Session Spotlight: Shaking Up Preservation

In 2018, the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced their inaugural list of 40 Under 40: People Saving Places, which honored 40 individuals under 40 who they consider to be “movers and shakers” in the preservation industry. Three honorees, Carlton Hall, Sarah Marsom and Zulmilena Then, will discuss their efforts to make an impact in preservation at their 2019 NY Statewide Preservation Conference session, “Shaking Up Preservation.” Hall will delve into his work for the Delaware State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) as the cultural preservation specialist and historian and efforts to research and educate on the Green Book, a travel guide for African Americans. Marsom, specializes in creative interpretation strategies. She will illuminate on tactics to connect to K-12 students and the under-40 crowd. Then launched the grassroots advocacy group Preserving East New York (PENY) in 2015. Learn how she has grown a preservation movement in a neighborhood previously ignored by historians and successfully saved structures.

Image courtesy of Carlton Hall.

Carlton Hall is a cultural preservation specialist and historian for the Delaware SHPO in Dover, Delaware. During his first two years with the Delaware SHPO, Hall learned about the National Register Program and assisted with site visits, NR workshops and reviewing nomination drafts. He received Section 106 training from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and after three years with the SHPO, he started reviewing state level project reviews and eventually became the lead for FCC project reviews in Delaware. 

In 2015, he conducted scholarly research and gave presentations on Delaware listings in the Green Book, which is a travel guide created by Victor Green in 1936 for African Americans during segregation.

“The research project meant a lot to me as an African American, who was once told people weren’t interested in Black History,” Hall said.

Hall graduated from Delaware State University in 2013 with a Master’s in Historic Preservation. In his spare time, this Civil War and African American history enthusiast enjoys exercising, traveling and learning to speak French.

Image retrieved from

Sarah Marsom is a heritage resource consultant based in Ohio. Through the creation of Young Ohio Preservationists in 2014, Marsom helped start a statewide initiative to embolden young adults to protect the past. With other leaders from young preservationist groups around the region, Sarah co-founded the Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists in 2016, to create educational opportunities for emerging community leaders in the region.

Her efforts to highlight hidden histories led to the development of the Tiny Activist Project (TAP). TAP spreads awareness of lesser known histories through hand sewn dolls and workshops that fuse art and history.

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Zulmilena Then grew up in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY.. She works for the architecture firm Michael Ivanhoe McCaw Architect, P.C. In 2015, her love for historic buildings and community inspired her to form Preserving East New York (PENY), an initiative advocating for the preservation of historic buildings within East New York, the first community affected by the city’s major rezoning plan, a plan with impending consequences on the physical landscape of the neighborhood.

This Conference session will take place on Friday, April 26th from 11:15AM to 12:30PM at the newly rehabbed and preservation award-winning Sibley Square in Rochester, New York.

For tickets.

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