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Tues., Aug. 10
Beyond Integrity in ... King County, Washington State
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4Culture's Beyond Integrity in King County, WA State ... Holly Taylor, Eugenia Woo, and Manisha Chalana
Holly Taylor has worked in the historic preservation field for 25 years, initially as a staff member for the King County Landmarks Commission in Seattle, and since 2003 as owner and principal of Past Forward, a consulting business specializing in cultural resource conservation projects. She holds degrees in cultural anthropology and architecture history and theory, and is a doctoral candidate in the Built Environments Interdisciplinary PhD program at the University of Washington, where her research focuses on the cultural significance of historic places. She also serves as an affiliate instructor for UW’s Department of Urban Design and Planning.
Eugenia Woo has parlayed a fascination with architecture, history, cities, and communities into a career in historic preservation for the past 25 years. As Historic Seattle’s Director of Preservation Services since 2009 she leads the organization’s advocacy efforts, fighting the good fight to “save Seattle’s soul.”
Eugenia has a BA in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master in Urban Planning and a Preservation Planning and Design Certificate from the University of Washington. She is a co-founder of Docomomo US/WEWA and serves on its Board as Treasurer. She also serves on the 4Culture Board of Directors and the Washington State Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
Eugenia has a fondness for vernacular roadside architecture and Googie design.
Beyond Integrity ... Across Borders
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How Landmark Designation Policies Sustain Bias and Social Injustice ... Dr. Jeremy Wells
In the United States, historic preservation rules and regulations drive about three-quarters of the field’s work. A particularly common area of this practice focuses on the official designation of historic buildings and places. It is now common knowledge that these registers (local, state, and national) over-emphasize the contributions of wealthy, White men while severely under-representing the contributions of women and people with non-dominant racial or ethnic identities. Addressing this problem, however, needs to move beyond simply recognizing and documenting the histories of marginalized people to how the policy environment sustains this injustice. Specific areas on which this presentation will focus include:
- One of the most serious issues in the preservation field is that the vast majority of people who work or volunteer in policy-related preservation endeavors or who study in historic preservation degree programs are White. There is a significant lack of representation from African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinx people, or Indigenous people (among other possible groups with non-dominant identities) in policy-driven preservation work or in educational programs related to this work.
- Landmark designation policies help to sustain the erasure of the place-based history of people with non-dominant racial or ethnic identities and is used as a paternalistic tool to force marginalized groups to adopt racially-biased historical narratives. These policies make it more difficult to document the lives and places of people associated with non-dominant racial or ethnic identities.
- How historical integrity, as promulgated by rules and regulations for the National Register of Historic Places, is biased against people with non-dominant racial or ethnic identities.
- Landmark designation policy supports placation and tokenism in its public “engagement” requirements related to planning efforts; there is too much emphasis for this work to be an objective, check-the-box endeavor.
- Preservation workplaces that primarily exist for the purposes of regulatory compliance suppress innovation and dissent, including efforts around diversity, inclusion, and equity.
Using this discussion for context, this presentation will then focus on ways to solve some of these issues in order to support people-centered changes to historic preservation policy, including more flexibility around what have often been dogmatic approaches to significance and integrity.
Dr. Jeremy C. Wells is an associate professor in the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and Interim Director of the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Maryland, College Park.
His research focuses on the psychology of heritage places; making the preservation enterprise more equitable, just, and resilient; and innovative community engagement tools for preservation planners. He runs the website, http://heritagestudies.org, to explore these topics with the goal of making historic preservation more human-centered.
Beyond Integrity in ... Washington, DC
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The Utility of Value: Rectifying the Flaws of Significance and Integrity in American Public Housing ... Elsa Haarstad
Public housing of the twentieth century is a significant historic and cultural resource in the United States. It represents the homes of tens of thousands of people, housing and social reform in America, the evolving practices of services for the poor, and histories of segregation and displacement. However, less than 0.2% of constructed public housing sites have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. I assert that this lack of recognition in preservation is a result of the intersection of devaluing spaces associated with poor people of color and the erroneous conflation of architectural significance with physical integrity.
While several public housing sites are applicable to this presentation, I will primarily focus on Barry Farm Dwellings’ evaluation of historic significance. Through community engagement and organizing, Barry Farm Dwellings, a site that was originally determined not eligible for historic designation, was successfully designated as a District of Columbia Historic Landmark. I explore why historic preservation has undervalued public housing and how the tools for evaluations are failing to address complex sites. Grappling with how historic preservationists evaluate historical significance and integrity with regard to public housing, I seek to demonstrate how a values-centered approach can bring more holistic and defensible methods to public housing evaluations. Ideally, this could result in the preservation of historic public housing, or at the very least, result in mitigation measures if the housing is demolished.
