Conference Sessions

We hope you’ll join us in Carlisle for spirited discussions, inspiring case studies, and thought-provoking sessions on a range of issues.

Sessions are designed to enhance the knowledge of preservation professionals, as well as individuals actively involved in community preservation. If you have a particular passion, select a track and select sessions with the appropriate icon.

Icon Set


Wednesday 3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

  EmergencyBuilt Environment Preservation and Preparedness: Identifying and Surveying Flood-Vulnerable Historic Resources

There is a growing understanding that climate change, sea-level rise, and extreme storms are putting vulnerable historic resources at increased risk from flooding. Municipalities across the country are beginning to consider the impact of future flooding events on historic properties. Without effective planning, efforts to safeguard resources from damage are all too often reactive or worse, too late. But preservationists today are pushing for more proactive policies to support preemptive hazard mitigation for historic resources. In light of many recent climate events – including Hurricane Sandy in 2012 – the time to integrate preservation and preparation is now.

The goal of this session is to discuss action steps for merging traditional cultural resource management with modern hazard mitigation planning for vulnerable communities. In 2014, the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) launched the Disaster Planning for Historic Properties Initiative using funding from the federal Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 (PL 113-2 Chapter 7). The session will encourage participants to re-think how we as preservationists respond to threats from the environment and to consider how proactive planning can impact decision-making at the municipal (and ultimately, state and federal) level. 


Jeremy Young, Community and Economic Development Manager
Lancaster City Alliance


Matthew Harris, R.P.A., Department Manager of Geospatial Services
AECOM Technical Services, Inc.

Vanessa Zeoli, Senior Architectural Historian
AECOM Technical Services, Inc.

Emily Paulus Everett, Preservation Planning Manager
AECOM Technical Services, Inc.

 Community40UntoldStories40ConservationArchaeology African American Cemetery Conservation: Preserving Hallowed Ground

This session will provide an introduction to cemetery conservation with a focus on the special challenges facing African American cemeteries across the Commonwealth. The speakers will provide an overview of African American cemeteries in Pennsylvania and the special issues facing those who work to conserve them. Information will be shared on using databases and online sources to identify cemetery sites and those who have been interred in those sites, especially veterans of the United States Colored Troop. Experts in leading cemetery conservation projects will discuss first steps and answer questions from session attendees on finding resources and engaging volunteers.


Brenda Barrett
Living Landscape Observer


Barbara Barksdale
PA Hallowed Ground and Midland Cemetery Association

Dr. Steven Burg, Chairman, History Department
Shippensburg University

Jeanie Glaser
Dauphin County Community History Coalition

Built EnvironmentCommunityConservation Barns - Storehouses of History

LSC Design, sponsor of the Barns sessionPennsylvania’s barns are testaments to our agricultural traditions and national history. But as our nation has become urbanized, very few of us are connected to farms and their barns. The great Pennsylvania barns have been rendered almost obsolete. More and more, these iconic structures become unused and abandoned, and they are left to crumble into the earth. As the years pass, these structures will become more and more scarce.

Unless we share the stories barns can tell, we will never connect the new generation with those who built the structures. To preserve a historic barn is to make a statement of respect - to the earth that provided the trees, and to the men who built them. We will only preserve what we appreciate and we need to share the story of historic barns with current and future generations.


Jeffrey L. Marshall, President of Heritage Conservancy; member of the board of directors of the Historic Barn and Farm Foundation of PA and the National Barn Alliance

Douglass C. Reed, Historic Structure Consultant


Thursday 9:00 a.m -10:15 a.m. 

TransportationSection 106 Consultation in Transportation Projects: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

CHRSPublic involvement through the Section 106 consultation process takes many forms, from simple exchanges of ideas via email to participation in series of Design Advisory Committee meetings. Several factors can make or break the consultation process. Through case studies presented from four points of view – State Historic Preservation Office, PennDOT cultural resource specialist, cultural resource consultant, and local consulting party – this session examines ways to successfully, and sometimes not so successfully, engage the public in a Section 106 dialog. Attendees will learn tips and tricks for conducting and engaging in meaningful and productive Section 106 consultation. This session provides a framework for discussion in the following session, Help Us Help You! Community and Public Involvement, Transportation and Preservation.


