Sessions and Speakers

 Thursday, May 5th, 2016
Pre-Conference Sessions

Click on the session titles and speaker names to expand full descriptions and speaker bios.


Sponsored by the National Park Service and the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery.

[expand title=”Navigating Uncharted Seas: Disaster Planning for Historic Properties“] Are you ready for the next disaster?  Experts in the field of historic preservation and disaster planning will discuss the tools that must be in place prior to a catastrophic event.  Most forms of disaster related assistance are only available to communities that have incorporated them into local, state or federal planning platforms.  A long-term strategy is needed to navigate this complicated funding and preparedness landscape to ensure a positive outcome for historic properties.  Learn about mitigation grant funding, as well as tools being developed to help assess recovery capacity at the local and state levels.  Learn how to make a plan now, and be ready when the next disaster strikes![/expand]

[expand title=”Jennifer A. Wellock |Technical Reviewer; State, Tribal and Local Plans and Grants, National Park Service”]

Jennifer Wellock is an architectural historian and technical reviewer for the National Park Service.  Jennifer has responded for the Department of the Interior under the National Response Framework, which is the unified governmental response to disasters and emergencies.  She has worked with both HUD and FEMA to facilitate disaster planning for cultural resources.  In Washington, she is responsible for reviewing NPS funded historic preservation projects for conformance to the Secretary’s Standards.  A native of Long Island, Jen has a Master’s Degree in Historic Preservation from Columbia University.  She credits her time at the Old Bethpage Restoration Village, a living history museum on Long Island, as having fostered her love of old buildings and landscapes.[/expand]

[expand title=”Megan J. Brown | Certified Local Government Coordinator; State, Tribal, Local Plans and Grants, National Park Service”]

Megan Brown works as the Certified Local Government National Coordinator within the State, Tribal, Local Plans and Grants Division of the National Park Service in Washington, DC. She works with over 1900 communities certified as having a commitment to preservation in partnership with the State Historic Preservation Offices in all 50 states. Through partnerships and the allocation of Historic Preservation Fund grants to local communities, Megan helps local preservationists take on projects to engage and save their communities.  Her education includes a bachelor degree in architecture from Auburn University and Master in historic preservation from the University of South Carolina. She is an avid equestrian and enjoys time and travel with her family, horses, and friends.[/expand]


Certified Local Government Training


Friday, May 6th, 2016
Conference Sessions

Click on the session titles and speaker names to expand full descriptions and speaker bios.


Sign up at the registration table for 15-minute one-on-one “office hours” with the staff from NYCH. Office hours will take place 11:45-1:00 p.m. and 2:00-3:00 p.m. at the Takk House  (55 3rd St, Troy).

The mission of the New York Council for the Humanities is to provide leadership and support across the state’s intellectual and cultural sectors through grants, programs, networking and advocacy in order to encourage critical thinking and cultural understanding in the public arena.

SESSION BLOCK 1: 9:30-10:30 AM

1A: [expand title=”Olana 50/50: Partners & Practices“] Olana, designed by Hudson River School artist Frederic Church, is a preservation 50 story – it was saved from ruin in 1966.  Church scholar David Huntington organized a grass-roots group, Olana Preservation, to raise the money to save Olana.  After a two year struggle, Life Magazine published a spread on Olana titled: “Must this Mansion be Destroyed?”  It was the turning point.  New York State passed a bill to allocate the needed funds to purchase Olana.

Today Olana represents a strong and successful public private partnership. The session will open with a 22 minute documentary by WMHT about the saving of Olana featuring former members of Olana Preservation and current scholars and preservationists then it will turn to the present and future partnership efforts at Olana.[/expand]

[expand title=”Dr. Sean Sawyer | Washburn & Susan Oberwager President, The Olana Partnership”]

Sean E. Sawyer, Ph.D. was born and raised in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, Sean Sawyer received a B.A. summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1988 and his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1999, specializing in 18th- and 19th-century British architectural history. Sean has taught at Columbia, Fordham and Harvard universities as well as The Parsons / New School Master’s Program in the History of Decorative Arts & Design at the Cooper-Hewitt. He has contributed essays and articles to numerous publications on late Georgian architecture and urbanism as well as Dutch-American history and architecture. In 1996, he was awarded the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain’s Hawksmoor Essay Medal, and in 2002 he attended the Attingham Summer School as a Royal Oak Fellow.[/expand]

[expand title=”Dr. David Schuyler | Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of the Humanities and American Studies at Franklin & Marshall College”]

David Schuyler is Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of the Humanities and American Studies at Franklin & Marshall College, where he has taught since 1979. Professor Schuyler is author of Sanctified Landscape: Writers, Artists, and the Hudson River Valley, 1820-1909 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012),  Apostle of Taste: Andrew Jackson Downing 1815-1852 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996; new ed., University of Massachusetts Press for the Library of American Landscape History, 2015) and The New Urban Landscape: The Redefinition of City Form in Nineteenth-Century America (Johns Hopkins, 1986), to name a few.[/expand]

[expand title=”Ms. Kimberly Flook | Historic Site Manager, Olana State Historic Site”]

Kimberly Flook is a museum professional, whose focuses include slavery, architecture, archaeology, and living history. After undergraduate work in Anthropology at the University of South Carolina and graduate work in Mesoamerican Archaeology at Tulane University, she joined the museum field in 2001 as a museum educator at Herman-Grima/Gallier Historic House Museum in New Orleans’ French Quarter. In 2005, she joined the NY Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation as a public programs coordinator, and later historic site manager, at Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site. In 2012, she was promoted to Historic Site Manager of Olana State Historic Site, an integrated, artist-designed house and landscape located in Hudson, NY.[/expand]

[expand title=”Ms. Amy Hufnagel | Director of Education, The Olana Partnership”]

Amy Hufnagel is the Director of Education at The Olana Partnership and has worked for over 25 years in non-profit administration, museum & public education, designing and implementing hundreds of public programs. She served as the Assistant Director of Light Work, an artist-run photography center at Syracuse University; and as the Executive Director of The Alice Austen House Museum within the New York City Parks Department and the NYC Historic House Trust. She has served as a Director of Programs and Education for the New York State Alliance for Arts Education (in partnership with NYS Department of Cultural Education). She also headed up the Education Department at the New York Foundation for the Arts (in partnership with NYS Council on the Arts).[/expand]

1B: [expand title=”Historic Tax Credits for Commercial Properties“]

The federal and New York state historic preservation tax incentives programs have generated billions of dollars in private investment for the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings. The program has become one of New York State’s go-to resources for developers and has made  historic preservation one of the state’s key economic development tools. This session provides the opportunity to hear directly from the staff of the Division for Historic Preservation regarding which buildings are eligible for the credits, tips for submitting a successful application, and will provide advice for navigating the design requirements of the program. Steve Weiss, a founding partner of Cannon Heyman & Weiss, will provide detailed information about how the finances for a historic credit deal work and information about other incentive programs that work with the historic tax credits.[/expand]

[expand title=”Steven J. Weiss | Cannon Heyman & Weiss, LLP”]

Steven J. Weiss is one of the founding partners of Cannon Heyman & Weiss, LLP and concentrates his law practice in the areas of affordable housing and community development law and corporate finance transactions using Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC’s), New Markets Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits, and other tax incentives. He is a graduate of State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law (J.D. 1991), State University of New York at Buffalo School of Management (MBA 1988), and State University of New York at Buffalo School of Management (B.S. 1987).[/expand]

[expand title=”Julian Adams | Director, Community Preservation Services Bureau, NYS Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation”]

Julian Adams is the Director of the Community Preservation Services Bureau for the New York State Historic Preservation Office.  He holds a Masters of Historic Preservation from the University of Georgia at Athens.  He started New York State service in 1988 in the SHPO’s Technical Services Unit.  During a sabbatical, he worked with the Historic Natchez (MS) Foundation, overseeing low income housing development in historic neighborhoods.   As a director at SHPO, Julian oversees the Federal Tax Credits, Certified Local Government, National Register, Survey, and Community Outreach programming.[/expand]

[expand title=”Jeffrey Mirel | Executive Vice President, The Rosenblum Companies”]

Mr. Mirel is Executive Vice President at The Rosenblum Companies, a developer and manager of premier properties in the Capital Region.  Rosenblum is currently undertaking a historically sensitive adaptive renovation of the century-old Troy Record building in downtown Troy to provide market rate residential apartments, tenant amenity space and ground floor retail. Mr. Mirel oversees business development, institutional and governmental affairs, strategic marketing and client relations, as well as advising on operational areas such as building system technology.