Public housing is an exceptionally important historic and cultural resource, yet many preservationists and agency reviewers have failed to apply the criteria for evaluating significance and integrity in a good faith effort. I believe the integration of values-centered preservation methods will yield more robust, transparent, equitable, accessible, and legally defensible preservation practices. Ultimately, the integration of values-centered preservation into the determination of eligibility process will produce a preservation practice that fosters community empowerment, a critical component to equitable preservation of public housing.
Elsa Haarstad is a Master of Arts in Art History Candidate with an emphasis in Design and Architectural History at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to these studies, she received her Master of Arts in Historic Preservation from Goucher College outside of Baltimore, Maryland, culminating in her thesis, The Utility of Value: Rectifying the Flaws of Significance and Integrity in American Public Housing.
Elsa’s research primarily focuses on the history and theory design, architecture, and preservation, with an emphasis on the preservation and demolition of public housing. While at Goucher College she received the Stephen K.F. and Katherine W. Lee Prize for her documentation of the Clarence W. Perkins Homes, a public housing complex in Baltimore, MD that has since been demolished.
Elsa also assists Twopoint Studio, a small architecture studio in Baltimore focusing on affordable and public housing, where she leads research and evaluations for the team’s historic projects.
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Historical, not historic: Destabilizing Historic Preservation through the Redevelopment of Barry Farm ... Meena Morar
Historic preservation is an aspect of American culture that is sacredly remembered as one of the core tenets of American identity and exceptionalism. From beautifully persevered National Parks to countless plaques adorning street corners, history is memorialized for many various reasons. For example, at times, historic preservation has also been used as a form of activism to halt redevelopment. In 2019, a group of tenants and community organizers fought to save Barry Farm Dwellings, a public housing complex in Southeast D.C., from the looming threat of demolition. Unfortunately, the case fell short due to a lack of “historic integrity,” or a physical embodiment of certain historic attributes within the remaining buildings. This undergraduate thesis investigates why historic preservation failed the Barry Farm community and questions its ability to preserve and commemorate a community in general.
My research features a mixture of interviews with both tenants and key stakeholders of Barry Farm, as well as a multitude of National Park Service documents and a Historic Preservation Review Board legal hearing. An analysis of these sources culminates into an understanding of how in the case of Barry Farm, historic preservation functioned as a narrowly defined entity steeped in respectability politics, ultimately costing so many tenants their homes and tight-knit community. Furthermore, this thesis argues that preservation of the past neither encapsulates nor protects the identity of a current community.
Meena Morar is a journalist, researcher, queer community builder, and incoming first-year law student at the UC Davis School of Law. Meena received their B.A. in American Studies and Journalism from Georgetown University, in which they completed their senior thesis analyzing historic preservation and the way it has been used as a form of activism in Barry Farm, a public housing complex in DC.
Meena is interested in centering the voices of people with lived experience at the forefront of any project or story. As an aspiring lawyer, Meena is interested in the impact that analyzing and utilizing the law can hold in destabilizing institutions of power in order to promote social change.
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Success stories: Four factors that make preservation of culturally significant sites possible in Washington, DC ... Jacqueline Drayer
Washington, DC has one of the country’s strongest preservation laws. It is possible to designate a historic site over owner objection. It is possible to protect a property even after it has a pending raze permit. But is it possible to designate a site purely based on its cultural history?
For more than three years I worked as the Outreach and Grants Manager for the DC Preservation League, where I led preparation of 12 National Register nominations and managed the local designation process, including delivering testimony before community groups and the DC Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB). Many sites, such as the American Theater, had important cultural history (often related to Black, LGTBQ, and/or women’s history), but compromised integrity. In most cases, we were able to successfully advocate for local designation by the HPRB. In a handful of cases, including the case of a historically Black church, our efforts failed – and that church was demolished.
Using several past landmark efforts as case studies, I will explore the major factors that indicated whether designation efforts would succeed or fail, in order to provide a basis for others to successfully advocate for culturally significant sites in their communities. In my experience in Washington, those factors were:
Having a local preservation law that requires landmarks and historic districts to possess only one of seven criteria for significance (events, history, individuals, architecture and urbanism, artistry, work of a master, archaeology), four of which are cultural.
Requiring properties to have sufficient integrity to convey the qualities for which they are judged significant – this gives culturally significant properties greater flexibility in achieving “sufficient integrity.”
Community engagement and support – especially for culturally significant properties, if the HPRB did not see community interest in their preservation, designation was less likely.
Testimony that educated and explained to the HPRB why it is important to designate a site based on its cultural history, and not penalize it for diminished integrity as a result of being connected to a historically underrepresented group.
Then, instead of a Q&A session, there will be an audience discussion where participants are invited to share their own experience protecting culturally significant sites, and the factors they believe impacted the success or failure of sites to be protected through the conventional policy process. We can also discuss ideas for making changes to preservation ordinances that make the process more inclusive, as was recently done in Denver, CO.