Lindsey Allen, Associate, Senior Architectural Historian, Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, Inc

Kristina Lammi Thompson, Cultural Resources Specialist, Districts 4-0 & 5-0

Emma Diehl, Historic Building Project Reviewer, PA State Historic Preservation Office

Ray Finkelstein, Vice President, Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania

Fred Moll, Historian, Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania

Emergency ManagementBuilt EnvironmentThe Key to Emergency Preparedness in the Keystone State: The Pennsylvania Cultural Resilience Network

Navararo & WrightWhile systems for emergency preparedness and response have grown more sophisticated throughout the country in the wake of recent disasters, much work still remains to be done so that historic sites and cultural institutions are poised to effectively respond to large incidents. This session will discuss how institutions can be better prepared by getting involved with regional and statewide networks for disaster response and training.
Over the past three years, the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) had led the Pennsylvania Cultural Resilience Network (PaCRN), through funding from an Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant. The goal of PaCRN is to create a strong network and provide resources for effective emergency response and recovery for cultural institutions in Pennsylvania. Training, relationship-building, and Commonwealth-wide policy development are the primary focus of the initiative. During the grant period, CCAHA held workshops through the state on emergency preparedness, response, and salvage; assisted in launching and coordinating multiple regional Alliance for Response networks; and a Cultural Response Teams comprised of representatives from both the cultural and emergency management communities who can assist other institutions in the event of emergency or disaster. Since funding has concluded, CCAHA is hoping that PaCRN can gather grassroot support from the communities it has been implemented in, and become more integrated into the existing emergency management structures both locally and on a statewide level.


Heather Morgan, Exercise and Training Coordinator for the Montgomery County Department of Emergency Services

Samantha Forsko, Preservation Specialist
Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts

CommunityBuilt EnvironmentUntold StoriesCommunity Murals and Revitalization

Public art projects and arts organizations play a vital role in preservation and community revitalization, especially when accompanied by educational programs. Promoting cultural history, through film and mural projects that involve engaging the public in the process, creates a grassroots respect for preservation of the built environment.


James Gloria
Founder and Director of the Totts Gap Arts Institute’s Heritage Mural Education Program

Ophelia M. Chambliss
Commissioner, Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, Artist, Social Justice Advocate

Thursday 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

TransportationCommunity Help Us Help You! Community and Public Involvement, Transportation and Preservation

The staffs of Preservation Pennsylvania and PennDOT’s Cultural Resources Program will provide a brief overview of the current state of public involvement efforts for heritage issues in transportation planning and design. Whether you are a community advocate or a professional working in field, the value of having access to information about projects that are happening in your area is extremely important. Engaging the public early and keeping them informed along the way can make a difference in the outcome of a project. The session will include an overview of the ProjectPATH system and why everyone should be using it to advocate for the historic resources they feel are important. There will also be a listening session for attendees and community leaders to ask questions and provide commentary and suggestions for the program. Your input will be used to improve efforts to engage with the public and to work with advocates on the the preservation and understanding of the past.

Please note, this conference session is free for the public to attend due to the sponsorship of PennDOT and does not require separate conference registration. Members of the public may register for FREE by clicking here.


Mindy Crawford, Executive Director, Preservation Pennsylvania, with members of the Cultural Resources Program Staff

Untold StoriesBuilt EnvironmentCommunity Telling Difficult Stories

History is often about celebrating achievements, too often overlooking the darker side of our past. This session will look at efforts to collect and interpret the difficult stories, from slavery and the Underground Railroad to the Carlisle Indian School’s efforts at “assimilation-based education” designed to “kill the Indian, save the man.”

There is an abundance of places remaining in South Central Pennsylvania where many early and important episodes of the Underground Railroad movement occurred.Yet, the passage of time, property neglect, lack of awareness of this heritage and, especially, weak local government land use laws are taking a toll on these dwindling number of irreplaceable resources. Lancaster County historian and preservation advocate Randolph Harris will share stories of wins and losses in efforts to conserve some of the many significant sites in our region. His focus will be on the lower Susquehanna River valley and the communities of Wrightsville, York County and Columbia, Lancaster County. Here, he believes, can be found the roots of this racially-integrated and religiously inspired civil rights movement.

Our other speakers will share insights about the Carlisle Indian School's challenging history, and efforts to collect and share stories from our past through innovative partnership programs and community outreach.


