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2021 PRESERVATION CONFERENCE

 

Sessions Descriptions

Thursday, September 23

  9:00am  Keynote Presentation: Ecologies of Memory 

  • Sara Zewde, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

In the context of rapid urban development, a changing climate, and clarified social and political tensions, the narratives embedded in ecologies of memory offer creative departures for the advocacy and design of cultural landscapes today. In this context, Sara Zewde will share lessons learned from her research on Frederick Law Olmsted's travels through the south 165 years ago and their implications for practice today. She will also share the recent work of Studio Zewde.
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10:00am  Session Block A

Despite limitations, hundreds of women across the country entered the architecture profession before being given the right to vote in 1920. Although they designed thousands of buildings, many of these trailblazing women are still not well-known. This session will explore how to identify, research, and elevate the role of late 19th and early 20th century women architects. Explore how New England architects Frances Henley, Margaret Burnham Geddes, Lois Lilley Howe, Eleanor Manning O’Connor, and Eleanor Raymond influenced architecture through innovative designs in planning, affordable housing, education, and sustainability. Learn how these pioneering women navigated a male-dominated profession, undertook sensitive renovation projects, and executed Modernist designs. Examine additional layers of sexuality, social causes, and stories of support. 
CM I 1.0 (AICP members)  1 LU (AIA members) 
 

  •   A2: Crisis Management: How Historic Preservation Is Tackling Affordable Housing & Climate Change

Low-income housing tax credits are a critical tool for developing affordable housing, and when paired with HTC funds, historic buildings can be transformed into beautiful, equitable communities. However, as climate policies become stricter and more aggressive—a necessary approach for reducing emissions—complying with energy and carbon mandates is proving to be more and more challenging within historic adaptive reuse projects. WinnDevelopment and The Architectural Team will share examples of projects, strategies, and approaches in historic adaptive reuse projects that prioritize long-term sustainability and decarbonization, while satisfying historic preservation requirements. Learn from the developer/owner and architect about The Tyler, a 1936 school building transformed into an EnerPHit community, as well as an upcoming all-electric low-carbon redevelopment strategy for Lawrence’s iconic Stone Mill during this informative session. Panelists will share specific design details, lessons learned, and ongoing challenges and opportunities for decarbonizing existing historic structures.
CM 
I 1.0 (AICP members)  1 LU|HSW (AIA members) 
 

This session will provide an overview of the Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund (MPPF), a 50% matching grant program available to municipalities and non-profit organizations for pre-development studies and development projects on properties listed in the State Register of Historic Places. Examples of projects funded over the course of the program’s 37-year history will be included, and two case studies will be highlighted. At Fort Sewall, a 17th century coastal fortification, an MPPF pre-development grant was followed by two development grants, enabling the Town of Marblehead to implement the comprehensive study’s preservation recommendations.  At the House of the Seven Gables, a development grant supported an innovative summer beam stabilization and in the process, uncovered historical fabric that has contributed to our understanding of this 17th century timber framed mansion, the setting for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous novel. Intended audience: historic property managers, municipal planners, historical society and historical commission members, preservation and design professionals.
CM 
I 1.0 
 

  •   A4: The Importance of Context and Comparative Analysis in Establishing Significance

National Register nominations demonstrate that historic resources are significant, and that they retain sufficient integrity to convey their significance. Lisa Deline, Architectural Historian at the National Park Service and reviewer of Massachusetts’ National Register nominations, will speak about the importance of context and comparative analysis in establishing significance. Historic context provides the framework for understanding an historic resource’s significance, whether at the local, state, or national level. Periods of significance will also be discussed. This session is aimed at advanced practitioners, including National Register consultants and CLG coordinators. In addition to Lisa’s presentation, there will also be time for discussion. Join in to discover what makes up the most successful nominations.

CM I 1.0 (AICP members)  1 LU (AIA members)
 

11:00am  Session Block B

Learn the background story of Boston’s newest community gathering place for food, drink, and shopping. The Charles River Speedway, a collection of historic buildings that held various roles in its 120-year history, was listed on Preservation Massachusetts' Most Endangered Places in 2010, that has been the subject of a long community process and redevelopment plan spearheaded by preservation groups, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Architectural Heritage Foundation. This case study will explore the process that recently culminated in the opening of the facility to the public as a beer garden, open-air marketplace, and event space.
CM 
I 1.0 (AICP members)  1 LU|HSW (AIA members) 
 

An introduction to documenting and evaluating Urban Renewal projects, including architecture styles and types, and general contexts. Participants will also get a basic toolbox for beginning research on these buildings. As Urban Renewal-era (ca. 1950–1970) buildings and landscapes are now 50 years of age, and thus have reached the threshold for National Register eligibility, it is critical for preservationists and planners, along with the towns and cities the buildings are in, to understand how to research, document and evaluate these resources. In this session, we will discuss best practices for this and identify appropriate historic contexts for Urban Renewal-era properties. We will also discuss case studies of completed documentation in Boston and other municipalities in the Commonwealth.
CM 
I 1.0 (AICP members)  1 LU (AIA members) 
 

Over 150 towns and cities in Massachusetts have demolition delay bylaws, which are intended to facilitate saving significant historic structures from demolition. However, these bylaws generally suffer from a serious weakness: they can only delay the demolition of a significant structure. If the developer is willing to wait out the statutory period—typically 6, 12 or 18 months—then that developer is free to proceed with demolition, regardless of the significance of the structure or the existence of other would-be buyer(s) who would save it. This session will discuss a unique demolition delay bylaw in Stockbridge that, rather than merely delaying demolitions of historic buildings, potentially forestalls demolition indefinitely. Examples of how the bylaw has worked in practice since its 2006 enactment will also be presented. This session is intended for anyone interested in the enactment or strengthening of a demolition delay bylaw in their community.
CM 
I 1.0 (AICP members)  1 LU (AIA members) 
 

Interested in entering the preservation trades or learning more about the historic preservation field? Panelists, active in the field, will share their experiences. The workshop will provide a broad look including specific resources and opportunities available in the preservation trades to help you find the right program for you focusing on hands-on preservation and maintenance. We’re also interested in hearing about your experiences and insights in how we can best provide quality historic preservation trades skills opportunities. Bring your ideas and questions!