Jacqueline Drayer is the Owner and Principal of Mulberry History Advisors, where she specializes in preparing national, state, and local register nominations; Section 106 consulting party advising; nonprofit strategy; and preservation planning. Mulberry History Advisors' work is guided by the understanding that the built environment is a powerful tool for interpreting history, building equity, and creating a sustainable future. Jacqueline has worked as a municipal senior planner, senior architectural historian, and nonprofit manager.
Her accomplishments include leading the preparation of a dozen National Register nominations, writing the first historic preservation policy for cellular installations in Wisconsin, and effectively representing nonprofit and municipal interests in Section 106 undertakings initiated by half a dozen federal agencies. Her clients are leaders in the 21st-century historic preservation and urban planning fields.
Beyond Integrity in ... Ohio
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Utilizing the Ohio Historic Inventory to Document Culturally Significant Properties ... Carrie Rhodus and Deqah Hussein-Wetzel
This presentation will be a case study of the successes and failures of my work to document and preserve culturally significant properties in the City of Cincinnati. Through my role as a Community Surveyor with the Ohio History Service Corps, I have added 200 properties (as of June 1st, 2021) to the Ohio Historic Inventory. The Ohio Historic Inventory is a statewide list of documented historic properties. This list is utilized by SHPO staff for project reviews, such as Section 106, and can prevent the demolition/alteration of significant properties that do not appear significant by a simple windshield survey of the Area of Potential Effects on a project. The properties I have documented were selected for addition by community survey, only including properties that community members found significant. I will discuss the methods I utilized to garner this community input. My partner, Deqah, and I will then discuss additional steps towards preservation which have been taken since listing, including National Register of Historic Places nominations, rehabilitation projects, walking tours, social media opportunities, podcasting, and Ohio Historical Markers.
I will also discuss the losses that have occurred to my surveyed properties, including the recent demolition of a Green Book site, to emphasize the importance of documenting sites before they are gone. We will also discuss how we are using these listings to update older National Register listings which only mention the architectural significance of properties that have cultural significance as well. Documentation is the first step to preservation and needs to be done on a more proactive basis across the country. In addition to the potential for saving these properties from demolition, this documentation can also serve as important archival evidence of properties which do end up demolished or significantly altered. Each form includes two photographs of the property, which can help to identify proper materials for future restorations. This session will teach others how to document properties in their own localities and how that documentation can lead to large scale preservation of previously unknown significant properties.
Carrie Rhodus holds a Bachelor of Science in History and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from Ball State University. She has worked as a teacher, draftsperson, Realtor, and historic preservation specialist. Currently, she is serving as a Community Surveyor with the city of Cincinnati for the Ohio History Service Corps.
She is also a co-founder of Urbanist Media, a preservation and planning consulting and empowerment non-profit based in Cincinnati. Through these roles, Carrie has added over two hundred properties to the Ohio Historic Inventory, helped local community groups start the National Register of Historic Places and/or local designation nomination process for over twenty properties, and engaged in countless community outreach.
Deqah Hussein-Wetzel is a Cincinnati-based architectural historian with Urbanist Media and the host and producer of the Urban Roots Podcast. She studied Urban Planning at the University of Cincinnati, went on to graduate school at the University of Oregon, and was awarded her degree in historic preservation with a certificate in nonprofit management. Today, Deqah works within communities to activate and preserve their histories and is involved with important organizations that help facilitate such efforts such as Invest in Neighborhoods and the Cincinnati Preservation Association.
Beyond Integrity in ... Santa Monica, CA
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Commemorative Justice and the Re-centering of the African American Experience in Santa Monica, CA Heritage Conservation ... Alison Rose Jefferson, Ph.D.
In my presentation, I will give an overview of development of Bay Street Beach Historic District National Register Listing and Belmar History + Art. Both are social justice projects that reclaim and reconstruct the erased historical African American experience of the South Santa Monica Beach neighborhoods which contributed to the bay city’s development and cultural life from the 1900s into the mid-twentieth century decades. The stories of people, places and events showcased in the projects are an outgrowth of my research, some of which is included in my recent book, Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era. I will discuss how these projects recasts the significance of the African American experience in national and Southern California history, the Santa Monica urban landscape of intangible and tangible heritage sites, and heritage conservation efforts in contemporary times. I will also discuss innovative public programming partnerships between various groups I have been a part of that facilitates remembrance of African American voices at these Santa Monica historic sites.
Alison Rose Jefferson M.H.C. | Ph.D. is an independent historian, cultural producer and heritage conservation consultant. Her research interests explore the intersection of American history, the African American experience in California, historical memory, spatial justice, commemorative justice, and cultural tourism. She uses her work to connect with the concerns and interests of present-day communities who have been underserved and aims to engage broad audiences through applied history projects in the struggle for social justice. Her scholarly work, public engagement, and professional service includes work with colleagues: in academic and grade school youth programs and public policy; at historical sites; in documentary films and the arts; and other public programming collaborations.
