Staff Picks for the 2013 National Preservation Conference
Each year National Trust conference staffers get a behind-the-scenes look at the field sessions scheduled for the conference. They have taken this opportunity to tell you a few of their favorites and why you should grab tickets while they are still available.
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First up: Susan West-Montgomery, Senior Director of Preservation Resources
CONDUCTING A HISTORIC BUILDING OR LANDSCAPE ASSESSMENT
Interested in a hands on investigation of one of Indianapolis’ truly spectacular residential landmarks? Take part in either a building or landscape assessment project at Sommers Mansion, a rustic Cotswolds style home set within a dramatic, if neglected, Jens Jensen designed landscape. Now part of the Cold Spring School, Indianapolis’ premier public environmental studies magnet school, your work can help shape a plan to preserve and restore the Mansion as an integral part of the school’s mission. Take a look for yourself at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhIiSiqXimw.
Conducting a Historic Building Assessment takes place on Wednesday, October 30, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Cost: $85/$95. Choose session #FWE203. Conducting Historic Landscape Assessments takes place on Wednesday, October 30, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Cost: $75/$85. Choose session #FWE204.
BREAKING AWAY BICYCLE TOUR
Whether or not you’ve seen the movie Breaking Away (see trailer here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1jzs6dk4bs), you surely know that Indianans like their bikes almost as much as they love their quarries. Our bike tour won’t take you all the way to Bloomington but it will give you a wonderful introduction to Indiana’s most historic and distinctive neighborhoods and commercial districts. From the monumental boulevards of the downtown to the newly minted Cultural Trail you’ll see Indianapolis from a very special vantage point indeed.
Breaking Away Bicycle Tour takes place on Thursday, October 31, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (choose session #FTH308) and Friday, November 1, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (choose session #FFR405). The cost of each tour is: $45/$55.
Next Up: Farin Salahuddin, Associate Director of Conferences and Trainings
HERSTORIES, HEROES AND HISTORY: DISCOVER INDIANAPOLIS AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE
Donna Stokes-Lucas and Kisha Tandy take you on an important, entertaining and educational journey into Indianapolis’ African American history past. Highlights include visiting Crispus Attucks highschool, a school that boasts impressive alumni and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It also houses the Crispus Attucks Museum, devoted to local and general black history. Then visit the Walker Theater, a National Historic Landmark named for America’s first female self-made millionaire, and the site of the Conversation Starters.
Herstories, Heroes and History: Discover Indianapolis African American Heritage takes place on Thursday, October 31, 8:00-11:00 a.m. Cost: $45/$55. Choose session #FTH301.
MADISON INDIANA, SMALL TOWN, BIG IDEAS!
Ever visit those charming towns that you know are made for tourists? They’re cute and kitschy and have a feel that is manufactured. Well, that’s not Madison, Indiana. This charming National Historic Landmark district is big on charm with a totally authentic feel. See a small town preservation success and enjoy learning about the many preservation challenges from the staff of Historic Madison, Inc. You might have just found your new home…
Madison Indiana,Small Town, Big Ideas! takes place on Saturday, November 2, 8:00-6:00 p.m. Cost: $75/$85. Choose session #FTSA502.
Finally: Jacquie Johnson, Manager of Conferences and Trainings
RURAL PRESERVATION ON THE URBAN FRINGE
Just on the outskirts of downtown Indianapolis sits a charming rural landscape that’s possibly every preservationists' dream. The Rural Preservation on the Urban Fringe tour shows off a farm converted into a rural heritage center, a fully operating horse farm, and an organic dairy farm. I spent a full spring morning learning about the strategic partnerships and financing as well as meeting the incredible volunteers behind these wonderful barn and farm transformations. You’ll have a crisp and colorful fall afternoon to enjoy the same! If you have even the slightest appreciation for rural preservation with an urban backdrop (and tasty organic ice cream which will be served), you do not want to miss this session.
Rural Preservation on the Urban Fringe takes place on Friday, November 1, 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Cost: $45/$55. Choose session #FFR409.