Friday, September 24

  9:00am  Keynote Presentation: We Are Here: Preservation as an Act of Reclamation

A historic place or community’s full story can be told through the elevation of the many layers that comprise it. For African American historic places, this story has often been omitted or obscured. Yet, these places have a story to tell. Lawana Holland-Moore, Program Officer of the National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, will tell how we can change that narrative and draw attention to the still largely unrecognized collection of places and stories of African American activism and achievement.

10:00am  Session Block C

So you have a big old barn and you’re not sure what to do with it. You appreciate the agricultural heritage of your community, but have questions about your ability to maintain your historic barn. Caring for an old barn seems daunting but can be quite manageable if you have understanding, interest, and commitment to the task. Join Beverly Thomas of the NH Preservation Alliance and barn contractor Ian Blackman as they offer barn preservation tools, tips, and techniques used to preserve these irreplaceable historic resources. The presentation will cover a brief overview of barn styles in New England and outline common problems specific to each. Case studies of barn rehabilitation and reuse projects will be discussed, and possible funding sources and general maintenance tips will be shared to help barn owners preserve these icons of our agricultural heritage.
CM 
I 1.0 (AICP members)  1 LU (AIA members) 
 

The Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information Systems (MACRIS) is a web mapping application that allows users to search the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s (MHC) online MACRIS database by location for information on file with the MHC on cultural resources throughout Massachusetts. The database includes information on historic buildings, cemeteries, structures, and historic districts. This presentation will provide a basic introduction to the use and function of MACRIS Maps. There will be a brief walkthrough of the new layout, as well as examples of typical searches. Tips will be provided on how to best utilize features in MACRIS Maps, which provides users with a new perspective on Massachusetts’s cultural resources. Use of MACRIS Maps is widespread; this presentation will benefit project reviewers, preservation planners, Local Historical Commission members, academic researchers, and the general public.
CM 
I 1.0 (AICP members)  1 LU (AIA members) 
 

  •   C3: Norwottuck Network: Calling Out Local History of Former Railroads Across Massachusetts

One of the biggest recycling projects in the U.S. today is the conversion of unused, former railroads lines into rail trails—linear parks. Learn what is happening here in Massachusetts with a focus on the history of these special places.
CM 
I 1.0 (AICP members)  
 

11:00am  Session Block D

A case study of 859 Mass Ave in Cambridge. Originally a single family Second Empire house built in the late 19th century, the building was converted to offices in the 20th century, losing much of its original character in the process. In 2016, HMFH Architects was hired to convert the structure to emergency housing for up to 30 unhoused parents and children. As part of this process, HMFH worked with the Cambridge Historical Commission to preserve, or replicate if necessary, the building’s original details and proportions. In addition, the project was designed to meet, as closely as possible, the City’s net-zero mandate for energy consumption for public buildings. This presentation will explain how these preservation, sustainability, and programmatic goals were met. Intended audience: architects and engineers, preservationists, owners, and municipalities who are attempting to balance historic preservation with modern needs, including new programmatic models and sustainability requirements.
CM 
I 1.0 (AICP members)  1 LU|HSW (AIA members) 
 

  •   D2: Project Development 101: From Condition Assessment to Scope Development

Join Benjamin Haavik, Historic New England’s team leader for property care, as he discusses how to develop a successful construction plan. In an easy to understand manner, he will try to dispel the magic and give you grounding on developing a clear objective, identifying the key issues, determining the proper scope, and how to effectively turn that scope into a treatment plan (or, dare we say it, specifications).
CM 
I 1.0 (AICP members)  1 LU (AIA members) 
 

This session will review some common rehabilitation challenges, including code compliant improvements to historic stairs, installation of new commercial storefronts, division and partitioning of open interior volumes, and construction of new additions. Examples of successful solutions to these common design challenges will be presented. The session will conclude with a case study—the rehabilitation of the Worcester County Courthouse—to illustrate how a project can successfully overcome numerous design challenges. Situated in the heart of the historic Institutional District, the historic courthouse sat vacant for over 10 years. The rehabilitation of this historic landmark has added vibrancy to the downtown of Worcester, providing 118 units of mixed-income housing and a museum honoring the life and accomplishments of Worcester native and cycling champion Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor. Intended audience: Property Owners, Developers, Tax Credit Professionals, City and State Officials.
CM 
I 1.0 (AICP members)  1 LU (AIA members) 
 

A marketing genius with no formal training in architecture, Maud Brodrick of Newton, MA, designed and sold hundreds of homes in the 1920s and 1930s, when few women
worked in the field. She used her gender to her advantage, advertising the superiority of houses
that were “Woman-Planned, Woman-Designed and Woman-Built.” Learn about her
extraordinary work through brief videos created and shown by Historic Newton and stay for a Q&A with Newton House Tour organizers Laura Fitzmaurice and Clara Silverstein.