Dr. Jefferson is currently finishing up the multifaceted Belmar History + Art project with the City of Santa Monica to reclaim the erased and ignored African American experience in the bay city’s history. This initiative includes a historical context essay, a permanent outdoor exhibition installation of history interpretative text panels and a large public sculpture, grade school lesson plans, a website and other education and inspiration components. Features of the project have been rolling out in phases since the end of 2020 into 2021. She is also concluding a 2021 Scholar in Residence with the Institute for the Study of Los Angeles at Occidental College. In virtual campus and public programs she has shared her work to re-center the African American experience in local history and heritage conservation efforts.
Her book, Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era (University of Nebraska Press, 2020) was awarded the 2020 Miriam Matthews Ethnic History Award by the Los Angeles City Historical Society for its significant contributions to the understanding of Los Angeles and Southern California history. It rethinks the significance of the struggle for equal access for all to California’s recreation and relaxation offerings at public and private spaces—part of the long freedom rights struggle by Black Americans and other people of color.
Among several upcoming projects with different organizations, Dr. Jefferson is beginning planning with the California African American Museum for an exhibition, Radical Leisure, that will open in December 2022 which will illuminate the extraordinary social and economic experiences of Black Angelenos described in her book and showcase how interpretations in art and public policy of some these historical findings are being expressed in contemporary times. Her work has garnered attention in KCET-LA programming, the Los Angeles and New York Times, The Guardian and Le Monde newspapers, CBS TV 60 Minutes+ news program and other media. Learn more about Dr. Jefferson’s work at alisonrosejefferson.com.
Beyond Integrity in ... Los Angeles, CA
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Cultural Significance: The Chicano Arts Collective of Highland Park ... Alexandra Isabel Madsen and Jamie Tijerina
On January 21, 2021, the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission voted to approve two Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) nominations for properties associated with the Chicano Arts Collective of Highland Park: the Centro de Arte Público and the Mechicano Art Center. These two properties played a pivotal role in providing a space for Latino artists to showcase their creative work in a welcoming environment. Despite well-documented significance and identification in a City-led context statement, securing approval for the nominations was not straightforward. Nomination presentations involved educating the commission on the larger history of the Chicano movement and couching these properties into that context, while also providing a platform for community comment and support. With the threat of erasure due to ongoing city development, there’s a dire need to preserve the spaces that served marginalized groups. This presentation explores the nexus of commission education, historic contexts, and the strength of community support in heritage conservation.
Alexandra Isabel Madsen is an Architectural Historian based out of Los Angeles, California. She holds a Master of Arts in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Saint Anselm College. Alexandra has broad experience in preservation, including work in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. She has worked throughout California on historic resource assessment reports, nominations for federal and local registers, historic context statements, and historic resources surveys.
Alexandra is a member of the Highland Park Heritage Trust and served as the Vice President from 2018 to 2020. As Vice President, Alexandra presented and published original research on the community, including its long history of lawn bowling. From 2019 to 2020, she also served as the City of Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission-appointed board member for the Highland Park-Garvanza Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) Board. In this role, Alexandra provided technical expertise and guidance on preservation methods for proposed projects in the neighborhood. Her recent publications include articles in LAist and Environmental Practice.
Jamie Tijerina is a professional with unique experiences in academic research, the arts, local Los Angeles City government, and non-profits with proven success on various projects. She is dedicated to the advancement of science, arts, and community. Historic and cultural preservation in the Northeast and Eastside communities of Los Angeles in which she was raised is a major part of the work she does in her community.
Scientific Researcher at California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
President, Highland Park Heritage Trust
Budget Advocate, Region 8, Northeast LA
Budget Representative, Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council
Board Member, Art in the Park LA
Creator of the NELearn Community Learning Series
Education and Certifications:
B.Sc. Biological Sciences and MBA from Drexel University
Specialist in Cytometry, SCYM(ASCP)CM, certified by the American Society for Clinical Pathology
Six Sigma Green Belt, University of Southern California (USC)
Wed., Aug. 11
Beyond Integrity in ... King County, Washington State
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Beyond Integrity in King County Part 2: Nomination Inclusion Project ... Sarah Steen and Jamie Merriman-Cohen
This presentation would detail a recent project undertaken by the King County Historic Preservation Program to identify and update existing landmark nominations which lacked important information about significant and typically underrepresented people or communities relevant to the landmark’s history. Building on an analysis by 4Culture’s Beyond Integrity working group, and using Certified Local Government funds offered by the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, KCHPP hired a preservation graduate student to assist staff in nomination research and development of (3) existing landmark nomination forms. The Hotel Redmond, the Fall City Hop Shed and the Newcastle Cemetery, all designated landmarks in King County, were missing key elements of their social and cultural narratives within their historical contexts. The Nomination Inclusion Project was focused on documenting a more accurate and more dynamic record of each resource.
