Yerxes ObservatoryVariety & Diversity

Preservation enables people to appreciate many places and objects. This enhances our quality of life based on everything from aesthetics to our identities.

Having a variety of sites and artifacts enriches our lives. Furthermore, since regions have unique histories & identities, studying preservation embraces diversity in such a globalized age.

Liberty Bell Postage StampsHeritage & History

Preservation is linked with heritage.  The places & things we select to preserve & retell shape our identities locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

By studying preservation one learns about the ramifications, responsibilities, and benefits of being a custodian of history.

Grand Traverse LighthouseSustainability

The greenest building is the one that already exists.

By restoring a building, one avoids expending the energy it takes to bulldoze the site and ship the waste materials to a landfill, as well as all the energy required in manufacturing, transporting, and building a new structure.  Existing buildings can be restored and used for their original purpose, or for a new one.

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The National Council for Preservation Education

Conference Call for Abstracts

Learning from the Reservation: Using the Traditional Cultural Place Perspective for Better Decision Making in a Diverse Cultural Landscape to be held April 23-25, 2015, at Delaware State University, 1200 N. DuPont Highway, Dover, Delaware 19901.

The National Council for Preservation Education is hosting a conference to highlight and share the innovative work that applies the Traditional Cultural Place perspective beyond its application to Native American historic resources to identify, document and mitigate impacts to properties important to other cultural groups. The issue of diversity in historic preservation, in terms of landscape associations, culture, and practice, is a critical and complicated one. This conference will provide a forum for the discussion of how issues of diversity challenge the application of conventional methods of identification, documentation and mitigation.

The historic resources to be discussed at this conference are best described as Traditional Cultural Places (TCPs), a term most often applied to those properties of importance to Native American/Indian Tribes and Native Hawaiian Organizations. The title, Learning from the Reservation, pays homage to the perspective of the sovereign nations who deal with the impact of the dominant American culture on their land and community. The cultural groups being discussed at this forum can benefit from the hard work and legacy of the application of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) through the lens of the Tribal Preservation programs.

The most challenging historic resources are those that continue to function into the present in the same manner as they were in the past, protected by groups who continue to manage and preserve their culture. As practitioners, we have a challenge to assist these living historic communities with getting the recognition and protections of the NHPA in ways that actually protect what the community values about their places. What constitutes physical integrity when a property is continuing to be used as it was historically? What alternative documentation strategies have worked? The goal of this conference is to bring together practitioners who have wrestled with these issues to discuss the challenges faced in an open and supportive environment, to share solutions, and have a dialog with the National Park Service, State Historic Preservation Offices, preservation practitioners and the cultural communities who need the protections of the NHPA.

Written and revised in the 1990s, the National Register of Historic Places Bulletin 38, Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Traditional Cultural Properties provided an approach to tribal preservation issues and alluded to the application of these principles to non- Native American properties. The application and acceptance of these guidelines was without much further guidance or framework for the preservation practitioners to use. Bulletin 38 is under revision by the National Park Service staff, providing an opportune time to discuss the issues of the application of these principles and hear the NPS perspective on where this approach is headed.

The conference will be organized around a single track of papers focused on three aspects of working with non-traditional Traditional Cultural Places: Identification, Documentation, and Mitigation. Confirmed speakers include: preservation consultant, blogger and Bulletin 38 co-author Tom King; consultant, professor and visionary, Ned Kaufman; and National Register and National Historic Landmark Program Manager Paul Loether. Papers can address all three topics but must focus primarily on one aspect. A stipend to cover travel expenses will be offered to all successful paper authors to facilitate participation in this event.

Paper proposals should be no more than 400 words in length, and should be accompanied by a one-page CV.

Submit paper proposals by October 15, 2014, via email to Rebecca Sheppard, and Jeremy Wells, Authors will be notified by November 30, 2014, regarding acceptance of papers. Full drafts of selected papers will be due by February 1, 2015.

For information about the conference, contact Robin Krawitz via email at or 302-857-7139.

Conference sponsors include: the National Council for Preservation Education, Delaware State University, the University of Delaware, Roger Williams University, the Delaware State Historic Preservation Office and Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, and the Historic Preservation Education Foundation.

Winners of the Student Paper Competition

Co-Sponsored by NCPE and National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Council for Preservation Education and the National Trust for Historic Preservation are pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Student Paper Competition. They are Sabrinna Cox, completing her M.F.A. in Historic Preservation at Savannah College of Art and Design, Elizabeth Pople, completing her M.S. in Architecture at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Urmila Srinivasan, who completed her MArch. in Historic Preservation from the University of Texas at Austin and Sarah White, completing her Master of Design in Historic Preservation at Boston Architectural College. Learn more about all four winners here.

The winners will present their papers at PastForward, the National Preservation Conference in Savannah, Georgia, November 2014. Their session, “Student Thinking, Student Perspectives” will be on Thursday, November 13 from 3:00-4:15pm. Each student receives free registration to the 2014 National Trust conference along with travel and hotel stipend of $700.00. The scholarship is jointly funded by NCPE and the National Trust.

To be eligible to apply to the competition, the student had to be a current full time undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in a preservation program recognized by the National Council for Preservation Education; this included students planning to graduate in Spring 2014. Papers could be developed specifically for this competition or may have been written for any preservation related course during the 2013 – 2014 academic year. The papers had to be the work of a single individual; team or group papers were not permitted. The papers had to address the topic of New Thinking/New Perspectives in Historic Preservation. This included, but was not necessarily limited to new policies, procedures, audiences, or application of new technology to the preservation of historic buildings, districts, areas, landscapes, structures or objects. The papers will be considered for publication in NCPE’s Preservation Education Research Journal.

Many thanks to Richard Wagner, Goucher College who administered the competition and to reviewers: Paul Kapp, University of Illinois, Robert Melnick, University of Oregon, Rebecca Sheppard, University of Delaware, Noel Vernon, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

We hope you can join us at the PastForward to hear these award-winning papers.

NCPE’s Objectives

  • Encouraging and assisting in the development and improvement of historic preservation education programs and endeavors in the United States and elsewhere;
  • Coordinating efforts related to preservation education with public and private organizations and interested individuals;
  • Facilitating the collection, exchange and dissemination of information and ideas concerning preservation education;
  • Creating public awareness of endeavors in preservation education.