About PiP & Kaitlin O’Shea

Hi, I'm Kaitlin, a historic preservationist dressed in pink on an adventure!

Hi, I’m Kaitlin, a historic preservationist dressed in pink on an adventure! This building is the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada.

Welcome, friends! Nice to meet you. I’m Kaitlin O’Shea, the writer of Preservation in Pink. “What is Preservation in Pink?” you might ask. Do you want the short or long version? Your choice.

The short story: 

  • Connecting the dots from every day life to historic preservation, with coffee in one hand.
  • Photographs, discussions, preservation education and advocacy, caffeinated and fueled by the belief the preservation improves everyone’s quality of life.
  • Pink as in pink flamingos. What’s with flamingos? Check it out here.

The long story. Grab a cup of coffee and I’ll explain.  

After graduating from the University of Mary Washington with a degree in historic preservation, I began working full time, far away from my preservation classmates and far away from home. Over time I realized how much I missed the constant, diverse preservation conversations with my Mary Washington colleagues. Our most inspiring conversations were those late at night in the drafting lab or after we’d been studying and working nonstop for days, absorbing all of the preservation material that we could (and fully caffeinated). We devised plans to save the world via historic preservation. It was an incredible learning environment.

Once out of school and settling into our professions, it can be hard to maintain that academic spark and inspiration. I didn’t want to become jaded or tired of my work, nor did I want others to get to that point. We needed to keep our conversations going. My way to do this was to start a newsletter that could keep ideas flowing and discussions evolving. It didn’t have to be academic. It could be anything preservation related. Enter the flamingos (the fun side of preservation! See the link above).

Over the years, the newsletter evolved to a blog. Topics changed, from preservation education to issues in the news to roadside America to travel and photography based. Today Preservation in Pink remains a medium for me to share my world, through the eyes of a historic preservationist, and to meet others interested in historic preservation, professionally or avocationally.

The mission remains the same: to encourage communication between new and seasoned preservationists with and about the world around them. And to show everyone that historic preservation is everywhere you look and makes a positive difference in the world.

Want to chat or send a flamingo photo? Comment below or scroll to the bottom of the page to find all of the social media links. I’d love to meet you.



Always on the lookout for sunshine and historic playgrounds.

Always on the lookout for sunshine and historic playgrounds.

Disclaimer: Please Note: The opinions expressed on Preservation in Pink are the opinions of the authors and contributors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the organizations for which they work and/or are associated with nor do they reflect the opinions of every contributor on this site or colleague.  Photographs: Unless otherwise noted, photographs were taken by and belong to Kaitlin O’Shea.

Preservation in Pink by Kaitlin O’Shea is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at preservationinpink.wordpress.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by contacting Kaitlin O’Shea.

88 thoughts on “About PiP & Kaitlin O’Shea

  1. Donna Stroble says:

    I live with and take care of my 96 year old Grandmother in a farm house that was built in 1874. My family is not interested in keeping it up and I am so sad because there is alot of history here. I will try to give you the short story. Mathias Deihl torn down the old brick house that stood on this very spot and built the one I am living in. The old brick house was an Inn during the Revolutionary War, and the main road went right in front of this house down to the ford in the river. The barn was saved from Sheridan’s burning by Mary Deihl. You can read an account of it in The Burning by John Heatwole. But it fell down in 1999. I have always wondered if this place was worth saving. Also I have been looking for a picture of the old brick mansion to no avail. I hope you find this interesting, I tell the stories to any one that we listen. A lot of this information comes from the Deihl history book and my Grandmother.

    • Vianna Heath says:

      Love all kinds of northern New England history. I hope you’re able to save the house…it would be a shame to have it deteriorate. Best of luck.
      Vianna Heath
      Sandwich, MA

  2. Kaitlin says:

    Sabra and Jamie, thank you for the comments! I’m glad you enjoy Preservation in Pink. Let me know if there is something you’d like to read, see, or contribute!