Sarah Steen is an architectural historian with over a decade of experience working with 19th and 20th-century historic structures and cultural landscapes along the west coast. Prior to her current position as landmarks coordinator for King County, Washington, Sarah worked in historic preservation and cultural resource management in both Oregon and Washington state park systems, and for the National Park Service at Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve in Washington and Yosemite National Park in California.
A graduate of the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture & Environment, Sarah holds a BA in American History and an MS in Historic Preservation, with a concentration on materials conservation. Sarah has an ongoing interest in finding effective ways to translate the ethnographic framework and systems focus utilized in cultural landscape studies into historic preservation practice.
Jamie Merriman-Cohen is a graduate student in the University of Washington Master of Urban Planning program, obtaining a Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation. She is currently working on a graduate thesis that explores preserving Jewish history in the Seattle Central Area using an intersectional framework. Ms. Merriman-Cohen is particularly interested in how to better include underrepresented histories in preservation practices.
Recently, Ms. Merriman-Cohen had the honor of working with the King County Historic Preservation Program to update an existing landmark nomination for the Fall City Hop Shed. The revised nomination built on 4Culture’s Beyond Integrity recommendations and included the experiences of Native American and Chinese populations in the cultural landscape of the Snoqualmie Valley hops industry at the turn of the twentieth century.
With a remarkable collaboration between members of Sephardic Bikur Holim and Tolliver Temple Church of God in Christ, Ms. Merriman-Cohen is developing a City of Seattle landmark nomination for the Tolliver Temple / Sephardic Bikur Holim building in the Central Area. The nomination elevates the underrepresented history of Seattle’s Jewish community and the contributions of its unique Sephardic population, and the underrepresented history of Seattle’s Black population. Dedicated in 1929, the building tells the story of the Central Area’s diverse ethnic, cultural, racial, and religious histories, its changing demographics, and how multiple communities have invested in and cherished this resource over time. Generous support and advocacy from the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation Valerie Sivinski Fund, the Washington State Jewish Historical Society, and the Black Heritage Society of Washington State have moved the nomination forward and brought visibility and momentum to the project.
Ms. Merriman-Cohen is grateful for the opportunity to participate in the inaugural Beyond Integrity in (X) Virtual Conference, and for the passionate and dedicated historic preservation community.
Beyond Integrity in ... Montgomery, AL
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Designating Sites of Struggle: The Potential and Pitfalls of Thematic Framework Studies and Historic Context Statements ... Lori Aument
Inclusive thematic framework studies and historic context statements are credited with increasing equity in the identification of historic properties. These official histories provide new perspectives to guide future documentation and listing of significant places that have been actively excluded in the past. They are intended to invite a broader range of people to see themselves as important actors in the past. The goal is to broaden the narrow standards of what, and whose, history is important. But do they work?
This presentation will take a critical look at national thematic frameworks and historic context statements targeting Civil Rights heritage. It will discuss the impact they have on building equity in practice. Heritage sites in Montgomery, Alabama, reveal a wide range of preservation methods on the ground that can help us evaluate where thematic framework studies work well for inclusion, and how they fall short. The speaker brings experience working on multiple Civil Rights heritage sites throughout the South, including the Frank M. Johnson Courthouse in Montgomery. The rich Civil Rights heritage sites in Montgomery will be a jumping off point to discuss the following issues: How can national thematic frameworks and local historic context statements help make nominations more inclusive? What happens when we clean up sites with ugly, or negative, heritage? How do we affirm the living heritage of the Civil Rights struggle? And what is the importance of seeing oneself in history in order to continue the struggle today?
Lori Aument is a building conservator and owner of L.R. Aument, LLC. She has over 20 years' experience consulting with architects and institutions on historical buildings and sites. She helps clients to uncover the past and manage change in the present, so that they can share the stories that matter in the future. She leads project planning and management for specialized heritage work, from pre-design to implementation. Lori has helped non-profit organizations and community groups, as well as major universities and government institutions. On every project, she seeks to add lasting value to the site’s ongoing story. In 2019, Lori launched a Philadelphia history podcast, Found in Philadelphia, to tell little-known stories from our city’s past that still impact our lives today. She received a Master’s degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania.
Beyond Integrity in ... Portland, OR
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Expanding the National Register: Case Studies from Portland, Oregon ... Brandon Spencer-Hartle, Kristin Minor, and Donald L. Horn
Since 1966, over 700 resources have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places within the city of Portland, Oregon. The overwhelming majority of these resources were listed in the National Register for significant association with the city's white-dominant history and/or representation of the works of prominent designers. Because Oregon law requires local governments apply demolition review to listings in the National Register, many property owners and tenants have pursued federal recognition primarily as a vehicle to protect the city's most architecturally meritorious resources from loss. While five decades of nominations have protected large areas of the city from demolition, largely absent from Portland's roster of National Register listings are resources associated with Black, Indigenous, and other Portlanders of color, as well as resources important for LGBTQ+, immigrant, and social history.