Randy Harris, Consultant, Heritage Conservation & Community Development,
Partner, National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom

Lindsay Houpt-Varner, Project Director
Greater Carlisle Heart & Soul Project

Kathleen McLaughlin, Deputy Federal Preservation Officer, OACSIM
Mark A. Smith, Ph.D., RPA, Archaeologist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Michael K. Trimble, Ph.D., Director, Center of Expertise for Curation and Management of Archaeological Collections, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Built EnvironmentCommunity Chambersburg Central Junior High School - Community Engaged Adaptive Re-Use

In the heart of Chambersburg, the Central Junior High School sits with a massive presence and an even bigger story to tell. Originally built in 1909 as Chambersburg High School, the main building features brick, steel and heavy timber construction. Through many years and alterations the current site is a combination of significant pieces of history and detracting elements. Architect and developer, Vern McKissick of McKissick Associates in Harrisburg, is undertaking the project to convert the buildings to a live-work-learn center revolving around 23 new apartment living spaces, the Rose Rent Lofts, and some commercial use. This adaptive re-use project spans topics that could be discussed for hours but in a short time frame we'll discuss topics like the building design, selective demolition decisions, environmental abatement, urban exploration photography, and other unique aspects that have been encountered with this extensive undertaking.


Vern L. McKissick III, AIA, CEFP, LEED AP, ARA
Owner / Architect / Educational Planner

Chauntel Duriez
Architectural Designer, Historic Preservation Specialist

Thursday 1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

SHPO Training State Historic Preservation Office Guidelines Training

McKissick-Associates-ArchitectsJoin the PA SHPO Project Review staff to learn about recent updates in two program areas: CRGIS and Project Review. CRGIS staff will introduce the system’s new mapping interface and discuss the upcoming electronic data entry and its roll out and user training. Project Review updates include a presentation of changes to the Archaeological Site Identification Criteria, and Above Ground pipeline surveys and submission of Historic Resource reports and resource form electronic copies.  This session is essential for anyone working with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the PA History Code, and these PA SHPO programs.


Shelby Splain, SHPO

Conservation PA Conservation Heritage Project and Opportunities to Inspire Conservation Leadership and Stewardship

The session will illustrate how the PA Conservation Heritage Project, a unique and diverse partnership of conservationists, historians, non-profits and governmental organizations, collaboratively documents and interprets the Commonwealth’s rich and diverse conservation and environmental history via compelling documentaries and educational outreach programs. The speakers will present: 1) an overview the Project; 2) highlights of the PA Conservation Heritage framework essays and oral history interviews; and 3) highlights of the Project WITF Television documentaries and group discussion guides. Audience discussion will explore how to use conservation heritage to inspire conservation and stewardship in communities.


Marci Mowery, Executive Director
PA Parks & Forest Foundation

Brenda Barrett, Co-Chair
PA Conservation Heritage Project

Ken Wolensky, Historian
PA Conservation Heritage Project

Heather Woolridge, Producer
WITF Documentary

Community Preservation Generation: How Young Preservation Organizations are Training Tomorrow’s Preservationists

This session will highlight and showcase the Young Preservationist (YP) movement and its holistic approach to historic preservation. It will include case studies from Young Preservationist organizations in the Pittsburgh region and beyond, detailing the similarities and differences between “traditional” historic preservation and that of the new generation in approach, planning, and methodology, and will give session-goers an idea of why the YP movement appeals to budding preservationists and allows them to become involved with very little initial hurdles.


Will Prince, Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh

Andrew Hart, Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia

Samantha Kuntz, Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia

Thursday 3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Transportation Pennsylvania Byways and Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside

heberlingThis session will be a combination of speakers, a panel discussion with representatives from PennDOT and the the Journey Through Hallowed Ground (JTHG) Scenic Byway, and an update of the Transportation Alternatives (TA) Set-Aside, a funding opportunity for local projects.


Also Speaker for PA Byways Program (Strategic Planning)
Jacqueline Koons-Felion , Air Quality/Federal Initiatives/Byways/Rec. Trails Section


Chris Metka
Transportation Enhancements/Alternatives/Safe Routes To School Coordinator

William Sellers
President, Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Norris Flowers
President, Destination Gettysburg


CommunityTransportationBuilt Environment Getting the Public Involved: Down and Dirty Hands-on Programs

This session will explore how public history, historic preservation, and other similar organizations can engage communities in efforts to preserve monuments, markers, and other historic sites. By sharing lessons and strategies employed by various organizations, this session will activate a discussion on how to best involve community members in historic preservation and commemoration activities and the benefits--both for organizations and for communities--of strong community buy-in. The session would include case studies and specific strategies for getting the public involved in hand-on cultural preservation activities in their community.


