Mobile App for Historic Resource Survey in Alexandria, VA

Preservationists are moving forward in 2013! Are you looking for a way to help or are you interested in how the preservation field can incorporate mobile devices & apps for our work. Wouldn’t it be nice to conduct survey with your smart phone or tablet and transfer that information to a database without many in between steps?

You’ve probably heard about the app FieldNotes LT, which can geo-reference your resource and combine it with photographs and notes as a .kmz file. However, the file is dependent on whatever outside platform you’re using to open it (Google Earth in my experience) and you can’t really store it in a database. It’s useful, but not flawless.

So what’s better? What is a new digital & preservation initiative? Read on for news from Alexandria, VA (information adapted from correspondence with Mary Catherine Collins, a preservation planner with the city):

The City of Alexandria’s Historic Preservation division is seeking volunteers to assist with an architectural survey of the Old and Historic Alexandria District. This survey will be the first of its kind in the country using an exciting new GIS-based mobile application designed to expedite the surveying process and facilitate data sharing between the City of Alexandria and other cultural resource organizations.

Like FieldNotes LT, it will geolocate all of our survey data and photos, but more importantly by using a geodatabase format, we will be able to easily transfer our data to VDHR and NPS’s databases. The outcome of this survey is a set of digital transfer standards as well as digital update to our National Register and Landmark listings. Additionally the app will be made available for free on ESRI’s website once the project is complete.

Alexandria is a great place to begin this since, like many of the first designated historic districts, the NR nomination is entirely inadequate at only three pages!

Surveying will begin in early March, with training taking place in late February. We anticipate 2 days of training and approximately 5-10 days of field surveying. Please contact Mary Catherine Collins at if you are interested or for more information.

This is a great opportunity for anyone in the DC area to not only be part of an exciting project, but also to network with other design professionals and preservationists in the area!

Preservationists in the area, including Mary Washington & GW preservation students, I hope you’re listening. Get out, have some HP fun and learn about the digital age in preservation. If you do participate, report back to PiP.  Thank you Mary Catherine for providing this information. Good luck!


Love Your Landmarks

Photographs, historic landmarks, a contest, springtime — there is so much to love about the National Historic Landmark Program Photography Contest. How to enter? Check out the rules on the NHL website. In brief: You can enter up to 10 photos per person, but one per landmark. Upload your photos to the Flickr group. And swing by the NHL Facebook page to get more information and news about the sites.  Want to know more about the NHL program? Check out this tutorial.  See last year’s winners; gorgeous!

Why enter? Here are five reasons.

(1) Most of us are snap happy with our digital cameras. Thank goodness for digital, yes? While we may take longer to print our photographs, if we ever do, at least we can experiment with the camera until we take the “perfect” shot. But, with these digital cameras, do you take the time to practice getting a good shot or are we all just clicking away on the cameras? Now is your chance to have a subject, an assignment, a goal and a deadline. Maybe you can learn a few new camera tricks and functions.

(2) Maybe after all that practicing, you’ll win. Then your winning photograph will be featured in the NHL calendar, which you can download for free. Who doesn’t love to win a contest?

(3) Our National Historic Landmarks are the most significant properties in the United States, meaning they are the most significant to our collective heritage, and are important to all of us. Understanding our history is important.

(4) The National Park Service is always in need of support, so get out there and show the federal government and decision makers just how important the NPS and landmarks are to you.

(5) It’s a great reason to get outside in the springtime, alone or with family and friends. You could even take a road trip to 10 NHLs if you’re really in need of an excuse to get away.

There are approximately 2,500 NHLs. Need to find one near you? Check here. Have fun! You have until June 13, 2012.

Thanks to Sabra for sending along the flyer and head’s up about the contest beginning. 

Historic Preservation 1974 and 1977

Years ago, while browsing in a used bookstore in Pinehurst, North Carolina, I came across a thin publication titled Historic Preservation, dated April-June 1977. Sure enough, I had stumbled upon an early edition of Preservation Magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The magazine had cardstock covers and inside pages that were filled with three column text and color photographs mixed in with black and white images.

The covers of the April - June 1977(left) and July-September 1974 (right) issues of Historic Preservation, published quarterly by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Shortly after finding this 1977 edition, I found a 1974 edition in another bookstore, whose name and location have since escaped me. I haven’t found one since then, but after all these years it seemed like a good time to finally read through them. And in doing so, I was reminded of a valuable lesson.

Inside cover of the 1974 issue. Click for a larger view.

Inside cover of the 1977 issue. Click for a larger view.