This session will explore recent experiences in Portland, Oregon, listing resources associated with underrepresented histories in the National Register. Presenters Brandon Spencer-Hartle, Kristen Minor, and Don Horn will describe efforts to work within National Register criteria to advance listing of resources significantly associated with the African American and LGBTQ+ experiences, despite integrity changes that would otherwise render such resources ineligible for the National Register. Specifically, the presenters will describe the opportunity and utility of developing National Register Multiple Property Documents (MPDs) with bespoke registration requirements that address integrity specific to unique themes of resources. While primarily addressing integrity in the context of nominating unrepresented resources to the National Register, the presenters will briefly describe how the City of Portland applies protections to resources exhibiting significance beyond integrity.
Brandon Spencer-Hartle (he/him/white) is the Historic Resources Program Manager for the City of Portland, Oregon. In this role, Brandon manages all aspects of the City's long-range historic preservation programs, including regulations, incentives, and the citywide inventory of surveyed and designated historic resources. In partnership with community experts, volunteers, and professionals, Brandon coordinated the development of the African American Historic Resources in Portland, Oregon Multiple Property Document, which was accepted by the National Park Service in 2020. Brandon is currently managing the Historic Resources Code Project, a comprehensive rewrite of the City's historic preservation ordinance anticipated to be adopted in the fall.
Brandon previously served as the Preservation Programs Manager at the statewide nonprofit Restore Oregon, where he managed statewide advocacy, education, and policy programs. Brandon holds degrees from Portland State University and University of Oregon, and has the distinction of interning at Historic Seattle in 2010 under the direction of Eugenia Woo.
I am Kristen Minor, and I would say first and foremost, that I am an urbanist. I bring the passion to make our shared places better, more inclusive, more beautiful, more sustainable, and more deeply based on an authentic sense of place. My primary area of expertise is in Historic Preservation. My career has been divided into decades-long periods of practicing architecture, of land use planning and project review at the City of Portland, and of providing consultation on a wide range of historic preservation work. I teach an occasional class at the University of Oregon’s Master in Preservation program in architectural survey & inventory methodology, and I also have been on the Portland Landmarks Commission since 2015; the chair since 2018. I am now the owner of a solo consulting business (Minor Planning and Design).
I believe that historic preservation is a solution to many problems, but we have work to do to increase its public credibility, to examine who benefits from historic preservation, and to tell full, factual, and intersectional accounts in our narratives. Examining integrity is one important step in this journey, and I am very excited to participate in this inaugural conference.
Donald L. Horn (aka “Donnie”) is a playwright, author, director, historian, activist, documentarian, set designer, costumer, and producer (of well over 235 theatrical productions in the past 32 years) and the founder of triangle productions! one of the oldest LGBTQ-identified theatre companies in the US - established in 1989 and based in Portland, Oregon.
He has written over fifteen books (fiction and non-fiction) as well as 20 plays and musicals which have either won or been nominated for various theatrical awards including Best Musical and Best Director.
In 2020, Don was recognized as one of Oregon’s “Queer Heroes” for all the work he has done for the LGBTQ community.
He and his company triangle productions! was awarded the 2021 Oregon Heritage Excellence Award for The Darcelle Project which included five books, an Oregon Historical Society exhibit, spearheading and co-writing the nomination for the Elmer and Linnie Miller House and the nomination for the Darcelle XV Showplace as only the twenty-second out of 92,500 National Register listings to be determined significant for LGBTQ history.
He and his partner divide their time between homes in Portland, Oregon, Lincoln City, Oregon, Palm Springs, California, and Zakynthos, Greece. He holds a BA and MBA from City University in Seattle, Washington, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Willamette Writers, and Women of the West.
Beyond Integrity in ... Seattle, WA
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Key Findings On Why The Cayton-Revels House Was Recently Landmarked ... Ryan Anthony Donaldson, CA and Taha Ebrahimi
The Cayton-Revels House was officially designated a City of Seattle landmark on April 7, 2021. Born enslaved in Mississippi, Horace Cayton moved to Seattle, later joined by Susie Revels, the daughter of the first Black American elected to the U.S. Senate. Together with their children, Horace and Susie Revels Cayton were one of only three Black American families living in today’s definition of Capitol Hill before racial restrictive covenants barred non-white residents in 1927 and, together, they published one of Seattle’s most-read newspapers of the period, the Seattle Republican.
Given the historic significance of the Caytons and their contributions to Pacific Northwest heritage, why was the Cayton-Revels House landmarked only now and not decades ago? This presentation will provide a brief case study on the landmarking of the Cayton-Revels House but will primarily focus on the outlying factors that contributed to the successful designation. Key findings come together to advocate for and affirm conditions that contribute to why the “time is ripe” now for the preservation and recognition of Black American sites of historic and cultural significance.