Mr. Mirel is also the founder of Albany Barn, Inc., and led the non-profit’s successful efforts to establish a creative arts incubator and community art center called “The Barn,” partnering with the Albany Housing Authority and City of Albany to repurpose a vacant circa 1906 school building in the City’s Arbor Hill neighborhood. The Barn consists of 22 affordable live/work apartments and over 13,000 square feet of highly subsidized maker and rehearsal suites, a recording studio, and ample exhibition, performance and programming space.

Previously, Mr. Mirel spent seven years as a senior manager at FirstLight Fiber (formerly Tech Valley Communications) and implemented the company’s municipal wireless broadband program, which included “Albany FreeNet,” a free WiFi Internet access service available in distressed City of Albany neighborhoods.

Mr. Mirel is a BSBA graduate of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business (cum laude).  He has served on the City of Albany 2030 Comprehensive Plan Board, Arbor Hill Implementation Team, and Albany County District Attorney’s Community Accountability Board.  Mirel is a 2011 Jefferson Award medalist, an Albany Business Review’s 2010 “40 Under Forty,” one of the Albany Times Union’s 2009 “Dozen Who Make a Difference” and a Metroland “Local Hero.”[/expand]

1C: [expand title=”Little Boxes: Evaluating Post-World War II Suburbia”]

Following WWII, suburban residential developments were built in response to a significant housing shortage and population boom. Historic preservationists face significant challenges as these ubiquitous residential developments are, or will soon reach, 50 years old and are thus potentially eligible for the National Register. Patti Kuhn of Louis Berger, a co-author of A Model for Identifying and Evaluating the Historic Significance of Post-World War II Housing, will present the broad national housing trends of this period and a practical way to survey and assess their significance and integrity. The methodology will be tested with a local case study of the Burns-Whitney Estates in the Albany County Town of Colonie. Colonie Town Historian Kevin Franklin will provide the historic context of this suburban development followed by a National Register evaluation discussion by Linda Mackey, Historic Preservation Program Analyst from SHPO.[/expand]

[expand title=”Sarah Groesbeck | Architectural Historian, Louis Berger”]

Sarah Groesbeck is an Architectural Historian for Louis Berger, one of the largest providers of cultural resource management services in the nation. She holds a MA in Historic Preservation from George Washington University and a BA in Art History from Virginia Tech. At Louis Berger, Patti primarily conducts architectural surveys, cultural landscape surveys, historical research, and assists in Section 106 consultation for various federal, state, and local agencies as well as private companies.[/expand]

[expand title=”Kevin Franklin |Town of Colonie”]

Kevin Franklin is a lifelong resident of the Town of Colonie, having grown up in the Burns Whitney Development between 1952 and 1976.  He joined the Menands Police Department in 1973 and retired in 2003 after a little over 30 years of service with the last eight years as Chief of the Department.  Kevin was appointed to the position of Historian for the Village of Menands in 1986 and as Historian for the Town of Colonie in 2003.  He is enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge of local history and has written and lectured on Colonie’s three-centuries-long transition from a farming community to a booming post-World War suburb.[/expand]

[expand title=”Linda Mackey | NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation”]

Linda Mackey works as a Historic Preservation Specialist in the Survey and Certified Local Government Program (CLG) Unit for the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). She holds a BA in Anthropology from the University at Buffalo with minors in History and Architectural History, and a Master’s degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. At the SHPO, Linda is responsible for overseeing the statewide inventory of historic resources in the Capital Region and parts of the North Country and Hudson Valley, preparing determinations of eligibility, and assisting communities with surveys to identify and evaluate historic resources. Additionally, Linda assists with providing training and support to municipalities formally designated as CLGs by the NPS.[/expand]

1D: [expand title=”Vetting, Value, and Validation: An Analysis of plural sites associated with African American historic districts and designation sites, downstate and upstate.”]

This panel will examine successes, challenges, and sustainability of African American Historic Districts and Designations. The discussion will also examine allocated resource and make comparisons among processes in two geographic areas of New York State, Downstate and Upstate. The panelist will discuss sites on Long Island, in particular, the African American Historic District within the Sag Harbor Historic District, Preservation of the Pyrrhus Concer site in Southampton, Bethel-Christian Avenue-Laurel Hill Historic District in Setauket, African American sites of distinction throughout the Town of Huntington, Rapp Road Historic District in Albany and Historic Architectural Review Boards and Certified Local Governments. In addition we will review the designation process and its significance implications to African American History.[/expand]

[expand title=”Jason Crowley | Preservation Director, Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities (SPLIA)”]

Jason Crowley is the Preservation Director of the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities (SPLIA), the regional historic preservation non-profit on Long Island.  He holds a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from Columbia University, that focused on preservation planning.  His thesis, Preserving Tradition: A Critical Assessment of the Preservation of Charleston Cottages in Charleston, South Carolina analyzed preservation issues surrounding a vernacular building type deeply connected to the working-class neighborhoods, which became the segregated African American districts of Charleston, S.C.during the Jim Crow period. He was the interim director of the African American history program, From Slavery to Freedom at Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, S. C.[/expand]

[expand title=”Dr. Georgette Grier-Key | Executive Director and Curator, Eastville Community Historical Society of Sag Harbor, New York”]

Dr. Georgette Grier-Key is currently the Executive Director and Chief Curator of Eastville Community Historical Society of Sag Harbor, New York, and consulting historian for various municipalities and projects, the V. P. of the Association of Suffolk County Historical Societies, Founding member of the Pyrrhus Concer Action Committee (PCAC) and PCAC organizer, Cultural Partner for Sylvester Manor of Shelter Island, New York. She is also an adjunct history and political science professor at SUNY Nassau Community College.[/expand]

[expand title=”Dr. Jennifer Lemak | Senior Historian and Curator of African American History, New York State Museum”]

Dr. Jennifer Lemak is a senior historian and curator of African American history at the New York State Museum.  She earned her MA in Public History and PhD in History from the University at Albany. She is the author of Southern Life, Northern City: The History of Albany’s Rapp Road (SUNY Press, 2008) and several articles on the Great Migration to Upstate New York.  Her next book will further develop the impact of the Great Migration on the cities of Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo.

Lemak also serves as the Commissioner of Education’s representative on the New York State Board for Historic Preservation and the University at Albany’s Center for Applied Historical Research.  She is an adjunct professor of history for the University at Albany and Excelsior College.[/expand]

1E: [expand title=”Field Session: Downtown Troy Preservation Tour”]

Modern, downtown Troy looks much like Troy of the mid-1800s. Contemporary shops and restaurants have set up in historic storefronts amongst architectural landmarks such as the Frear Building, Bush Memorial Hall, and the RPI Approach. These walkable streets are used for farmers markets and movie sets today. But like many American cities, “urban renewal” in the 1960s tore out much of the city’s past. On this tour, see the the losses and successes of a devoted local preservation movement, one which led to downtown’s 21st century renaissance.[/expand]


SESSION BLOCK 2: 10:45-11:45 AM

2A:[expand title=”Land Banks: A Tool for Community Re-Investment”]

A traditional bank collects funds which can be turned around and used for investment. A land bank does the same, only with foreclosed and abandoned properties as its currency. Land banks have become an increasingly valuable tool for municipalities seeking to turn around areas of blight and disinvestment. The post-industrial population shift out of our upstate cities left abandoned houses, arson-plagued wrecks, and empty lots. Economically disadvantaged communities are the hardest hit.
The Land Banks of Troy, Newburgh and Syracuse are on missions of community re-investment – building by building. We’ve pooled our experiences to present how long abandoned properties can be placed back on the tax rolls for new owner-occupants, thereby improving our historic streetscapes, and providing new homes and businesses.[/expand]

[expand title=”Suzanne Spellen | Board Member, Troy Community Land Bank (TCLB)”]

After growing up in Otsego County’s Gilbertsville, Suzanne Spellen went to Yale, and then to Brooklyn; the start of a 30 year love affair with a city. Ms. Spellen won accolades from both readers and preservationists as the architecture and history writer for  She lectures often and gives walking tours in Brooklyn and Troy.