Since scanning entire issues seems silly, I’ll share a few of the article highlights with you.

In the 1974 issue, the magazine opens with a piece titled “The More Things Change.” It begins like this:

Preservationists spend a good share of time trying to explain their point of view, not to mention defending it. Saving old things can appear to be a lackluster occupation in and of itself. What makes it seem even more dull is the inadequacy of the explanation most of us are able to produce. The building is architecturally significant. It is 100 years old. George Washington slept here. We are often better able to articulate why something should not be lost than why it should be saved. Perhaps this because what makes a historic building or object important is an abstract quality. It derives from the point expressed by a French adage, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” — “the more things change, they more they stay the same.” When we preserve, restore or illuminate historic buildings, objects or events we have the opportunity to better understand their significance in the context of their own time and to better understand our own time with the perspective afforded by knowledge of the past.

Interesting, yes? As I read that paragraph I was thinking that we since have moved on from the idea of a lackluster occupation, as we all know preservation is more than saving old buildings. To my surprise, this particular issue hinted at the other definitions and applications of preservation: how to adapt buildings to modern uses such as school buildings, for example, and how to solve the problems of abandoned buildings in our cities facing decreasing populations.

The article I liked the most was, “The Short Lived Phenomenon of Railroad Station-hotels,” by Diane Newell. It provided a good overview of railroad hotels; Newell explains their brief existence on the development of rail sophistication, in terms of rail networks and passenger comfort. These hotels were constructed primarily 1850-1880, when railcars were coach and without sleeping quarters or dining options. While these buildings are rare and exceptional to us now, when built they were simply products of the rail company engineers and draftsmen, not leading architects. Few survive today.

The 1977 issue had interesting articles as well. In “The Nonfiction World of Writers,” Stephanie Kraft writes, “Writers are a nostalgic lot. They are apt to have intense feelings about place in general and early homes in particular.” The article references the homes of Willa Cather, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, and others while discussing the factors of preservation success of particular literary authors’ homes.

“How to Publish the News” by Geoffrey C. Upward, begins with, “Historic preservationists need good communication skills for success. Finding supporters, keeping them informed and interested, providing education and strong defense of an area’s built heritage all call for effective communication.” The article goes on to discuss the importance of newsletters, as the most effective form of communication and evaluates tone, layout, size and the quality of the printer. While dated in its exact form, it is easy to recognize how this article could be updated to today’s social media world.

“Churches in the Woods” by Mary I. Cuffe analyzes the current movement of rural church preservation, these small, sparse buildings in rural America and their fate in parallel with the collapse of many communities across the country. “Whether interest in reviving rural churches throughout the country is lasting or merely passing romanticism is yet to be seen. Whatever their place in the future, the churches that still stand should be maintained as important components of American heritage. The construction was simple, but the foundation profound – when folks built their church they meant to stay.” This reminds me of the current discussion of redundant churches.

While the Trust has changed over the years, these articles strike me as surprisingly contemporary. You might expect a Historic Preservation magazine from the 1970s to be out of date, discussing topics that are no longer priorities or no longer current practices in the preservation field, but the articles mentioned above were comforting to me. Why? While reading through the magazine issues, I felt that preservationists have been doing a good job all along, with honorable intentions, pondering how society feels about categories of buildings, how to reach the non-preservationists, and communicating the importance of our history through sites and structures. The proper methods of interpretation and the best use for our built environment has long been on our minds. And subconsciously, I knew all that already. Of course the field of historic preservation has always been optimistic and well-intended, as I believe it to be today. But, it’s nice to be reminded.

Those of you who have been in preservation for decades probably know all that already, too. You may smile at my naiveté, and that’s okay. You have my admiration. To those of us who do not have those decades in our heads, it is important to remember that the field has evolved, but it also came from someplace good. How else would we have come this far? And because of that, it is important to learn from our colleagues, professors, mentors, old magazines, etc. We may have the digital world to our advantage and we may be helping to bring preservation to new levels, but that is exactly what our preservation elders have done, too. Preservation is continuously advancing, improving, evolving and believing. So I say thank you to those who have done so before the newest generation of professionals and college students; you are an inspiration.

The 1940 Census

Today, April 2, 2012, marks 72 years after the 1940 U.S. Census and the first day that the public will have free online access to the entire census via the National Archives and Records Administration. At 9:00 a.m. EST, the census will be released via a live webcast. You can start watching the webcast at 8:30 a.m.