Ryan Anthony Donaldson, CA, is a heritage, archives, and information services consultant. Ryan currently serves as the Collections Strategy Manager & Archivist with the Washington State Jewish Archives (WSJA). Ryan's experience includes 15 years working with companies, non-profits, historical societies, and museums, in addition to volunteering time to contribute to the designation of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board nomination of Cayton-Revels House in 2021.
As Senior Manager of Heritage and Information Services at The Durst Organization, an industry-leading multi-generation New York City real estate developer, Ryan contributed to converting tenant prospects with successful marketing campaigns leveraging the corporate archive and local history, leading the launch of an enterprise document management system, and furthering the value of the company’s brand.
Ryan has served on the Business Archives Steering Committee of the Society of American Archivists, as well as President and other Board roles with the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York. He has also worked for the Old York Foundation, National Baseball Hall of Fame, Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry, and consulted with the Downtown Seattle Association, Seattle Theatre Group, Lost Reels America, and other clients.
Taha Ebrahimi is the author and initiator of the Cayton-Revels House Seattle Landmark Nomination Proposal. She was born and raised in Seattle and spent the last decade in Manhattan. She is a director of marketing at Tableau Software and began her career as a journalist at The Seattle Times in 2003.
Beyond Integrity in ... Hartford, CT
Amending National Register Nominations: The Chase Dispensary and the Birth Control Movement ... Christina Volpe
The Cass Gilbert Historic District located in Waterbury, Connecticut was nominated in 1978 to the National Register of Historic Places. Significantly covered under Criteria C, the Chase Dispensary located at 43 Field Street meets an additional area and period of significance. This resource meets Criterion A in the category of Health and Medicine for its role, and the Chase family’s philanthropic influence, in women’s health care serving as a free medical center and maternal health care clinic to residents of Waterbury during the years 1923-1940. The Connecticut Birth Control League used the property as the Waterbury Maternal Health Care Center from October 12, 1938 to June 13, 1939. From the Chase Dispensary physicians prescribed and provided women with contraceptive materials defying the 1879 Barnum Act that made distributing contraceptive materials illegal. Police raided the Chase Dispensary in 1939 and the Connecticut Supreme Court trial that followed in 1940, State of Connecticut v. Roger B. Nelson has since been cited in landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases such as Poe v. Ullman in 1961 and Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965.
There is only one other historic structure with significance related to the American Birth Control Movement and that is the Margaret Sanger’s Clinic building located at 17 West 16th Street in Manhattan, New York City. The first Bush Administration delayed the buildings National Historic Landmark Nomination due to fears that acceptance of the clinic would indicate support of the abortion movement, though Sanger herself was not a proponent of abortion. The Clinic was designated in 1993 following the Clinton Administration’s appointment of Bruce Babbitt as Secretary of the Interior.
Gilbert’s last project for the Chase family, the Chase Dispensary completed 1924 is one such structure within the district with a story waiting to be recorded for public recorded. A more complete understanding of the June 1939 raid on the Chase Dispensary offers insight into the development of women’s reproductive rights and access to contraceptives in Connecticut. The simplest of the five buildings financed by the Chase family and designed by Gilbert: The Henry S. Chase Memorial Dispensary played a role in shaping local and national history and is a place harboring deep feeling and association to historical events. Historical context reveals each building’s stories. The reason for a building’s construction explains the purpose of who the building was meant to serve, what message is meant to be conveyed by its design, and how the building impacted the individual and collective lives of the landscape it continues to dwell upon. Merely recording architectural style and detail voids the structure of interpretation and fails to reveal relationships between the past and the present.
Christina Volpe is a public historian with an M.A. in Public History from Central Connecticut State University, where she focused on digital curation and historic preservation. Christina serves as Program Manager for The Amistad Center for Art & Culture at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford. Ms. Volpe holds undergraduate degrees in archaeology and classics from the American University of Rome. Christina has worked as a digital storyteller, archivist, curator, and program manager for several heritage organizations, including the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office, Connecticut League of History Organizations, and the National Cemetery Administration with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. She comes with experience in interpreting historical narratives for the public.
In 2020 Christina earned the CT History Educational Program Award of Merit for curating The House Built by Brass with the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT. Ms. Volpe excels in public outreach and advocates for shared stewardship and community inclusivity in each of her projects. In addition to her work, she serves as an elected Planning and Zoning Commissioner in her hometown of Southington, Connecticut.
Beyond Integrity in ... Miami-Dade County, FL
Session Title + Description
Emphasizing Cultural Significance and Centering Equity in a Local Government Preservation Program ... Sarah Cody
The Miami-Dade County Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) has begun a shift to center equity in its preservation program. Conversations in the larger historic preservation space during 2020 inspired the County to conduct a review of County-designated historic sites to ascertain what level of diverse representation was included in the designations. Not surprisingly, reflective of state and national trends, the designated sites are not reflective of County demographics and history. For example, Miami-Dade County is 70% Latinx, and only 1% of designated sites reflect this heritage. As part of this effort, OHP also analyzed state level data for Florida, which reflects a similar lack of diversity.