Suzanne is a 2015 recipient of a Grassroots Preservation Award from the Historic Districts Council of NY for her writing and preservation work. She is co-author of The Fallen Heroes of September 11th: the Story of Brooklyn’s Wall of Remembrance, and has a new book about Brooklyn coming out next year.

Suzanne now lives in Troy, NY. She is a citizen advisor for the Comprehensive Plan for Troy, and a board member of the Troy Community Land Bank.[/expand]

[expand title=”Katelyn Wright | Executive Director, Greater Syracuse Land Bank”]

Katelyn Wright is the founding Executive Director of the Greater Syracuse Land Bank, which was incorporated in 2012 and is acting in partnership with the City and County to address tax-delinquent, vacant, and abandoned properties. As a Land Use Planner for the City of Syracuse she was the primary author of the Land Use & Development component of the City’s recently adopted Comprehensive Plan 2040.

Katelyn earned her MRP from Cornell University in 2010 and has a professional background in land use planning and historic preservation.  She grew up in California’s Central Valley and earned her bachelors at the University of Washington in Seattle.[/expand]

[expand title=”Madeline Fletcher | Executive Director, Newburgh Community Land Bank”]

Madeline Fletcher has served as the Executive Director of the Newburgh Community Land Bank since its formation in 2012.  Prior to her work at the Land Bank, Madeline ran a small housing and community development organization in Newburgh after practicing as a land use and construction attorney and urban planner in New York City for several years.  Madeline has a BS from Cornell, a JD from Brooklyn Law School and an MUP from CUNY Hunter College.[/expand]

2B: [expand title=”Adirondack Preservation: Conserving the Historic and Natural Heritage of a Region”]

The preservation efforts that saved Great Camp Sagamore and led to the foundation of the Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) organization arose from crises that threatened two National Historic Landmark complexes in remote regions of the park. Saving both Sagamore and Santanoni were major achievements in historic preservation stimulated the creation of new non-profit organizations to develop and maintain large constituent groups; recreating unique historic building methods and materials; advocate with local, regional and develop programs. A major responsibility for these organizations is the advocacy work necessary to find funds, negotiate proper use of the preserve land and to market programs to bring people to these sites.

AARCH and the Sagamore Institute of the Adirondacks, the two non-profits that have evolved from these efforts have taken separate but complimentary paths in their years of growth and development.  AARCH is a multi-faceted organization that advocates for preservation and offers educational programming and workshops around the Adirondacks. Sagamore focuses on bringing people of all backgrounds to use the camp in its wilderness setting as place for study, recreation and renewal. Both have been remarkably successful in both preserving the unique built environment of the Adirondacks and finding new, meaningful purposes for the sites.[/expand]

[expand title=”Garet D. Livermore | Executive Director, Sagamore Institute of the Adirondacks”]

Garet D. Livermore joined Sagamore Institute of the Adirondacks as the Executive Director in 2013. For 25 years prior to that he led museum education efforts at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont and was Vice President for Education of the New York State Historical Association and The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, NY. He holds a BA in American Studies from SUNY Purchase and an MA in History Education from Teachers College of Columbia University.  Garet also served on the faculty of the Cooperstown Graduate Program, where he taught Museum methods courses, historical seminars and directed student project and internships. Professional activities include being a member of the editorial advisory board of the American Association for State and Local History; and a reviewer for state and federal grant programs as well as membership in the Education and Museum Professional Training Committees of the American Association of Museums.[/expand]

[expand title=”Jennifer Betsworth | Board Member, Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH)”]

Jennifer Betsworth serves on the board of Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), the private, nonprofit, historic preservation organization for New York State’s Adirondack Park. AARCH’s mission is to promote better public understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of the region’s architecture, communities and historic sites. A former Santanoni intern, she is a committed volunteer and is active on the board’s Santanoni Committee and in the Friends of Camp Santanoni.

Jennifer works in the National Register program at the New York State Historic Preservation Office; her territory includes Long Island, New York City, and Dutchess and Ulster Counties. She has a BA in History and Anthropology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a MA in Public History/Historic Preservation from the University of South Carolina. Her article, “Reviving and Restoring Southern Ruins: Reshaping Plantation Architecture and Landscapes in Georgetown County, South Carolina,” was recently published in the edited volume Leisure, Plantations, and the Making of a New South; her piece examines the architectural impact of winter residents, many of whom summered in the Adirondacks.[/expand]

2C: [expand title=”Beyond Stonewall: Recognizing Historic and Cultural Sites in New York State Related to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community“]

Despite the LGBT community being active as shapers of American culture and as the professional keepers of that heritage, there is a glaring irony in the near-total absence of historic sites of significance to and about the LGBT community. Of the over 80,000 sites listed on the National Register (NR), only seven are listed with LGBT connections. In NYC and NYS, no survey currently exists of sites associated with significant LGBT history. The lack of documentation has prevented effective advocacy, leaving potentially significant sites unappreciated and threatened, and preservation officials at a loss for criteria to evaluate sites for LGBT historic context and significance. This session will discuss issues, strategies, and directions for documenting LGBT place-based history. Statewide panelists will discuss national LGBT documentation projects, new approaches for NR listings, and highlight the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project.[/expand]

[expand title=”Jay Shockley | Co-Director, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project”]

Jay Shockley is co-author of the Stonewall nomination (1999) that resulted in first NRHP listing for an LGBT site and subsequent only National Historic Landmark listing; participant in “A Guide to Lesbian & Gay New York Historical Landmarks” map project (1994); and creator and leader of panel “Beyond Stonewall: Recognizing Significant Historic Sites of the LGBT Community” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference (Buffalo, 2011). Since 1979, Jay has served as a historian at Landmarks Preservation Commission where he has researched and written over 100 designation reports covering all aspects of the city’s architectural, social, and cultural history.[/expand]

[expand title=”Amanda Davis | Project Manager, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project”]

Amanda Davis is a New York City-based architectural historian and surveyor who previously served as the Director of Preservation and Research at the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. At GVSHP, she worked on a number of LGBT-related projects, including a plaque installation commemorating PFLAG founder Jeanne Manford and a National Register eligibility letter for Julius’ bar. In Pasadena, CA, she worked for Architectural Resources Group as an architectural historian/preservation planner and collaborated with the City of Los Angeles’ Office of Historic Resources on its innovative SurveyLA initiative. Her preservation career began as an intern at the Central Park Conservancy and then in the research department of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission.[/expand]

[expand title=”Andrew S. Dolkart | Professor, Historic Preservation Program, Columbia University School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation; Co-Director, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project”]

Andrew S. Dolkart is co-author of the Stonewall nomination (1999) that resulted in first NRHP listing for an LGBT site and subsequent only National Historic Landmark listing; participant in “A Guide to Lesbian & Gay New York Historical Landmarks” map project (1994); author of scores of NRHP nominations; panelist in “Beyond Stonewall: Recognizing Significant Historic Sites of the LGBT Community” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference (Buffalo, 2011); and author of the NRHP Julius’ Bar nomination (2016).[/expand]

[expand title=”Christopher N. Brown | Director, The Allentown Association, Inc.”]

Christopher N. Brown is a Vice President of Technology for M&T Bank and has nearly 30 years’ experience in historic preservation and community activism in Buffalo, New York.  Former president of the Allentown Association, Inc., and Kleinhans Community Association, he currently serves as Chairman of Kleinhans Music Hall Management, Inc., responsible for the ongoing care and restoration of the National Historic Landmark.  Brown also was sponsor and co-author of two National Register historic district nominations:  Allentown and Fargo Estate, both of which included the contributions of LGBT residents who helped to define these neighborhoods’ characteristics.  Brown and his partner David F. Granville make their home in Buffalo’s Allentown Historic Preservation District.[/expand]

[expand title=”Larry Francer | Associate Director of Preservation, The Landmark Society of Western New York”]

Larry Francer joined The Landmark Society as the Associate Director of Preservation in September of 2012. Local preservationist, courthouse activist, business owner, religious leader, Zumba enthusiast, filmmaker and actor – Larry Francer is a true renaissance man.  Before moving to Rochester, Larry and husband, Jerome Herron, lived in Farmland, Indiana for over two decades where they worked tirelessly to help turn that tiny town into a true destination. Francer was Co-Executive Producer of the documentary “Courthouse Girls of Farmland,” which, among other honors, won 1st place Audience award at the Breckinridge Festival of Film.[/expand]