  3. Aaron Marcavitch says:

    Ok – well, I guess I missed this site somehow…geez…fantastic stuff, agree completely with the sentiment that we dont talk about it with a passion once we get out of school. Glad to see you are in New England. If you haven’t seen them, take a look at the Young Preservationists of Pittsburgh – thats another group with passion. Keep it up, wish I had time to blog (or anything interesting to say…)

      • Joanne Belli says:

        I am editing the final proofs of my Arcadia Images of America book on the Lido Club Hotel
        I plan to include a blurb on the dinnerware used by Lido in its Heyday
        I have contact Larry Paul author of From Earth to Art history of Lamberton works
        I know you wanted more info on the china you bought years ago
        i would like to include a photo of the front and back of one of the soup plates
        I understand you took the photo
        How would you like the credit to read?
        I will not be using any of your blog just confirming this works for you
        All proceeds from my book will be going to the Long Beach Historical Society as I am a trustee and volunteer in their archives
        Thank you

  4. Catherine says:

    I found this blog when I first started HISP at UMW and I love your enthusiasm! It always gets me excited about pursuing my career in preservation.

  5. J. Mark Souther says:

    Nice concept and content – and yes, I do like flamingos. I’ll follow your blog and twitter feed now that I’ve discovered your site. It’s of direct interest on several levels. I spend a good deal of time thinking about sense of place in both my teaching, research, and public history work in Cleveland, Ohio, ranging from writing about tourism, preservation, and urban revitalization to a National Register nomination to co-directing the Cleveland Historical mobile app (http://clevelandhistorical.org). You might like to check out the app as a tool for re-imagining place (especially to overcome negative aspects of sense of place. You might also enjoy my new book American Tourism: Constructing a National Tradition (http://americantourismbook.com), which is all about placemaking efforts.

  6. Sherry Kepp says:

    Hi Kaitlin, Love your blog! and wondered if I could get some advise? I am 47 years old and I’m tossing around the idea of going back to school. Old houses, building and locations bring a joy to me that nothing else can touch and I would love to become a Preservationist! I have come to a time in my life where all of my children are grown and gone and marriages have come and gone. I finally have time in my life for me, but wonder if it might be too late to start into this field? I know four years of collage is involved and that’s a little scary after all this time, but I think I would commit to it better now than I could have before. Please from one who knows, what are your honest thoughts? And by the way….I love those pink beauties!


  7. Naomi says:

    Great blog! I’m not a preservationist, but a librarian who took an archival course and would much rather fix than buy new. I’m enjoying your posts and look forward to reading more.

  8. Paul says:

    Hi Kaitlin,
    Do you ever talk about rehab loans for older homes like these? Love your site. I am orignally from NC and now live in PA where rehabing older and historic homes can be common since there are so many.

    • Kaitlin says:

      Hi Paul. I have not mentioned rehab loans yet — tax credits a bit. If you have specific information that would be relevant to historic homeowners, let me know. Thanks for reading!

  9. inspiredmystic says:

    This is such a neat idea. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, so I am very interested in this. I think this is great! Thanks!

  10. cevminneapolis says:

    This is a great blog! I’m just starting my masters in Historic Preservation with Boston Architectural College. I started a blog to write about Minnesota (where I am from) and my Historic Preservation adventures. I’d love it if you’d stop by and check it out!! 🙂

  11. gardentourist says:

    Hi! I’ve just landed here… am I dreaming? Wonderful blog, still alive and kicking even after many years (ok, it’s all about preservations, could it be otherwise?!): compliments! I’m interested in garden history and culture, and I’m sure I’ll find here a lot of inspiration here. See you!

  12. Simple Northern Life says:

    Great cause and I will be following preservation is extremely important can not imagine the Twin Cities without the historical beauty and any town or city in Minnesota should follow a code of preservation it gives our great state flavor.

  13. Dambreaker says:

    I always enjoy finding blogs with purpose.

    I lived in the New England area for a short time in 2008. I had been all over the place and visited different areas. With the exception of Vermont. I did drive through it, but did not stop to say that I was “there” and from My desire to say that I’ve been to all 50 states and living in that area, I inexplicably missed Vermont somehow. And then I moved away. Vermont still eludes.

    This was a most excellent find today!! Glad I took the time to look about.

