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Join us next week for the NY Statewide Preservation Conference

The NY Statewide Preservation Conference is presented by

The Conference kicks off next Tuesday and we couldn’t be more excited to share this year’s lineup of speakers, topics, and challenging conversations with you!

Registration is just $30 and gets you access to 3 days of content. All sessions will be recorded and will be available for viewing within a few weeks. We’re also offering continuing education credits to architects and planners, through AIA Rochester and American Planning Association New York Upstate Chapter. (Click here for details on credits).

Who should attend the Conference?

Grassroots preservationists in villages, rural towns, and cities throughout the country; professionals working in the field or allied fields (architects, planners, landscape architects, developers, etc.); elected officials and municipal board members; city neighborhood leaders/activists; students in preservation and allied fields.

If you’re not convinced, check out the program highlights below…


Conference Keynote: Challenging Narratives

Elon Cook Lee is a public historian, educator, curator, and interpreter. She became the Director of Interpretation and Education at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2019 where she leads a variety of initiatives that focus on interpreting historic spaces through frameworks of repair, and equitable collaboration with descendants of slavery, exclusion, and colonization.

In this conversation with Elon Cook Lee, we will discuss how preservation practitioners can challenge traditional narratives and why this work is so important to the future of historic preservation. What does it mean to talk about a traditional or master narrative? How can preservationists tell the full story, especially when it’s challenging to do so? We’ll also learn about the National Trust’s new vision for interpreting historic sites, a vision that centers equitably and ethically with descendants of impacted groups.


Evening Cocktails & Conversations

On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings next week (7-8 PM), we’ll host two Cocktails & Conversations–virtual moderated conversations that you can join from the comfort of your own home. We encourage you to grab a cocktail (or non-alcoholic beverage of your choice) for these evening conversations.

Tuesday, 11/16
Mental Health Matters for Preservation

This guided talk and conversation will allow attendees to discuss the structural issues in preservation that often leads to emotional, mental, and physical effects on staff, volunteers and leaders. We’ll go beyond the typical conversations around self-care to identify organizational and profession level changes we can implement to cultivate wellbeing within the preservation field.

Wednesday, 11/17
National Register Listings: How impactful are they for sharing the history of marginalized communities?

As preservationists we understand the importance of National Register listed properties. We hope that they bring positive attention to historic sites and help in their preservation. We also acknowledge that properties that reflect underrepresented communities are not only a small percentage of the properties listed on the National Register but also that the NR criteria and the concept of integrity make it difficult to write many nominations for these properties. This session will discuss this conundrum as well as examine other grass roots options to sharing the history of underrepresented communities with the cities, towns, and villages where they exist.


Session Highlight: A Legacy Deferred, The Architecture of Thomas W. Boyde, Jr.

During the 1930s-70s, architect Thomas W. Boyde Jr. designed hundreds of buildings in the Rochester area that were instrumental in shaping the mid-century city and suburbs at a time when he, the first African-American architect in Rochester, would not have been welcome as a resident of many suburban neighborhoods where he worked. Boyde’s body of work has yet to be fully appreciated, as debates over the extent of his involvement in a handful of prominent projects have overshadowed his real contributions to the built environment. This presentation explores Boyde’s life and his prolific career, challenges in documenting the work of African-American architects practicing in the mid-twentieth century, and ways to bring new appreciation to the work of this supremely talented architect who left a remarkable legacy in the greater Rochester area.

Explore Conference sessions

Session Highlight: Sankofa: Our Past is Everyone's Future

This presentation will focus on the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission’s efforts to establish a thriving future filled with historic tourism. The Commission has utilized a unique combination of grassroots efforts and state-level support to mobilize a community that gave up hope long ago and dare to imagine a better future for the Corridor. Presenters will discuss this unique method as a best practice model to build up an underserved community from within, with focus on community based engagement and promoting historic excellence.

Explore Conference sessions

Visit our virtual host community

Offering a unique blend of experiences, Ithaca combines culture, nature, education, and history to create a place unlike any other. Towering waterfalls and deep gorges, outdoor recreation and higher education, dining options for all tastebuds and performance spaces featuring something for all tastes will greet you here. Follow the link below to learn more about all that the city of Ithaca has to offer!

Visit Ithaca

Scholarships available

We offer three different scholarship opportunities that cover the cost of Conference registration. Follow the link below for details and applications.

Apply now

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Our Conference Sponsors

The Landmark Society of Western New York is supported, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature

The Landmark Society receives support from Monroe County through the Mid-Size Arts Organization Grant

5 Castle Park, Rochester, NY 14620
PHONE: (585) 546-7029 x10 · FAX: (585) 546-4788

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