2D: [expand title=”New Voices in Preservation: The Next Fifty Years“] Fifty years after the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) young preservation practitioners have the opportunity reflect on the past, discuss present day challenges in the field, and to play a pivotal role in influencing the trajectory of future preservation. The emerging preservationists represented in this panel will share their visions on how to make preservation relevant for the future as it responds to shifts in demographics, climate change, and advances in both building and digital technology. Session leader and moderator Amber N. Wiley will lead off the discussion by reflecting on her work and research as a historian who is keenly invested in preservation policy issues. The session is designed to stimulate discussion through Q & A with panelists Jason Crowley, Jenna Dublin, Caitlin Meives, Erica Mollon, Ryan Walsh, and audience members.[/expand]

[expand title=”Jason Crowley | Preservation Director, Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities”]

Jason Crowley is the Preservation Director of the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities (SPLIA), the regional historic preservation non-profit on Long Island. He holds a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from Columbia University, that focused on preservation planning. His thesis, Preserving Tradition: A Critical Assessment of the Preservation of Charleston Cottages in Charleston, South Carolina analyzed preservation issues surrounding a vernacular building type deeply connected to the working-class neighborhoods, which became the segregated African American districts of Charleston, S.C.during the Jim Crow period. He was the interim director of the African American history program, From Slavery to Freedom at Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, S. C.[/expand]

[expand title=”Jenna Dublin | Urban Planning PhD Student, Columbia University- GSAS Dean’s Fellow”]

Jenna Dublin is currently a PhD student in Urban Planning at Columbia University. She holds a BFA in Fine Arts from the Cooper Union, a BA in Africana Studies from Rutgers University, and dual Master’s degrees in Historic Preservation and Community Planning from the University of Maryland. Her thesis examined urban historic districts as sites to claim and produce equitable communities in the face of persistent structural and racial inequality, and to connect contemporary community-based urban planning initiatives with under-represented histories of black activism in mid-20th century urban renewal processes. During her graduate studies she was a Mildred Colodny Scholar with the National Trust for Historic Preservation Department of Government Relations and Policy, and an intern with the National Park Service Historic Preservation Planning Program. Her research and professional interests include historic preservation, place attachment, grassroots urban planning, and policies for equitable urban development.[/expand]

[expand title=”Erica Mollon | Historian and Planner, AKRF”]

Erica Mollon received her master’s degrees in Urban Planning and Historic Preservation from Columbia University. Her studies focused on international preservation policy, and the role preservation can play in revitalizing communities. She worked on projects in Trinidad and Tobago, Albania, and Myanmar that engaged the local communities in the preservation of their built environment with a sensitivity toward cultural identity. She recognized that the combination of ownership of one’s history and the stabilization of the building fabric could lead to economic development for those who need it most. She hopes to see preservationists take a more active role in fostering equality, cultural understanding, and support peace efforts following conflict.[/expand]

[expand title=”Ryan Patrick Walsh | Teacher, Curriculum Developer at Stephen T. Mather Building Arts & Craftsmanship High School”]

Ryan Walsh’s academic background and professional experience in historic preservation and architecture have shaped his understanding of the relationship between immersive education and reflection. He advocates for the importance of hands-on learning and believes that a seamless experience of adventure and reflection is critical in attaining meaningful insight. He currently teaches at Stephen T. Mather Building Arts & Craftsmanship High School in Manhattan, where, in partnership with the National Parks Service, he is developing curriculum for an introductory course to historic preservation and historic preservation trades.  Before Mather, Ryan worked for The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission as a Landmark Preservationist and as an educator at the Woolworth Building.[/expand]

[expand title=”Amber N. Wiley | Assistant Professor of American Studies at Skidmore College”]

Amber Wiley is an Assistant Professor of American Studies at Skidmore College.  She joined the Skidmore faculty after spending a year as the inaugural Society of Architectural Historians H. Allen Brooks Traveling Fellow, studying architecture, urbanism, preservation, and public history in six countries.  Prior to that she taught at the Tulane School of Architecture.  Amber received her Ph.D. in American Studies from George Washington University. She also holds a Master’s in Architectural History and Certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Virginia School of Architecture, and a B.A. in Architecture from Yale University. Amber sits on the board of the Vernacular Architecture Forum and is a member of the National Park System Advisory Board Landmarks Committee.[/expand]

[expand title=”Caitlin Meives | Preservation Planner, The Landmark Society of Western New York”]

Caitlin Meives is the Preservation Planner on staff at The Landmark Society of Western New York, a regional not-for-profit historic preservation organization based in Rochester and serving a nine county area in western New York. Caitlin holds a MS in Historic Preservation from the University of Vermont. Prior to her employment at The Landmark Society in 2010, she served as the Survey Coordinator at the Kansas State Historic Preservation Office. As the Preservation Planner at The Landmark Society, Caitlin works directly with municipal officials, developers, neighborhood and community advocates, and property owners of all types to assist in the rehabilitation and revitalization of historic buildings, structures, landscapes, and communities.[/expand]

2E: [expand title=”Field Session: Tiffany in Troy“]

Troy is practically a museum for the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany, with a concentration of Tiffany windows rivalling any city in America. We will guide you through St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. While the exterior dates back to the 1820s as a copy of Trinity Church on the Green in New Haven, the interior was redesigned by Tiffany Studios in the 1890s. It is a rare remaining church to have both Tiffany stained glass windows and a fully intact Tiffany interior, including chandeliers, pews, baptistery, and stenciling. Currently the congregation is seeking funds to restore and preserve this unique gem.[/expand]


SESSION BLOCK 3: 1:15-2:45 PM

3A: [expand title=”Preserving Religious Architecture“]

Houses of worship were once centerpieces of community life in many communities, and remain an important focal point of their current architectural landscape.  Dwindling congregations and central city dis-investment has led to the loss of some of these buildings and the risk of demolition by neglect of others as communities struggle to maintain these iconographic buildings.  In order to ensure that these important buildings can be part of community-wide revitalization efforts, many communities have turned to marketing, adaptive re-use, and other creative efforts to preserve them.  This conference session will highlight several of these efforts including:

  • Sacred Sites Open House Weekend – Ann Friedman and Colleen Heemeyer, NY Landmarks Conservancy
  • Case studies from Buffalo New York of a variety of different Churches that have been kept in use; Jessie Fisher – Preservation Buffalo Niagara
  • Best practices and local case studies; Sloane Bullough, New York State Historic Preservation Office and John G. Waite, John G. Waite Associates, Architects
  • Religious Architecture and Tax Credits;Kerry Traynor and Paul Lang from the Lafayette Presbeterian Church Adaptive Re-Use in Buffalo New York[/expand]

[expand title=”Kerry Traynor | School of Architecture and Planning, SUNY at Buffalo / kta preservation specialists”]

Kerry Traynor is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Historic Preservation Program in the School of Architecture and Planning at UB, and principal investigator for historic architecture and architectural history with kta preservation specialists, a consulting firm she founded in 1999. Her experience includes private practice, scholarly research and publication, and teaching at the collegiate level: architecture and landscape architecture history; design and historic preservation theory and award winning preservation planning studios. Kerry has provided her experience and skills to numerous preservation efforts in the City of Buffalo, including the local nomination and listing of endangered sites such as the American Grain Complex, and the GLF Grain Elevator among others.[/expand]

[expand title=”Paul Lang, AIA, LEED AP | Carmina, Wood, Morris”]

Paul Lang is a project architect for Carmina Wood Morris D.P.C. specializing in historic preservation and restoration projects. A graduate of Pennsylvania State University holding both BArch and MArch degrees, he is also a LEED accredited professional. With a decade of experience in the planning and management of culturally significant projects both domestically and abroad. Highlighted by multiple statewide preservation awards as a part of the CWM team.[/expand]

[expand title=”Ann-Isabel Friedman | Director, Sacred Sites Program, New York Landmarks Conservancy”]

Ann-Isabel Friedman directs the Sacred Sites Program of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, managing financial, technical, advocacy and heritage promotion initiatives for historic religious properties throughout New York State.  Sacred Sites collaborates with regional preservation groups to match congregations with qualified consultants and contractors, helping ensure that the Conservancy’s grants fund cost-effective repairs.  In 2004, Ms. Friedman initiated a survey of NYC’s Roman Catholic Churches, and in 2007, broadened the survey to include the city’s little-known historic synagogues, enabling challenge grants for both churches and synagogues.  In 2011, Ms. Friedman helped launch the Conservancy’s annual Sacred Sites Open House weekend, which drew 3000 statewide visitors in 2015.[/expand]