  14. BoKnowsMortgages says:

    Kaitlin, hope all is well. Enjoyed reading your ABOUT. me! Like yourself I too am a preservationists but for residential homes. I believe a Green Home is an already existing home it just needs a makeover. That is where I come in with our programs and we close many of them in many states. So your blog interested me because we share the same ideas. Adios.

  15. Sean Temple says:


    We are Sarah Wisner and Sean Temple. We both grew up in Vermont and are planning on shooting a short film in Vermont this summer. We really love your site, and find the abandoned Vermont page very interesting. Our film is about two women struggling to survive after the collapse of society and we’re looking for abandoned areas around Vermont.

    We’re’ reaching out to you because we would love to collaborate with you on finding some locations for the film. It’d be a really fun opportunity to work on a film. I would definitely give you a “Location Scout” title in the credits of the film and link to your site in our eventual Kickstarter and website. I know your passion for exploring Vermont would exponentially increase the quality of the film we want to make.

    A prequel/test we made in December was recently accepted into the Independent Film Festival Boston and the thesis screenplay was chosen as a finalist for the Graduate Screenplay competition at the Ivy Film Festival. You can watch it to get a sense of the characters and tone. The thesis would basically be the next part of the story.

    the password is: safe

    If you’re interested you can email us at copper.abby.pictures@gmail.com. If so we can send you an early draft and start a discussion of what kind of locations we’re looking for.

    Thanks so much,
    Sean Temple & Sarah Wisner

  16. Susie says:

    Hi Kaitlin! As a historic preservationist just out of grad school I loved reading your “why I started this blog.” Me too! I love seeing all the East Coast pictures go by (especially Vermont, I spent a summer in Woodstock VT and would go back in a heart beat). So many beautiful buildings and landscapes. Thanks for the nice blog : )
    – Susie

      • Susie says:

        Well it has been almost a year but thanks : ) I’m doing cultural resource management now, which can be fun because the types of resources can be so varied. But I do miss the reading and research projects of the grad school world!

          • Susie says:

            Absolutely, thanks for getting back to me. Can I ask what you do in the preservation world (besides this nice blog)? 🙂

          • Kaitlin says:

            Of course! I was most recently the Historic Preservation Specialist for the Vermont Agency of Transportation (5 years). As of April 2015, I am a Preservation Planner with VHB, an engineering + environmental firm. So, primarily historic resource identification + evaluation, and working with the regs – Section 106, Section 4(f), as well as VT state laws.

  17. B says:

    Hi I would love you talk to you via email about some questions I have about your experience with abandoned buildings. I write for thewittyagent.com and am doing a piece on this subject.

  18. dmglostne says:

    I really like your blog especially the abandoned Vermont part. I even been to a few of the places in vermont. If you like take a look at my site lostinnewengland.com , I can’t wait to head back to vermont ( I live in Massachusetts) wish I knew of more locations in vermont to photograph anyway keep up the great work . I’m going to put your site on my favorites, Dave not all who wonder are lost.

  19. Heather Graham says:

    I just found your blog and am trying to find a masters’ program in Historic Preservation to attend…do you have any thoughts or can you recommend any resources? I’ve looked at a list from the National Council of Preservation Education, but want to make sure I’m covering my bases. Love what I’ve seen on your blog, especially the Abandoned Vermont page…

  20. Centralia Heart says:

    Have you ever been to Prattsville NY? One entire side of main st was wiped out in Irene and the other side heavily damaged. We are trying to purchase the Arnold House from the Zadock Pratt museum because they do not have the funds to repair it and it has been boarded up since 2011. There are several wonderful historic buildings there that are still unfixed since Irene. Prattsville was the first planned community in New York State. Part of the Arnold House predates the town. Cross your fingers for us. Maybe I should put a pink flamingo on the front lawn next time I am up there!

  21. Youlonda Willingham says:

    Hi I’m wondering if you know how going by to purchase abandoned houses wouldn’t know where to start?