John P. McCarthy, RPA, Cultural Preservation Specialist
DNREC - State Parks and Recreation

John Marks, Ph.D., Program Coordinator
Saving Hallowed Ground

CommunityUntold StoriesBuilt Environment Documenting the Recent Past with Community Based Public History Projects

Whether your interest is in documenting a major event such as the Women’s March on Washington of 2017, or the Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident of 1979; or studying recent immigrant populations from Central and South America or the Middle East; or documenting civil rights movements such as the LGBTQ community or the women’s equality movement beginning in the 20th century, there are community-based and crowd-sourced public history projects happening throughout the nation to document the events, communities, cultures and political movements of the recent past. 

Here in Pennsylvania, one example is the LGBT Center of Central PA History Project, which for the past four years has engaged people in the community to discover, document, collect, preserve and present the history of the LGBT community in central Pennsylvania through its ever-growing collection of more than 100 oral history interviews and more than 70 linear feet of documents and artifacts.  The Project has also identified hundreds of locations of events, organizations, businesses, and people important in the LGBT community’s history for potential future historic site listings.  The Project won the 2014 J. Franklin Jameson Award from the Society of American Archivists for its approach in developing a partnership between the LGBT Center of Central PA and the Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections to bring together a team of people with complementary skills and expertise to demonstrate that there is important history worth documenting all around us and compelling stories to discover.  They will offer a tour of the Archives to show examples of artifacts, documents and oral history video clips from the collection, and share the lessons you can take away that can help you create your own community based, crowd-sourced history project.

NOTE: Wednesday, June 14 from 9:00am to 1:30pm. Open House at the Dickinson Archives and Special Collections, Lower Level of the Waidner-Spahr Library (330 W. High Street), featuring special information stations related to this session.


Barry Loveland, Founder and Chair
LGBT Center of Central PA History Project, and Founder and Coordinator, Statewide Pennsylvania LGBT History Network

Malinda Triller Doran, Special Collections Librarian
Dickinson College Archives

Harrison Apple, Pittsburgh Queer History Project

Tim Haggerty, Director, Humanities Scholars Program, Carnegie Mellon University


Friday 9:00 a.m. -10:15 a.m.

TransportationBuilt Environment Rebuilding History with Photogrammetry

New technology has altered the manner in which three-dimensional data is collected and processed. From terrestrial laser scanners to unmanned aerial systems (UAS, a.k.a. drones), three-dimensional capabilities are expanding exponentially. The three-dimensional point cloud data, whether collected by a laser scanner, or produced via matching common points in a collection of aerial/land-based photographs (photogrammetry), is revolutionizing the way we view and utilize measurement information. Dense point clouds produce the appearance of solid walls, floors, ceilings, and roofs, allowing us to understand the context of existing conditions directly within design software, accelerating the workflow of producing high quality drawings and Building Information Models (BIM) for use in new construction and/or renovation.This session will cover the different methodologies for collecting and working with data from both terrestrial laser scanning platforms, and high flying aerial photography captured by drones.

The session will also touch on the ability to work with point cloud and 3D surface data in major software packages, including Revit, AutoCAD, and Navisworks. With access to such rich data, design, restoration, and preservation efforts are hastened tremendously.

Brief case studies will include our recent collaborations with the National Park Service (NPS) in documenting the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument on the National Mall, as well as project examples which combine laser scanning with photogrammetry to preserve some of the nation’s most cherished historical landmarks.


Jon Adams
Director of Architectural & Heritage Services

ConservationArchaeology To Conserve and Sustain: Emerging Archaeology on DCNR Lands

pac_logoBetween 2015 and the present, graduate students at Indiana University of Pa's Applied Archaeology program have conducted MA thesis research at four Historic and Industrial properties on Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) properties. Research and excavations have been conducted at industrial stonework ruins in Ohiopyle State Park, the remains of the DuPont Powdermill on the Forbes State Forest, Camp Michaux in the Michaux State Forest, and at the 18th Century Carroll Cabin on the Forbes State Forest. These students are responsible for the most extensive and ambitious effort to date aimed at learning from and managing archaeological and heritage properties on DCNR's 2.2 million acres of state land.