[expand title=”Colleen Heemeyer | Grants & Technical Services Manager, New York Landmarks Conservancy”]

Colleen Heemeyer is the Grants and Technical Services Manager of the private non-profit New York Landmarks Conservancy, reporting to both Technical Services and Sacred Sites Programs.  Colleen provides technical support to various Conservancy grant and loan programs; staffs a “hotline” for owners of historic properties, providing referrals to owners of historic properties and building trade professionals; performs site visits with owners of historic properties; executes fee-for-service consulting projects; co-manages the Conservancy’s façade easement program, maintains the Conservancy’s on line Restoration for building-professional contacts and referrals; performs grant reviews and manages grant awards for the New York state-wide Sacred Sites grant program.[/expand]

[expand title=”Sloane Bullough | New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation”]

Sloane Bullough is a Historic Sites Restoration Coordinator at the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. She coordinates the New York State historic preservation tax credit programs, which are used statewide by owners of eligible historic properties. Ms. Bullough holds a bachelor’s degree in Historic Preservation from Roger Williams University and a master’s degree in Building Conservation from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Before working for NYS, she worked for the Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway as the Director of Troy’s RiverSpark and Downtown Troy Marketing Coordinator.[/expand]

[expand title=”John G. Waite | John G. Waite Associates, Architects”]

Jack Waite is Senior Principal of John G. Waite Associates, Architects. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and the Association for Preservation Technology and received APT’s Harley J. McKee Award for outstanding contributions in the field of preservation technology. He also received APT’s Oliver Torrey Fuller Award and the Anne M. de Fort‐Menares Award for articles in the APT Bulletin.

The firm’s current preservation projects include Thomas Jefferson’s buildings at the University of Virginia including the Rotunda (Charlottesville, VA); Theodore Roosevelt’s home, Sagamore Hill (Oyster Bay, NY); the Cincinnati Union Terminal (Cincinnati, OH); Pullman National Memorial (Chicago, IL); and Fort Jay and Castle Clinton (New York, NY).[/expand]

[expand title=”Jessie Fisher | Executive Director, Preservation Buffalo Niagara”]

Jessie Fisher is the executive director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara, which leadership in identifying, protecting, and promoting the unique architecture and historic legacy of Western New York communities. Prior to assuming leadership of the organization in July 2015, she served as the director of planning for the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper for five years. Fisher has worked on many preservation projects over the course of her career, but her role in rescuing and restoring Buffalo’s iconic Delaware Asbury Church remains a highlight. Once imminently threatened with demolition, today this 1800s-era church is the headquarters of Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records, as well as a thriving downtown performance center. [/expand]

3B: [expand title=”Reinterpreting Historic Sites & Community Engagement“]

At their core, museums and historic sites are success stories in historic preservation.  But, just as preservation ethos has evolved since the National Historic Preservation Act, museum practices have changed greatly.  More museums and sites have begun telling the stories of those often left out of the historical narrative—like women, Native Americans, LBGT individuals, enslaved and free people of color, immigrants, and servants.  As we strive to tell these stories and engage new audiences, we begin to understand that our historic sites did not historically exist in a cultural vacuums and that historic sites themselves are intrgal parts of neighborhoods.  This session will provide an overview of statewide efforts to reinterpret historic sites using themes relative to today’s audiences and will include speakers from the NYS Bureau of Historic Sites, Fort Crailo and Ganondagan State Historic Sites.  Additionally,  Paul and Mary Liz Stewart will present the Myers Residence, a documented Underground Railroad site that employs community  outreach as a means of preserving the building and creating a community anchor.  Working with neighborhood groups, college students, teens, government, business enterprises and people from across the region, the Myers Residence has become a symbol of how a historic site can foster pride of place in a community.[/expand]

[expand title=”Travis Bowman | Senior Curator, Bureau of Historic Sites, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation”]

Travis M. Bowman serves as the Senior Curator of the New York State Bureau of Historic Sites and Parks. Prior to moving to the Bureau, he coordinated the State and National Registers of Historic Places for fourteen counties as part of the New York State Historic Preservation Office. From 2001 to 2007, he was at Clermont State Historic Site, where he curated a major loan exhibit commemorating the bicentennial of the first practical steamboat voyage. The exhibit formed the basis for a published book on the subject—Bobs’ Folly: Fulton, Livingston and the Steamboat. Mr. Bowman earned a Masters and Certificate of Advanced Study in Public History from the State University of New York at Albany and holds a BA in Anthropology from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.[/expand]

[expand title=”Heidi Hill | Historic Site Manager, Bureau of Historic Sites, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation”]

Heidi Hill has served as the Historic Site Manager of both Crailo and Schuyler Mansion State Historic Sites since 2005. Before assuming her current role, she served as Director of Education at the different museums, Clermont State Historic Site, Olana State Historic Site and the Barnum Museum. Ms. Hill has worked on numerous exhibits, interpretive programs and historic presentations and was responsible for the reinterpretation of Crailo State Historic Site from a house museum to the one focused on exhibiting and interpreting the story of the Dutch in the Hudson Valley. Ms. Hill received an MA in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program and holds a BA in History from the SUNY Center at Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY.[/expand]

[expand title=”Mike Galban | Interpretive Program Assistant, Ganondagan State Historic Site”]

Michael Galban is currently the Interpretive Programs Assistant at the Seneca Art & Culture Center at Ganondagan State Historic Site in Victor NY. Ganondagan is a 17th century Seneca town site and nationally regarded as a center for Iroquoian history and cultural preservation. His understanding of woodlands people and the colonial history of the east is extensive and he has lectured on the subject across the United States and in Europe. Michael has also co-founded the “Haudenosaunee Living History Society” which is dedicated to preserving and fully understanding Iroquois history.  Michael has worked as a costume and cultural consultant in film and television and on historic site development for many years – most recently working with Grand Portage National Monument on their newest film focused on the fur trade.[/expand]

[expand title=”Paul and Mary Liz Stewart | Co-Founders of the Underground Railroad History Project”]

Paul Stewart is a co-founder of the Underground Railroad History Project. He has worked with non-profit organizations for the past 40 years and is currently employed small business trainer for a community development financial organization. Together with his wife they started their own personal study of the Underground Railroad which led to the restoration project which is the focus of this workshop. In 2009 he and his wife were appointed scholars in residence at Russell Sage College in Troy. He and his wife have won many awards for their preservation work.

Mary Liz Stewart is a co-founder of the Underground Railroad History Project. She currently serves as the organization’s executive director. Her background includes 20 years as a professional educator. Together with her husband, Paul, they were appointed scholars in residence at Russell Sage College in Troy in 2009. She has taken the lead in developing the Young Abolitionists Teen Scholars institute and other efforts which have enabled teens in large numbers to take a constructive part in the restoration project.[/expand]

3C:  [expand title=”A Reappraisal of Urban Renewal: Evaluating “The Architecture of Good Intentions” and Assessing the Empire State Plaza and its Role in Albany’s Civic Life“]

Urban Renewal and historic preservation have a complicated, often conflicting, relationship. The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 was a direct response to the destruction of historic resources by Urban Renewal. Now these projects are becoming eligible for historic designation, subject to preservation regulations and potential rehabilitation tax credits. How do we acknowledge and reconcile the complex legacy of the Urban Renewal era and its politically-contentious, socially-disruptive, and architecturally-fraught associations in a way that enables and promotes their reinterpretation and preservation?  Building off of Thursday night’s conference movie, “The Neigborhood That Disappeared,” presenters will discuss the architecture of the Empire State Plaza, context of urban renewal, how its development sparked Albany’s historic preservation movement, and the importance of recognizing it as a historic and architecturally significant site worthy of preservation itself.

