Staff Picks for the National Preservation Conference
Each year staff from the National Trust have the opportunity to "dry run" the field sessions scheduled for the conference and they have taken this opportunity to tell you their favorites and why you should all grab these tickets while they are still available.
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First up: Farin Salahuddin, Conference Manager
Ever been to the Grand Coulee Dam? Neither had I! But I’m glad to have had the experience of taking this exclusive and preservation focused behind the scenes tour. Wikipedia says that, “It is the largest electric power-producing facility in the United States and one of the largest concrete structures in the world.” And when you walk along its now closed off bridge (used to be open to the public, but is no longer after 9/11) or walk through its seemingly endless tiled tunnels (don’t be surprised if you see workers passing by you on bicycles or mini mopeds!) you might feel some of the power of this awesome facility. Compare this industrial behemoth to the awe inspiring and vast landscape of the coulee and you’re in for a unique, specially designed and tailored tour for attendees of the National Preservation Conference!
Hot Dam! The Grand Coulee from Ice Age Floods to Brutalism takes place on Tuesday, October 30, 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m (choose session #FTU101) and Saturday, November 3, 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (choose session #FSA504). The cost of each tour is: $85/$95
A COYOTE IN THE HENHOUSE
A cryptic title? All will be revealed when you're taken on this behind the scenes tour of the American Indian Archives at the Smithsonian affiliated Museum of the Arts and Culture (locally referred to as the MAC). Any preservationist would be fascinated to learn about the efforts to bring local tribes together to present different and sensitive cultural perspectives for the viewing public. You'll get to roam the stacks of archives and see the vast treasures that have yet to be viewed, including traditional clothing, beaded purses, woven baskets and children's toys.
A Coyote in the Henhouse? New Partnerships for Tribal Interpretations take place on Wednesday, October 31 8:00 a.m.-noon. Cost: $45/$55. Choose session #FWE200.
Next Up: Lori Feinman, Director of Conferences
ARE YOU A FOOL FOR POWER PLANTS?
I’m no engineer, but I readily admit that am a fool for industrial heritage and totally dig old power infrastructure, and was lucky enough to be the guest of Larry LaBolle of Avista for the tour “The Spokane River: Powering the Story of People, Place and Revitalization.” Larry ties together the stories of the Spokane River, a mighty source of power both spiritual and electrical, the tribes that depend on it to this day, and the growth of the power industry to supply the burgeoning inland northwest with electricity. And then you go into the coolest historic facilities, and hear how a small number of Avista employees have been able to convince the company to preserve and maintain these behemoths. I can’t think of another conference that will take you into such fabulous working historic resources being stewarded by a company that makes preservation a priority.
The Spokane River: Powering the Story of People, Place, and Revitalization takes place on Friday. November 2 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Cost: $75/$85. Choose session #FFR403.
AND I WOULD HAVE GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT TOO, IF IT WASN’T FOR THOSE DARN KIDS!
Halloween is a special time of year. We all eat more candy than we should, and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re well sugared up at the conference, but there is a better and less caloric way to celebrate the holiday – with a tour of Spokane’s reportedly haunted cemeteries with John Caskey, resident historian of Fairmount cemeteries, and nationally recognized flag expert (really) and snazzy undertaker/reenactor.
A Halloween Trip to the Cemetaries take place Wednesday, October 31 8:00 a.m.-noon. Cost: $45/$55. Choose session #FWE201.
If you love ghost stories, here are some of Spokane’s best hauntings.
Finally: Jacquie Johnson, Program Coordinator for Conferences and Meetings
GREAT GREEN BUILDINGS
Are you looking for a comprehensive session on sustainable historic preservation? “Sustainability in Action” is where you’ll score big. This no holds barred tour gives attendees unparalleled access to four preservation award winning and LEED certified buildings to explore the links between historic preservation, sustainability, and energy efficiency. Regardless of the building type for your next “green” project—apartment, restaurant, hotel, office complex—prepare yourself to be challenged and inspired by Spokane’s sustainable approaches. Lunch will be provided to tour participants at the Honor Award-winning Steam Plant Square following a tour of the facility. This session is a repeat session.
Sustainability in Action takes place on Thursday, November 1, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. (choose session #FTH302) and Friday, November 2, 8:15 a.m.-4:15 (choose session #FFR405). The cost of each tour is: $75/$85.
HAPPY SCHOOL DAYS
Whether you’ve recently set foot in a school building or vowed to never return since leaving XX amount of years ago, as a fellow preservationist, I’m sure you’d agree that historic schools are amongst a city’s most precious building stock. During the “Reading, Writing and Restoring” tour, I found myself secretly wishing I was a student attending one of the recently restored schools. There was a pure genius spirit behind Steven McNutt, AIA, and his NAC Architecture team’s transformation of century old buildings into modern learning institutions. And the ways in which current students and alumni take pride in the newly renovated schools, many of whom were involved in the restoration projects, was equally impressive—a few of these individuals will share their stories during the tour. So, if you’re thinking about starting a school makeover project in your local community, planning to send your kids to a restored historic school, or would like to “experience” how today’s youth are living in the lap of luxury as students in these beautiful historic buildings, this tour is just for you! Lunch will be provided in the exquisite food court of John R. Rogers High School.
Reading, Writing, and Restoring takes place on Friday, November 2, 8:15 a.m.-4:15 p.m.. Cost is: $75/$85. Choose session #FFR406
ATTENTION! REPORT TO MILITARY HISTORY, POSTS, AND PRESERVATION IMMEDIATELY
During the military history and preservation tour, I got an extraordinary behind-the-scenes look at adaptive reuses of historic buildings and sites previously used to support US military operations. At Fort George Wright, a National Register listed site, you will learn how projects such as that of incorporating a cherry blossom tree landscape design and converting a mess hall into a Japanese cultural center were the perfect touches in making the military base home to the international campus of the Mukogawa Women’s University. Your visit to the Historic Art Deco inspired Felts Field Airport, Spokane’s first municipal airport terminal and first headquarters of the Washington Air National Guard, will also deliver an enlightening and eye-popping experience—you will get a peek at design plans and hear from the architects of the proposed Armed Forces and Aerospace Museum. And while I didn’t see the historic aircraft that will be brought in especially for the tour participants during the conference, I saw some pretty incredible pictures of the aircraft which alone are worth taking the tour.
Military History, Posts, and Preservation in the Inland Northwest takes place on Friday, November 2, 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.. Cost is: $45/$55. Choose session #FFR409
SPOKANE’S DIVERSITY AND PRESERVATION CHALLENGES
In a place as rich as Spokane in immigrant history and ethnic diversity, an in-depth look at its cultural landscape lends a firm understanding of its preservation efforts. The “Spokane’s Diversity: People, Culture and Neighborhoods” tour gave me just what I needed to conceptualize the challenges and solutions for implementing preservation-based revitalization projects in diverse communities. Now here’s your chance to learn about Spokane’s diversity and how the various stakeholders—planning professionals, developers, scholars, residents—are meeting the preservation challenges.
Foodie Alert! Ethnic food samples will be available at a few stops on the tour to excite your palate.
Check out the links below for a sneak peek at some of the places that will be featured and/or discussed during the tour.
Spokane’s Diversity: People, Culture and Neighborhoods takes place on Friday, November 2, 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.. Cost is: $45/$55. Choose session #FFR411