Joe Baker, PennDOT


Jonathan Crise

Kate Peresolak
IUP, PennDOT Highway Archaeology Survey Team 

Community Chester County Spotlight: Grassroots Local and Regional Preservation Success Stories

Preservation Planning in Chester County is facilitated through both historic preservation policy of the County's award winning Landscapes2 Comprehensive Plan and the mission of Chester County Historic Preservation Network. Both entities provide leadership, technical assistance, education, programming, and support to the 65 historical commissions, committees, and HARB's that represent the county's 73 municipalities. As a result, preservation in Chester County is accomplished in the truest sense of grassroots level initiatives. Two examples of the many successes facilitated by these entities in collaboration with dedicated officials and volunteers at the municipal level will be presented


Karen Marshall , Heritage Preservation Coordinator 
CC Planning Commission

John Miller, President
Chester County Historic Preservation Network


Sandra Momyer, Archivist
Schuylkill Township Historical Commission

John Gregory, Attorney
Schuylkill Township Historical Commission member

Wade Catts, RPA, Associate Director 
Commonwealth Heritage Group

Friday 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

TransportationArchaeologyCommunityBuilt EnvironmentSustainable Neighborhood Public Outreach Program (Obligation-Commitment-Engagement-Involvement-Immersion): I-95 GIR Archaeological Investigations Session

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are undertaking a long-term, multiphase project to improve and rebuild Interstate 95 (I-95) in Pennsylvania. Section GIR, which is the focus of the intensive archaeological investigations that inspired our sustainable Public Outreach Program, involves the improvement of three miles of highway between I-676 and Allegheny Avenue in Philadelphia. Section GIR includes the reconstruction of the Girard Avenue Interchange: widening of the overhead highway, installation of new utilities and landscaping, and improving access to the Delaware River waterfront.

Given the complex urban setting, the archaeological subsurface testing for the I-95/GIR Improvement Corridor Project is being guided by a programmatic agreement (PA) approved by PennDOT, the FHWA, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), and the Delaware Nation. The PA approach is innovative and was specifically developed to streamline the normal archaeological identification and evaluation process required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The main goal of the PA was to meet design and construction schedules and provide significant cost savings—which it has. All parties that signed the PA agreed that seventeenth- through early-twentieth-century domestic and industrial deposits, if found intact, would be significant. All parties agreed that any intact Native American sites would also be significant.

But the PA provided for much more, especially in terms of the immediate dissemination of information to a technologically savvy twenty-first-century audience. The local component of this audience can’t get enough of their neighborhoods’ past and have become so engaged with the project at this point that I-95 construction and design issues are no longer the focus of public interest. Most near-neighbor groups want to ensure that the archaeological tasks will continue to maintain this exploration of the area’s past.

To date, data recovery investigations have documented more than a dozen individual sites, including portions of the former Aramingo Canal and the Dyottville Glass Works industrial complex. Investigations have also resulted in the discovery of ten intact Native American occupations that have been C-14 dated to 3563 B.C. The project includes its own professional journal, River Chronicles, Project Lab and Temporary Museum, as well as agency and public live interactive reporting via a website platform. In addition, architectural elements from the nineteenth-century Cramp Shipyard building were saved and conserved for landscaping sculpture and functional street furniture. The purpose of the outreach program is twofold: 1) to help remind local residents and members of the larger city population that PennDOT is not only working to create a vastly improved transportation system, but at the same time is actively revealing and preserving exciting new chapters of Philadelphia’s past; and 2) to gauge public interest in, and support for, a permanent museum or long-term exhibition interpreting the history and archaeology of the Delaware Waterfront and River Ward communities.

Project research is revealing how the area’s architecture and industries evolved over time, as well as details of daily life, family relationships, and amusing anecdotes. Local residents have enthusiastically expressed their desire to hear these narratives and have them preserved. Over the past 10 years, AECOM has held numerous public outreach events made possible through cooperative partnerships with multiple civic, religious, historical, and cultural institutions. Among the most popular events have been a series of one-day community artifact exhibits where neighborhood residents could view excavated objects and interact directly with members of the archaeological team. Visitors, numbering up to 600 per event, were enthralled by the artifacts and the history they revealed.