This session will provide a framework for evaluating the significance and negotiating the preservation challenges of these ambitious, well intentioned, and often still controversial urban-renewal resources. As both the Empire State Plaza and National Historic Preservation Act turn 50, preservationists in Albany and New York State must come to terms with the necessity of celebrating and preserving buildings and sites that the movement was formed to fight against.[/expand]

[expand title=”Erin Tobin | Director of Preservation, Preservation League of New York State”]

Erin M. Tobin serves as Director of Preservation for the Preservation League of NYS, where she has worked since 2007. Prior to joining the Preservation League, Erin worked for the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation, Historic Albany Foundation, the New York Landmarks Conservancy, and the Massachusetts Historic Commission. She received her Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania.[/expand]

[expand title=”Kathleen LaFrank | NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation”]

Kathleen LaFrank is the National Register Coordinator for the New York State Historic Preservation Office, where she oversees the state’s National Register program and review of part 1 tax credit applications. She has an M.A. in Architecture and Design Criticism from Parsons School of Design.  Ms. LaFrank has many years of expertise in evaluating rural cultural landscapes, state parks, parkways, and modern architecture, and she has made many presentations and written articles on these subjects.   She is also the author of numerous National Register and National Historic Landmark nominations, including those for the Taconic State Parkway, the Guggenheim Museum, and Manitoga, the Russel Wright Home.[/expand]

[expand title=”Jennifer Walkowski | NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation”]

Jennifer Walkowski serves as Historic Preservation Specialist in the National Register Unit at the NY State Historic Preservation Office, serving Western NY. She holds a BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology and a Master of Architectural History from the University of Virginia. Ms. Walkowski worked as a preservation consultant in Buffalo for several years, where she founded the Louise Bethune Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians and was involved with the annual national conferences for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Society of Architectural Historians. Her work specializes in the history of early Modern architecture and urban planning. Ms. Walkowski has been active in heritage tourism, scholarship and lectures, and education efforts state-wide.[/expand]

[expand title=”Kate Auwaerter | Preservation Planner, City of Syracuse”]

Kate Auwaerter has over 20 years’ experience in historic preservation and planning-related fields in the private, non-profit, and public sectors.  As Preservation Planner for the City of Syracuse, Ms. Auwaerter oversees the implementation of the city’s preservation program; advises city departments on historic preservation-related matters; provides professional staff assistance to the Syracuse Landmark Preservation Board and administers the city’s Certified Local Government program.  In addition to her preservation work, Ms. Auwaerter is the Public Art Coordinator for the city. She completed her undergraduate studies at Oberlin College and has a Master’s degree in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University.[/expand]

[expand title=”Jack McEneny | Former NYS Assemblymember and Albany Historian”][/expand]

[expand title=”James Jamieson, R.A | NYS Capitol Architect 1998-2015″]

As the Capitol Architect for the NYS Office of General Services Design & Construction Group, Jim Jamieson had the responsibility for all new construction, reconstruction, restoration and preservation at the Capitol, the Empire State Plaza, and the Executive Mansion in Albany.  He was also the agency’s Historic Preservation Officer.  Jim retired in April 2014 after more than 31 years of service.

Jim attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA where he received the Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1981.  He is also a College Fellow of the State University on New York College of Arts and Sciences in Albany.[/expand]

3D: [expand title=”Mayors Preservation Roundtable“]

Historic preservation is an important tool used by many New York State municipalities to foster economic development, kick start neighborbood revitalization, and improve community livability.  Whether in a city or village context, preservation remains one of the most effective ways to leverage existing assets to ensure future vitality.  The mayors of Whiteplains, Ithaca, Brockport, and Pittsford will each make a brief presentation about a preservation project in their community and describe its benefits.  Each mayor will explain how preservation fits within overall municipal policy and discuss how the Certified Local Government program has been used to enhance local preservation efforts.  After the presentations, a roundtable discussion will be moderated by New York Assemblyman John McDonald, former mayor of the City of Cohoes.[/expand]

[expand title=”Thomas Roach | Mayor, City of White Plains”]

Tom Roach is a White Plains native.  He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Albany and a law degree from the University of Buffalo.  While practicing as a trial lawyer, Tom was elected to the White Plains City Council in 2001.  He became acting mayor in 2011 upon the resignation of his predecessor.  He was elected to the office two years later.  During his time as mayor, Tom has maintained strong city services during difficult financial times.  He spearheaded a number of environmental initiatives including bike lanes and zip cars.  Tom’s long term vision for the City includes enhancing downtown for businesses and residents while maintaining the city’s strong residential neighborhoods.[/expand]

[expand title=”Svante Myrick | Mayor, City of Ithaca”]

Svante Myrick was elected in 2011 as the youngest mayor in Ithaca’s history and its first African-American mayor.  Myrick studied communication at Cornell University and was elected to the Ithaca city council at the age of 20.  As mayor, Svante has stabilized the city’s finances while streamlinning city management and increasing wages for the city’s lowest paid employees.  He has overseen the continued revitalization of downtown Ithaca as well as the implementation of sustainable environmental policies.[/expand]

[expand title=”Bill Andrews | Deputy Mayor, Village of Brockport”]

Bill Andrews has been active in historic preservation efforts since about 1970, including membership on the Historic Preservation Committee of the Western Monroe Historical Society and the Town of Sweden Landmarks Advisory Committee, Brockport Village Historian, and chair of Brockport’s Historic Preservation Board. He received recognition for those efforts with the Lifetime Achievement Award of The Landmark Society of Western New York in 2010. He now serves as Brockport’s Deputy Mayor.[/expand]

[expand title=”Robert Corby | Mayor, Village of Pittsford”]

Robert Corby is a graduate of the Syracuse University School of Architecture and has served as the mayor of Pittsford for the last twenty-three years.  During his tenure as mayor he has used his professional experience in architecture, historic preservation, and planning to revive the village’s historic waterfront mill district, integrate preservation into the village’s planning policies, and enhance the village’s public realm.  The successful results of Corby’s leadership have garnered numerous awards for the Village.  In 2014, the City Mayors Foundation of London named Corby a “Mayor of the Month.”[/expand]

[expand title=”John McDonald | New York State Assemblyman, 108th District”][/expand]

3E: [expand title=”Field Session: Downtown Troy Preservation Tour“]

Modern, downtown Troy looks much like Troy of the mid-1800s. Contemporary shops and restaurants have set up in historic storefronts amongst architectural landmarks such as the Frear Building, Bush Memorial Hall, and the RPI Approach. These walkable streets are used for farmers markets and movie sets today. But like many American cities, “urban renewal” in the 1960s tore out much of the city’s past. On this tour, see the the losses and successes of a devoted local preservation movement, one which led to downtown’s 21st century renaissance.[/expand]


SESSION BLOCK 4: 3:00-4:00 PM

 4A: [expand title=”National Trust for Historic Preservation: Working with Local Partners through National Treasures campaigns, Preservation Green Lab and HOPE Crew“]

This session will explore three of The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s most successful initiatives: National Treasures, HOPE Crew and Preservation Green Lab. National Treasures is an innovative campaign to save endangered places with the support of local preservationists nationwide.

The Trust is identifying sites and taking specific action to save them. HOPE Crew – Hands-On Preservation Experience is an initiative to train more young people in preservation crafts while helping to protect historic cultural sites on public lands. The program links preservation projects to the national youth corps movement. Preservation Green Lab advances research that explores the value that older buildings bring to communities, and pioneers policy solutions that make it easier to reuse and green historic buildings. The Green Lab seeks to minimize carbon impacts and to conserve character-rich and human-scale communities.[/expand]

[expand title=”Jay A. DiLorenzo | President, Preservation League of New York State”][/expand]

[expand title=”Jessie Fisher | Executive Director, Preservation Buffalo Niagara”]

Jessie Fisher is the executive director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara, which leadership in identifying, protecting, and promoting the unique architecture and historic legacy of Western New York communities. Prior to assuming leadership of the organization in July 2015, she served as the director of planning for the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper for five years. Fisher has worked on many preservation projects over the course of her career, but her role in rescuing and restoring Buffalo’s iconic Delaware Asbury Church remains a highlight. Once imminently threatened with demolition, today this 1800s-era church is the headquarters of Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records, as well as a thriving downtown performance center.[/expand]

[expand title=”Seri Worden | Senior Field Officer, New York City Field Office, National Trust for Historic Preservation”]

Seri Worden is the Senior Field Officer in New York City for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Prior to joining the Trust, Seri was the associate curator of the Museum of the City of New York’s exhibition, Saving Place: Fifty Years of New York City Landmarks and co-editor of the companion publication. She has held positions as Executive Director of the James Marston Fitch Foundation and Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts. Seri received her M.S. in historic preservation, with an urban planning focus, from Columbia University and her B.A. in art and architectural history from Boston University. Seri lives with her husband and two children in Brooklyn, NY.[/expand]