  22. Youlonda Willingham says:

    Can someone please call me like to inquire about buying an abandoned house and fixing it up don’t know where to start

  23. Linda Owens says:

    What ever happen to the Manchester Inn in Vermont??? Was it ever put up for sell. Why is it that people don’t buy them and restore to live in ????Who owns the Manchester Inn??

  24. John Dumville says:

    Kaitlin, Check out the small gothic church in Forest Dale (Brandon) which is currently on the market. It’s a gem!

  25. richgaelen says:

    Kaitlin, a friend of mine just drove old Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica,so I was interested to click on the link called “Route 66, not loved by all. And for good reason.” As of 11/14, it was another link to the crazy stories about Glastenbury. Great work, keep up the blog!
    -Rich Ewald

  26. Fahr says:

    I read your post about spray foam insulation in your basement and wanted to comment. Heat obviously rises, and your money would have been better spent adding more insulation in the attic, caulking around doors and windows, and upgrading to a high efficiency furnace or boiler. Spray foam between the floor joists makes it nearly impossible to find electrical problems or plumbing leaks and makes it impossible to detect termite infestation. In addition, blown insulation can be introduced into the exterior wall cavities from either the inside or the outside although I think interior penetrations would be easier to repair afterwards (patch the plaster and cover with crown molding).

  27. Peter Savage says:


    Just found your site. Great stuff!

    Four months ago we formed the Historical Society of Clarendon Vermont. At this time we have very little in our website, but we’d love to provide links to your pages that concern our town.

    Would you contact us so we could discuss mutual interests?


  28. CorpWell says:

    Hello Kaitlin:

    Discovered your site by chance as I was looking for a pre-restoration photo of the Rural Chapel in East Clarendon. Check out these preservation efforts and restorations does to the chapel. http://clarendonheritage.org, also another similar chapel in the area is being restored. http://chapel1871.org. I don’t know where you are located currently but we would love to have your preservation enthusiasm on our board!

    Nicolette Asselin
    Research and Grant

  29. Catherine Rodgers says:

    Love your blog and am inspired by your visit to The Bells Mansion in Newport. I am planning to visit with my amateur photography club and was wondering if you could give me some tips about where to park, whether there is a clear trail leading to the ruins of the stables, and how far the hike is from the car. And if you are ever in Rhode Island and wish to join us for an outing that you might find interesting, please let me know. Thank you! -Catherine Rodgers

  30. Kit Hays says:

    Hi Kaitlin, Thanks so much for the work you are doing. We have a farmhouse on the lake in Panton that dates to 1810 on property that was owned by the original settlers. It is on the Vt Register of Historic Places. I have been doing much research on it and have moved back here to take care of it and try to save it yet it from complete decline. Suggestions for how to find and work with a preservationist? Funding sources? Thanks so much.

    • Kaitlin says:

      Hi Kit – Thank you for the kind words. Your farmhouse sounds fabulous. And good job with your research. A few things to answer your questions – what type of work would you like help on? A management plan for your property? Additional research? Unfortunately, Vermont does not have funding sources for homeowners. If your home is income producing, that is a different story. A good resource is the Preservation Trust of Vermont. But feel free to email me: kaitlinoshea [at] gmail [dot] com. I’d be happy to talk more over email or the phone. Thanks!

  31. Thomas W.P. Slatin says:

    Hello Kaitlin! I am a multi-published writer and master photographer who is new to Vermont. I have been photographing historic abandoned buildings for many years, and have been successful at saving a handful of properties through the publication of my photography in the press. I would be interested in collaborating with you in terms of photographing, and possibly getting these properties some much needed and deserved press coverage. Please feel free to visit my blog, where you can view my most recent work; alternatively, my email address is tom@tomslatin.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

  32. Kathleen Kauffman says:

    Wish you were still doing this blog!! Please get in touch with me… I am an MWC alum also in Historic Preservation

    • Kaitlin says:

      Thank you so much, Kathleen! I wish I had the time these days, but work and 3 little kids keep me busier than ever! Maybe someday I’ll get back to it.

      • Kathleen Kauffman says:

        ok but we should be friends. LOL Find me on facebook (under my name) or on instagram at gatorgirlfitness

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