtesy of Visit Pittsburgh.

Gateway Clipper – Photo courtesy of Visit Pittsburgh.

After a day full of sessions and tours, attendees have the opportunity to relax at private evening events, including:

  • Gateway Clipper Three Rivers Cruise – a chartered river cruise open to all attendees
  • YPA’s Annual Top Ten Announcement at Wigle Whiskey Distillery
  • Conference Reception at the Heinz History Center – a private reception open to all attendees

 With twenty-three sessions and workshops, five tours, and three evening events, the Statewide Conference on Heritage provides attendees with an action packed week at an affordable price. General registration rates are set at $135 and include access to all sessions, select walking tours, and two evening events—the private cruise on the Gateway Clipper and the conference reception.  Please visit the conference website for the preliminary program and full registration information. 

The Statewide Conference on Heritage will be headquartered at the historic William Penn Hotel in the heart of Pittsburgh. The renowned William Penn Hotel was designed by architects Benno Janssen and Franklin Abbott and built by Henry Clay Frick in 1916.  Since its opening, the historic landmark has hosted wealthy industrialists, celebrities, and every president from Theodore Roosevelt to President Barack Obama.  All conference attendees are offered a discounted guest room rate of $119 a night for the duration of the conference. Please make reservations by visiting the group page at: .   Please do not delay in making your reservation; there are a limited number of rooms available and the guest room rate expires on June 18th.

The Statewide Conference on Heritage provides educational training, behind-the-scenes tours, and invaluable networking opportunities for an affordable price. Please visit the conference website, to learn more  Questions about the conference can be directed to: Jennifer Horn ( or 717-234-2310) or Joe Baker ( or 717-705-1482).

Jennifer Horn is the Program Director at Preservation Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth’s only statewide, private non-profit, membership organization dedicated to the protection of historically and architecturally significant properties. As Program Director, Jennifer manages Preservation Pennsylvania’s public outreach and educational initiatives including the Statewide Conference on Heritage, and the Project for Pennsylvania Transportation and Heritage (ProjectPATH). Jennifer received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, and anticipates her Master of Science degree in Community and Regional Planning from Temple University in 2014.