[expand title=”Jason Clement | Director of Community Outreach, National Trust for Historic Preservation”]

Jason Lloyd Clement is the Director of Community Outreach for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where he mounts campaigns across the country to inspire people to save the places they love. Through this work, he has discovered that it’s Rust Belt cities that make his heart beat the fastest, particularly Buffalo, NY. Prior to joining the National Trust, Clement studied communications and creativity at the University of Texas at Austin. During his four years on the 40 Acres, Clement learned what to this day is his personal and professional motto: Always keep it weird.[/expand]

[expand title=”Jeana C. Wiser | Manager, Resilient Communities, Preservation Green Lab, National Trust for Historic Preservation”]

As Resilient Communities Manager for the Preservation Green Lab, Jeana Wiser works at the intersection of old buildings + resilience. Jeana is motivated by the belief that older (and often smaller) buildings are an essential ingredient for supporting existing communities and addressing many social and environmental justice issues. Before joining Preservation Green Lab in 2011, Jeana attended the University of Washington in Seattle earning a Master Degree in Urban Planning and a Certificate of Historic Preservation. Jeana is a member of the Association of Preservation Technology’s Technical Committee on Sustainable Preservation, the Urban Land Institute – New York City, and also serves on the Executive Committee of a New Orleans-based nonprofit, the Building Resilience Workshop.[/expand]

4B: [expand title=”On the Road: Rural Arts Creative Placemaking and Advocacy“]

As the co founders of Rural Arts Weekly (@RuralArtsWeekly), a digital community of rural arts advocates, Amy Brooks and Pilar McKay facilitate a conversation about current events and trends in rural arts placemaking throughout the country. In this session, they will review latest trends and best practices from rural arts creative placemaking. Both Amy and Pilar have experience in creative placemaking – particular through theatre – and will share ways to reach out to your artistic communities and start projects you’ve been imagining in your community.[/expand]

[expand title=”Pilar McKay | Shake on the Lake and Rural Arts Weekly”]

Pilar McKay, Ph.D. is a rural arts and culture advocate, active placemaker, and communications professor. Committed to applying theory in practice, she serves as an accelerator on many start-up arts projects with small budgets with large goals. In 2011, she co-founded and serves as managing director of Shake on the Lake, a Shakespeare Festival headquartered in her hometown of Perry, New York. She is also managing partner of Silver Lake Brewing Project, producing a film on immigrants’ impact on food culture in a post-industrial rural community, and teaching advertising and research methods at American University.[/expand]

[expand title=”Amy Brooks | Rural Arts Weekly”]

Amy Brooks is a Central Appalachian rural arts advocate, rural creative placemaker, and dramaturg. Her professional focus is facilitating conversations by asking questions (preferably over food). Amy has served as Humanities Director for the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia: she is also a co founder and producer of the UMass New Play Lab, a national diversity-focused play workshop in its third year, Amy received her BFA in theater from West Virginia University in her hometown of Morgantown, WV, and is currently completed an MFA in dramaturgy at University of Massachusetts Amherst.[/expand]

4C: [expand title=”Old School: Adapting Historic Schools Into Affordable Housing“]

Many upstate New York communities face a shortage of safe and sanitary affordable housing at the same time that their public and parochial schools are closing at an unprecedented rate.  This session will discuss the adaptive reuse of historic schools to meet a community’s affordable housing needs.  Our session will discuss:

  • The importance of historic schools to their communities
  • The significance of the American school building typology
  • Design challenges to adapting historic school buildings under the DOI Standards
    Financing school rehab projects by combining historic tax credits and low-income tax credits.[/expand]

Preservation Studios, LLC

[expand title=”Jason Yots | Principal, President”]

Jason works with owners, developers and municipalities to develop innovative historic preservation projects. Beginning with feasibility-analysis, Jason helps clients create and fund their preservation projects.  He joined Preservation Studios in 2008, after 12 years as a tax credit and community development attorney. Jason lives in Buffalo with his wife and two sons.[/expand]

[expand title=”Michael Puma | Principal, Project Manager”]

Michael holds a B.A. in Environmental Design with a minor in Architecture from the University of Buffalo. He is a founding member of Buffalo’s Young Preservationists and is active in numerous community organizations in Buffalo.  Mike spends his free time renovating the “dollar house” he bought last year from the City of Buffalo.[/expand]

[expand title=”Derek King | Principal, Architectural Historian”]

Derek holds a B.A. in History and Anthropology with a minor in Global Studies from St. Lawrence University.  He is involved in numerous community organizations, including Buffalo’s Young Preservationists and Citizens for Regional Transit.  Derek is in the process of updating the “Buffalo double” he recently purchased in Buffalo’s Hamlin Park Historic District.[/expand]

4D: [expand title=”Collaborative Preservation Education“]

As we look forward to the next 50 years of historic preservation the training of young people in the preservation trades is essential to the ongoing success of the movement.  Through a unique partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), Stephen T. Mather Building Arts & Craftsmanship High School is able to offer specialized hands-on education in the building, landscape, and preservation trades.  As developed by the NPS and founding faculty, the curriculum is suffused with the NPS stewardship ethic, engaging urban youth in the values and practice of craftsmanship.

This session will discuss the partnership between The National Park Service and Stephen T. Mather and how the “Mather” idea was originally proposed to the New York City Department of Education in 2011.  The session will also cover the school culture and how the lens of preservation is applied across classroom curriculum in all subjects.[/expand]

[expand title=”Larry Gabbard | Principal, Mather Building Arts & Craftsmanship High School”]

Larry Gabbard was an English teacher and assistant principal at the Eagle Academy for Young Men in the Bronx and an assistant principal at Pace High School in downtown Manhattan before he founded Mather. Gabbard has a background in public relations and marketing, which influences his approach to leadership and teambuilding. He wants all staff to work together, solve problems for themselves, and wear many different hats.[/expand]

[expand title=”Matthew Jacobs | Education Specialist, National Park Service”]

Matthew Jacobs is a practitioner, educator and advocate of historic preservation and the preservation trades.  He is currently working for the National Park Service (NPS) as the education coordinator at the Stephen T Mather High School for the Building Arts and Craftsmanship (Mather); a new Career Technical Education (CTE) High School in Manhattan that is preparing students for college and careers in the preservation and stewardship fields.  He is committed to empowering students with hands-on skills for shaping the world around them and exploring their own interests and abilities.  Before coming to Mather, Mr. Jacobs worked as a Preservation Specialist for the National Park Service’s Historic Architecture, Conservation and Engineering Center in Lowell, MA.[/expand]

4E: [expand title=”Learning from the Past 50 Years: Capturing Preservation Narratives to Inspire the Future“]

For over 50 years, New Yorkers have fought to preserve their historic buildings. The stories of these struggles, the lessons and losses, the strategies and innovations, the tactics and triumphs, are the intellectual capital of the preservation movement, with the potential to instruct and inspire future generations of activists. But too often today’s preservation efforts fail to benefit from this rich history because it has been lost or forgotten. The New York Preservation Archive Project has worked since 1998 to reverse this tide of loss through oral histories that capture these stories in order to craft a nuanced portrait of the field and a better understanding of the past 50 years of preservation. In this session NYPAP will discuss how to plan, fund, capture, and share these narratives, with a focus on two new initiatives, one focusing on preservation’s evolving legal framework and one on sites significant to minority communities.[/expand]

[expand title=”Matthew Coody | Executive Director, New York Preservation Archive Project”]

Matthew Coody is executive director of the New York Preservation Archive Project and is a co-founder of Preservation Greenpoint, a not-for-profit organization that works to protect the historic architecture and character of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. He has devoted time working with many New York City preservation organizations, architecture firms, and city agencies, including the Landmarks Preservation Commission and FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts. He is vice president of Preservation Alumni and is on the Board of Advisers for the Historic Districts Council. Coody is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture and holds a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from Columbia University.[/expand]

[expand title=”Liz Strong | Oral History Coordinator, New York Preservation Archive Project”]

Liz Strong is an experienced oral historian who is passionate about helping people and organizations share and document important stories. She has worked for the Columbia Center for Oral History Research, the Washington State Department of Commerce, and others. Strong earned a BA in Narrative Arts from Oberlin College in 2009, and recently completed her Master of Arts in Oral History at Columbia University. As an oral history consultant, Strong is managing the New York Preservation Archive Project’s current initiatives “Through the Legal Lens: Interviews with Lawyers Who Shaped NYC’s Landmarks Law” and “Saving Preservation Stories: Diversity and the Outer Boroughs.”[/expand]

KEYNOTE: 6:00-7:30 PM

Tonko portrait final

[expand title=”Congressman Paul D. Tonko”]

Congressman Paul Tonko is a fourth term member of the United States House of Representatives. He currently represents New York’s 20th Congressional District in the Capital Region, including the cities of Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Saratoga Springs and his hometown of Amsterdam, in the Mohawk and Hudson River Valleys. Paul is a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and serves on several subcommittees, including the Subcommittee on Environment and Economy. In addition to his committee duties, Paul is a Co- Chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), the green voice in Congress.