By preserving their heritage and making it physically and intellectually accessible, the FHWA, PennDOT, and PHMC have a rare opportunity to impact the future of these neighborhoods, which have long been underserved. As part of the Philadelphia 2035 citywide planning and zoning project, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission staff spent over 300 hours surveying land use in the River Wards and concluded that only 0.1% was allotted for cultural resources. The need for family-friendly educational and creative places is overwhelming.

AECOM currently partners with community churches and organizations, educational institutions, museums, and other groups to exhibit the artifacts and raise awareness of the significance of the Project. Several museums and universities have expressed an interest in partnering with the proposed Waterfront Heritage and Archaeology Museum and we will foster these and other mutually beneficial relationships to fulfill the Museum’s mission. In this session AECOM will present our comprehensive sustainable public outreach program.


Project Introduction: Stephen Tull 

Household and Individual Genealogy: Sam Pickard and Ingrid Wuebber 

Journal, Postcards, Calendar and Playing Cards: Tom Kutys and Grace Ziesing

Pop up Museums and Short & Long Term Exhibits: Rebecca White and Mary Mills

Field Excavation Tours: George Cress and Doug Mooney

Technology (HoloLens, 3D Printing/Scanning, Walking Tour App): Mark Petrovich and Chester Cunanan

Neighborhood Project Lab and Sustainable Public Museum (Classroom, Partnerships, On-Site Artifact Reproduction): Stephen Tull

Untold StoriesCommunity Memorial Park: Lost but not Totally Forgotten

The subject of this session/tour will be the history of the Lincoln Cemetery in Carlisle. We'll explore how much of its historical significance was lost and is only gradually being rediscovered. The cemetery was an African American burial ground for approximately 100 people between 1840 and 1902 including 35 former United States Colored Troops (USCT) veterans. In 1971 the cemetery was mostly abandoned and there was a push to create a recreational park on the site. Despite much controversy, the headstones were removed, although the burials remain. Now known as Memorial Park, all that marks the site is a memorial plaque and one headstone. A short briefing and video about the cemetery and one of the members of the USCT interred at the site will precede a walk to the Memorial Park site for a tour and a discussion about issues related to cemetery conservation and urban redevelopment, as well as how to better interpret the site in the future.


Brenda Barrett
Living Landscape Observer


Barbara Barksdale
Hallowed Ground and Midland Cemetery Associatio

Michael Eschenmann, Division Chief, Community Parks and Conservation
Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, DCNR

Built Environment Pennsylvania Modern: Post World War II Single-Family Residential Architecture

After World War II in the United States, the GI Bill of Rights promised generous education, health, and housing benefits to 11 million returning veterans. Given that the country did not have enough facilities to make good on the government’s promise, the GI Bill caused a construction boom. As many scholars, including Donald Albrecht, Jean-Louis Cohen, and Mirko Zardini, note, technologies, machinery, and materials that were a product of or were improved on by wartime innovations in combination with governmental policies, were crucial in the development of architecture in the post-war United States. The post-war housing boom, which, in turn, required faster and at the same time more cost-efficient construction methods, in conjunction with the availability of new materials, produced a new reason for architecture, and facilitated a transition to new kinds of production and even to the new style of architecture.

Throughout the country, including in Pennsylvania, there are examples of single-family modern architecture built in the postwar era that are not necessarily examples of pure modernism as defined earlier in the century by Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson, nor examples of traditional American architecture. Residential modern architecture in the United States, as Gwendolyn Wright notes, evinced a regional approach.

This session will provide some practical tips and methodologies for characterizing, identifying and working with examples of post-war modern residential architecture of the country with a focus on Pennsylvania heritage. The ultimate goal is to raise awareness and to highlight local mid-twentieth century modern architecture as part of local and national cultural history.


Pamela Reilly, Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office


Bryan Van Sweden, Community Preservation Coordinator
Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

Mahyar Hadighi
The Pennsylvania State University

Curtis Miner, Ph.D., Senior History Curator
The State Museum of Pennsylvania

Hosted by: 

A. Roy Smith
Thank you, Janet Klein
AD Marble

Preservation Pennsylvania  |  257 North Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101  |  tel 717.234.2310  |  fax 717.234.25