Conducting this review led OHP staff to put together a presentation for the County’s Historic Preservation Board around the issue of diversity in preservation and archaeology, to familiarize the Board with the larger issues around equity and diversity in preservation, the state and local data, and present options for emphasizing equity in the County’s preservation work. OHP has subsequently shared this presentation with municipal preservation officers in the County, which led to a presentation with the City of Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board, and with local nonprofit partner, Dade Heritage Trust. OHP is also leading by example internally, expanding the themes of this work around planning and zoning generally, and will be presenting to the larger Planning Division in an effort to inspire action in other planning sections.
One of the items highlighted in the presentation, and important to equity work in the County, is the flexibility of the County’s preservation ordinance to allow designation of sites for more than just architecture. Since its inception 40 years ago, the County preservation ordinance has allowed for designation of sites based on cultural significance or themes in history. Having this option in place already is a major asset in moving towards a more equitable preservation program.
As part of this session, Sarah Cody, Historic Preservation Chief for the County, will share information around conducting the designation data review, engaging in outreach to the Board and peers in local preservation around equity, bringing this conversation to the table internally with colleagues, and having a flexible preservation ordinance. She will also provide examples of local sites and districts that have been designated based on cultural significance and history and how the staff reports were drafted for Board review.
Sarah Cody is the Historic Preservation Chief for Miami-Dade County. In this role, she administers the County’s preservation program for 24 municipalities and our unincorporated communities. With a background in landscape architecture, Sarah aims to proactively protect the County’s diverse resources through the lens of cultural landscape preservation. Given the expansive physical jurisdiction, Sarah’s work touches on resources that exemplify the County’s unique history and development, from its agricultural lands and early 20th-century pioneer homes to segregation- era motels and mid-century modern neighborhoods. She and her staff incorporate important community issues in their preservation work, such as equity and inclusion, affordable housing, and resiliency.
Beyond Integrity in ... San Francisco, CA
The Eagle: Landmarking San Francisco's LGBTQ-Leather Culture ... Alex Westoff, AICP
While the Castro is often recognized as San Francisco’s most iconic LGBTQ enclave, the city’s rich queer histories and living cultures can be celebrated in other neighborhoods as well. The South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood is home to a robust Leather scene dating back to the early 1960’s. While redevelopment, AIDS, gentrification, and more recently COVID, have long threatened its cultural and economic fabric, the rich heritage remains strong. Yet, with nearly 300 city landmarks, less than 10 have LGBTQ associations, and until recently none had Leather histories. The San Francisco Eagle, however, in 2021 became the first SoMa Leather-LGBTQ landmark. This session will discuss the process to landmark this building. Specific topics will include determining historical significance for persons associated with a more underground subculture, identifying character defining features unique to LGBTQ sites, the application of San Francisco’s 2016 LGBTQ Context Statement as a catalyst for LGBTQ landmarks, and collaboration with San Francisco’s renowned Cultural Districts as project partners.
Alex Westhoff, AICP, is a San Francisco-based planner with fifteen+ years of public sector experience. Professional focuses have included climate resiliency, historic preservation, current and long-range planning, and public involvement. Since 2019 he has served as a Senior Preservation Planner for San Francisco's Southeast Quadrant reviewing development proposals for both new and historic properties. From 2014-2019, Alex co-spearheaded Marin County's award-winning sea level rise adaptation program, including co-authoring two Vulnerability Assessments, an Adaptation Plan, co-creating the Game of Floods, and coastal hazard mitigation planning. Holding a joint Master of City Planning/Master of Landscape Architecture from UC Berkeley, his Master’s Thesis proposed the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as California’s first National Heritage Area leading to enabling congressional legislation. Prior to working for Marin, he spent seven years with the Delta Protection Commission, focused on the establishment of the Heritage Area in addition to environmental planning. Racial and social equity has been a key focus and Alex has had experience on projects with Native American, Asian-American, and LGBTQ associations.
Beyond Integrity ... Across Borders
unRedact the Facts: Writing Statements of Significance that Tell a Full(er) Story ... K. Kennedy Whiters, Architect
With professional licenses to practice architecture in the states of Washington and New York, K. Kennedy Whiters, is a member of the “less than 1%” for less than 1% of all architects in the United States are Black women. Through her offerings to the practice of architecture and historic preservation, she practices her love of Black people and all people by, among many things, advocating for unredacting the facts of history to tell a full(er) story for equity and healing.
Kennedy is the owner and principal of kennedy Whiters and Associates, LLC, an architecture/historic preservation/owner's rep firm based in NYC. She is also the Capital Projects Manager at Pratt Institute of Brooklyn and Manhattan and the Director of Operations for Open Architecture Collaborative, Inc.