Prior to serving in Congress, Paul was the President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Before that, he served in the New York State Assembly for 25 years, 15 of which he was the Chairman of the Committee on Energy. At the age of 26, Paul was the youngest person in the history of Montgomery County to be elected to the County’s Board of Supervisors, which he chaired until 1981.

Paul graduated from Clarkson University with a degree in mechanical and industrial engineering and is a former engineer for the New York State Public Service Commission. He is a lifelong resident of the historic city of Amsterdam, New York.[/expand]


[expand title=”Erik Hein | Executive Director, National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers”]

Erik Hein is the Executive Director of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, which is the national membership organization representing “SHPOs” before elected officials, federal agencies, non-governmental organizations and the public.  Prior to holding this position, he was the President of and Registered Lobbyist for Preservation Action, the national non-profit grassroots lobbying organization focused on federal historic preservation policy.

Prior to his work in federal preservation policy, he also worked as a project consultant, city historic preservation officer, the assistant executive director of a local non-profit, and a program director at a statewide preservation organization.  He has also served and continues to serve on numerous nonprofit boards including the US National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ex-officio), the Preservation Action Foundation, and the Committee of 100 on the Federal City.

In addition to studying 19th Century art and architecture at the Victoria University of Manchester, UK, Erik holds a Bachelors degree from Penn State University and a Masters in American Studies/Historic Preservation from the George Washington University.

Originally from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, he now lives in Petworth, District of Columbia.[/expand]

Saturday, May 7th, 2016
Conference Sessions

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

[expand title=”If You Build it, Will They Come? Strategies and Tactical Steps to Creating a Heritage Tourism Plan“]

Historic preservation is the foundation for cultural heritage tourism. The City of Albany, settled in 1624, is one of the oldest cities in America.  Plymouth and Jamestown attract hordes of tourists by playing upon their “oldest distinction” but Albany has not claimed similar bragging rights. It is no secret that historic sites & museums have seen funding sources wither away in the recent recessed economy. In Albany at the beginning of the economic downturn, the threat of closure felt more real than ever for these sites. As a result, Partners for Albany Stories (PASt), a partnership between historic sites and museums representing Albany, in conjunction with the State Historic Preservation Office, was formed as a method of advocacy, with a plan to develop an interpretive plan and to elevate the visibility of all sites. Consequently, with PASt as the precursor , a new citywide Heritage Tourism Plan was recently created, engaging  all small and large organizations that play a role in creating a welcoming and interesting environment in Albany. This workshop will tell the story of collaboration, breaking down silos, the challenges and opportunities, interfacing with the public, and will introduce early products that are only the beginning of a new, heritage tourism culture.

The session will provide useful information to a variety of audience members, regardless of the level of collaboration they may be working with, whether for a full-scale plan,  an annual event or on a limited basis.[/expand]

[expand title=”Mark Castiglione, AICP | Acting Executive Director, Hudson River Valley Greenway and National Heritage Area”]

Mark Castiglione is the Acting Executive Director for the Hudson River Valley Greenway and Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.  Mark works to build partnerships amongst public and private sector partners that result in the protection and promotion of our natural, cultural and historic resources.   He serves on the Executive Board of the New York Upstate Chapter of the American Planning Association, representing nearly 700 professional urban planners, students and planning board officials throughout Upstate New York.  Mark is a certified planner by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), holds a BA in US History and a Master Degree in regional planning from the University at Albany.[/expand]

[expand title=”Liselle LaFrance | Director, Historic Cherry Hill”]

Liselle LaFrance is Director of Historic Cherry Hill in Albany, a historic house museum with intact collections of 20,000 objects, 30,000 manuscripts, 7,500 textiles, 5,000 books and 3,000 photographs, spanning five generations of the Van Rensselaer family. Concerned with the increasingly threatened future of cultural resources, she proposed the collaboration that became Partners for Albany Stories (PASt). She serves on a number of committees of the American Association of Museums (AAM) and the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS), and has served on New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Museum and Capital Aid panels, and on IMLS Museums for America and NEH Challenge Grant Programs review panels, and served on the Board of the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau.[/expand]

[expand title=”Miriam Trementozzi | Co-Chair, Albany Heritage Tourism Advisory Council”]

Miriam Trementozzi, recently retired, served as Associate Vice President for Community Engagement in the President’s Office of the University at Albany, SUNY for most of her 15 years in that office.  She has been a leader in advancing UAlbany’s engagement and partnerships in addressing public needs from the arts and education to economic growth. She is active in developing Albany’s potential for heritage tourism, currently serving as co-chair of the Albany Heritage Tourism Advisory Council. Her varied professional background includes service as Executive Director of Historic Albany Foundation, and among her advanced degrees, she holds a Masters in History/Historic Preservation, University of Vermont.[/expand]

[expand title=”Michele Vennard | President, Albany Convention Center and Visitors Bureau”]

Michele Vennard is currently the President and CEO of the Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau;  she joined the Bureau in January of 1992. As the president, she oversees and directs all bureau operations, which focus on promoting Albany as a convention, group tour and leisure travel destination. Currently, she serves numerous local and statewide boards including the Albany Convention Center Authority (opening January 2017), the Palace Performing Arts Center, Canal New York, and Capitalize Albany Corporation where she is a past Chairperson. She was recently appointed by Governor Cuomo as a Commissioner of the Canal Recreationway Commission. Previously, she has served on the Executive Committee and Board of the National Council of State Travel Directors and Travel Industry Association of America; TIA’s Discover America Implementation Task Force; the U.S. Travel Data Center’s industry review panel; the Appalachian Regional Commission marketing planning committee and was a past chair of the Board of Trustees of the Sage Colleges. Prior to her employment as President and CEO of ACCVB, Ms. Vennard was Deputy Commissioner for Tourism Development, NYS Department of Economic Development/Division of Tourism and held various positions in the tourism industry.[/expand]

[expand title=”Susan Herlands Holland | Executive Director, Historic Albany Foundation”]

Susan Herlands Holland, Executive Director of Historic Albany Foundation since 2005, has 20 years of experience with historic preservation and neighborhood housing issues.  While historic preservation, architecture and design are the primary focus of HAF’s advocacy work, Susan works to educate and provide technical services on land use and planning, law and public policy, heritage tourism, arts and culture.  Ms. Holland has recently served as the Albany Heritage Tourism Working Group Co-Chair and is an original member of PASt.  She serves on numerous committees dedicated to preservation, including Albany’s Neighborhood Resource Center’s Board, the Underground Railroad History Project’s Property Committee, and has served on the New York State Council on the Arts’ Architecture, Design and Planning Grants Panel.  She was recently elected to serve as a member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women.[/expand]

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

[expand title=”Crowd-Sourcing Your Community: A Panel Led Problem Solving Session“]

Two heads are better than one, right? Well, how about five? In this session, a panel of seasoned experts in the fields of historic preservation, urban planning, architecture, and small town revitalization will brainstorm solutions to challenges that you are facing in YOUR community. If your community is facing a stumbling block to revitalization, this session will provide practical tips and creative solutions that have worked in other communities across the state and the nation.

We’ll also hear from you, the audience. After the panelists offer their advice, we’ll invite you to let us know what has worked in your community.[/expand]


12:30 Closing Remarks

There is plenty to see and do in Albany and Troy! We encourage attendees to get out and explore our host communities! We’ll have plenty of suggestions on-hand for you at the Conference.