Pennsylvania Historic Preservation

Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

Welcome, new Preservation Board members!

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The Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Board is a little known, but incredibly talented, group of professionals from across the commonwealth. 

What is the Preservation Board?

The Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Board was officially created in 1980. You can read about its interesting history and first members in this post from February 2016.

Under the PA History Code and National Park Service regulations, they are charged with:

The Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Board in action at the June 2019 Statewide Conference on Heritage in Chambersburg.

Every state in the country has its own similar board; ours is made up of 15 citizens with experience in architecture, archaeology, history, architectural history, and historic preservation.  You can learn more about how they are selected and what they do in this post.

In 2019 we welcomed 7 new board members – some to fill vacancies, and some to replace board members who were rotating off the board.  We were sad to say goodbye to Suzanna Barucco, Jeff Slack, Lloyd Chapman, Steve Burg, and Brian Fritz – thank you all for your 6 years of service!!

The Board at the June 2019 meeting.
At left, standing (L-R): Rob Armstrong, Ira Beckerman, Jeff Slack, Sue Hannegan, John Conti; seated: Jayashree Shammana and Brian Fritz. At right, standing: Suzanna Barucco, Megan Tooker, Jane Sheffield, Dr. Steve Burg; seated: Christine Ussler and Lloyd Chapman.

January’s New Recruits

In January, Ira Beckerman and Jayashree Shammana joined to board at our meeting here in Harrisburg.

Ira Beckerman, PhD, RPA, from New Cumberland (Cumberland County) is the former Cultural Resources Unit Head / Historic Preservation Manager for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). Among his accomplishments during his twenty year career at PennDOT are the development of the Historic Agricultural Resources of Pennsylvania statewide agricultural context, contributing to the creation of a statewide pre-contact era archaeological predictive model, and numerous PennDOT cultural resources publications. Dr. Beckerman received his M.A and PhD. From Pennsylvania State University.

Jayashree Shamanna, from Clarks Summit (Lackawanna County), is a registered architect practicing and teaching in the Scranton region. Currently Ms. Shamanna is a principal at Belur Design and teaches at Marywood University. Ms. Shamanna has an undergraduate degree in architecture from BMS College of Engineering, Bangalor, India, and a MS in architecture from Texas A&M University.

October’s New Recruits

And just this month, at our meeting in Boalsburg at the PA Military Museum, we welcomed 5 additional new board members:

The Board at the October 2019 meeting.
From left: Lynne Calamia, PhD. (Philadelphia), Sue Hannegan (Mill Hall), Christine Ussler, AIA (Bethlehem), Megan Tooker (Bellefonte), Lindsay Varner, Ph.D. (Carlisle), Angelique Bamberg (Pittsburgh), Katherine Wyrosdick, AICP (Erie), Jayashree Shamanna (Scranton), Ben Ford Ph.D., RPA (Indiana), Johnette Davies (Philadelphia), and John Conti (Pittsburgh). Board members missing from the photo are Rob Armstrong (Philadelphia), Ira Beckerman, PhD (New Cumberland), Jane Sheffield (Altoona), and Cara Halderman (Pittsburgh).

Angelique Bamberg, from Pittsburgh (Allegheny County) is an independent consultant in historic preservation with her firm, Clio Consulting. Ms. Bamberg has twenty five years of experience with National Register nominations, Historic Resource Survey forms, and the tax credit process, all focused on protecting historic resources for the public. Ms. Bamberg has an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, graduate work at Harvard University, and a Master of Arts in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University.

Johnette Davies, from Philadelphia (Philadelphia County), is an historic preservation professional with over 20 years of experience. She has worked with non-profits and state historic preservation offices, as well as in the consulting world. Ms. Davies is currently the Lead Historic Preservation Specialist with the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak). Her work focuses on federal compliance, eligibility assessments, and staff education.

Ben Ford, PhD, RPA, is from Indiana (Indiana County). Dr. Ford is Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He was a founding faculty member of the IUP Applied Archaeology Master’s Program. He has over twenty years of experience as an archaeologist, including ten focused on Pennsylvania with an emphasis in historical and maritime archaeology. Dr. Ford has an undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati, a master’s degree from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and a PhD from Texas A&M University in Nautical Archaeology.

Lindsay Varner, PhD., from Carlisle (Cumberland County) is the Community Outreach Director for the Cumberland County Historical Society, and the Project Director for the Greater Carlisle Heart & Soul Project. Dr. Varner has undergraduate degrees in History and Government and Political Affairs from Millersville University. She earned a master’s degree and a PhD in History from the University of Durham (United Kingdom). Her work with the Cumberland County Historical Society has focused on public history and engaging communities with preservation and history through civic engagement and action-based programming.

Katherine Wyrosdick, AICP, from Erie (Erie County) is currently the Planning Director for the City of Erie, their first in 50 years. Prior to that, Ms. Wyrosdick served for three years as the Director of Planning for Erie County. She developed the County’s Historic Preservation and Cultural Heritage Plan and has plans to develop a working group to implement preservation sections of the city’s comprehensive plan to protect historic buildings. She has an undergraduate degree from Marshall University (West Virginia), and a Master’s in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan.

Our new chair and vice-chair also started their terms at the October meeting.  The Board is now led by Susan Hannegan (Centre County) and Rob Armstrong (Philadelphia).

Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Board Vice Chairman Rob Armstrong of Philadelphia shows off his conference t-shirt and #PreservAtionHappensHere pride in Chambersburg this past June.

The Board’s next meeting is scheduled for February 4, 2020 at the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg. Please join us!

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