THE HISTORIC NATIONAL ROAD
Spanning across 6 states, the Historic National Road boasts classic inns, tollhouses, diners, and motels that trace 200 years of American history. The Historic National Road: Layers of History tour goes into the expansive history and multi-layered approaches of preserving the sites and buildings along the roadway traversing the Indianan landscape. I have no doubt that the actual field session will be just as cool as my behind-the-scenes look. Starting with the session manager Joe Frost— his amazing storytelling ability will ensure that you receive one of the best interpretations of the National Road’s history. The first stop is the National Road Welcome Center which outlines the foundation for the tour. The tour then continues east to the house of Oliver P. Morton, whose name you’ll hear a lot while in Indiana, and to many one-of-a-kind mid-19th century buildings on quaint main streets along the way. You’ll even have the opportunity to participate in a fun "mapping" photo collage exercise to help you capture all of your scenic travels. If you want to learn about one of Indiana’s richest and greatest preservation projects, get moving and sign-up for the National Road tour.
The Historic National Road: Layers of History takes place on Thursday, October 31, 8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Cost: $75/$85. Choose session #FTH304.
LANDSCAPES OF RESISTANCE AND MEMORY
On Landscapes of Resistance and Memory: Indiana’s Quaker Underground Railroad Route and Longtown, you will travel to Eastern Indiana and Western Ohio to learn about the preservation efforts of sites that tell the story of resistance against the institution of slavery in the United States. You’ll hear about and be inspired by the grand collaboration at the local, state and national levels to save several remnants of iconic American history: Levi Coffin House, a National Historic Landmark, and various sites at the Longtown Settlement, a rural African American settlement. A home-cooked style cafeteria lunch will be provided at the Golden Eagle Christian Retreat Center, formerly a high school of one of the earliest fully integrated communities in the country. I can’t think of another conference that offers an in-depth exploration of the Underground Railroad designed exclusively for the preservationist.
Landscapes of Resistance and Memory: Indiana’s Quaker Underground Railroad Route and Longtown takes place on Thursday, October 31, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Cost: $75/$85. Choose session #FFR403.
Indiana local committee picks!
CAPTIVATING COURTHOUSES: TREASURES WITH CHALLENGES
Historic county courthouses are iconic landmarks that help to define communities across the nation. Indiana is fortunate to have 84 historic courthouses still in use, representing a rich variety of architectural styles from Federal to Moderne. In this all-day session, you will visit 4 courthouses from different eras and learn how counties have faced the challenges of stewardship in intriguing ways. You will also hear county officials and community leaders discuss the impact of their courthouses on the economic development of downtowns and see the results of preservation efforts with French Second Empire, Art Deco, Italian Renaissance, and Neo-Classical Beaux Arts designs.
Captivating Courthouses: Treasures with Challenges takes place on Friday, November 1, 8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Cost: $75/$85. Choose session #FFR401.
MONUMENTAL MEMORIALS AND URBAN DESIGN
Indianapolis has the largest memorial to the sacrifices of World War I veterans in the nation--the 5-block long World War Memorial Plaza. At its center, it also has one of the most extensive monuments to Union war veterans of the Civil War in the country: the Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. See the sculptural groups that interpret the experiences of Indiana's veterans in the Civil War and learn about how the State of Indiana has recently restored the bronze statue Victory at the top of the monument and responded to other conservation issues. Then walk through the War Memorial plaza and experience the Beaux Arts system of urban planning from the 1920s, as axes and counter-axes unify the five blocks of the memorial. A high point will be the monumental World War Memorial itself and its majestic Shrine Room, telling the story of World War I through a remarkable sculptural frieze. Observe how buildings along the plaza have respected its design and see how Paul Cret's masterful Classical Indianapolis Public Library and its Modern addition by Indianapolis architect Evans Woollen terminate the northern edge.
Monumental Memorials and Urban Design takes place on Thursday, October 31, 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Cost: $45/$55. Choose session #FTH311.