1940 U.S. Map - all 48 states. Alaska and Hawaii were not states at the time. Click for image source.

If you follow news any of the many archivists, archives or libraries on Twitter or Facebook, you may have heard that the release of 1940 U.S. Census is a big deal. This clip from NPR provides an interesting perspective about the census:

This lifting of the veil takes place every 10 years, but William Maury, chief historian at the U.S. Census Bureau, says this census offers some particularly interesting information. “The 1940 census was very close to the end of the Depression, but it was also right at the beginning of all the uncertainties associated with World War II,” Maury says. “The census itself tells terrific stories about what we were as a people and what we are as a people now.

Why 72 years later? The simple answer is that U.S. Law requires a 72 year privacy mandate. The date for the 1940 census was set at April 1. Since April 1 was a Sunday this year, the release is April 2.

Currently, the census information will not be searchable by names, but you will be able to search by enumeration districts. An enumeration district is essentially an area covered by an enumerator (census worker) in a certain period (two weeks in urban areas of one month in rural areas), and these districts were created for record keeping purposes. And the information you can learn? The 1940 Census asked many more questions than previous censuses. It will also include if people worked for the CCC, WPA or NYA. Additionally, there is a question that asks where the person lived in 1935. That adds a much deeper layer to research. See a blank 1940 census form here or here’s an easier version to read.

AP Photo/Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division

According to, the 1940 census will be available (and free) in searchable form in mid April.  Check out a comparison between the 1940 Census and the 2010 Census. Read a good blog post from The History Blog about the history of the census and the importance of the  1940 Census.

If you’re not a genealogist, why should this matter to you? While you may not be researching many people, you’ll be able to find your great-grandparents, grandparents or your parents documented in this census with more information than ever before. Imagine your grandparents and great-grandparents being interviewed by the enumerator walking door to door in the city or walking and driving down dusty dirt roads from farm to farm. Of course, it sounds much more exciting than the boring forms we fill out today. Regardless, all of the information is critical to understanding the composition of the United States.

Obviously, the country looked much different in 1940; the census will augment historical records and research that we  have, and will aid future researchers.

I am excited research my grandparents, all of whom were very young for the 1930 census, but will be at least of working age in 1940. This extra decade of census information will add greater detail to my family’s history, which is important to me as it allows me to understand my place in history and my family. If you’re researching, have fun!  Read this information from the National Archives about how to get started.

Your Written Record

Documenting our lives is something we all do, whether through pictures, detailed letters and emails to friends and family, a personal diary, agendas, a blog, Facebook status updates, etc. There are infinite ways in which we could piece our lives together and reconstruct our own stories. Similar to the discussion about digital calendars or paper planners, digital records and your digital life, is the conversation about a hand written diary v. a digital journal.

Do you keep a diary or a journal? Or did you as a child and teenager? For most of my childhood and teenaged years, I kept a detailed diary that spans many, many notebooks, each one carefully chosen based on what sort of size, cover, paper stock, lines and colors I felt necessary for my writing at the time. These are books that I’ll keep forever. And then, soon after that, I guess life got a little busier and a bit less stressful (I can understand why I wrote more as a teenager), so I didn’t have to write as much. Shortly after that, I discovered the world of blogs: Live Journal, MySpace, Blogger and others. It seemed like an odd idea to me. Why would I write my diary online rather than in a book?

Many people were turning to online forms of journaling and recording their lives, some writing as if no one would ever read it and some writing for all to read. It seemed to me that what I wrote on paper were things I’d never write to the entire internet. While writing online will always be different for me than writing in a book (i.e. less personal), years later, I can see the advantages of an online diary. In a way, your words are stored in a safe place, safe as in, one you will not lose. Your journal entries can include photographs and it’s easier to read type than sloppy handwriting. If you are writing about your kids or everyday life adventures, it’s easy to share stories and photographs with family members and friends in blog form.

However, lost may be so much more. The pure satisfaction of flipping through a completed book, one filled entirely with your own words, is no more. The issue of privacy is not a question as long as you keep your book safe. Handwritten words seem so much more personal than pages of font. Handing down your diaries, if you choose, is easier in a book than writing down every web address.

Then again, with the world of fonts and templates and digital effects that we have access to, a blog can be a very personal place on the internet. Passwords can protect your blog from others reading it. An issue I’ve mentioned before, however, is remembering the URL and passwords.

There can be a modern compromise, if you’re interested. There are now publishing programs that allow you to convert your blog into book format. You can “publish” your book, buy one copy and then you have your digital diary in hard copy. While it’s a great deal more expensive than buying a small, lined notebook, this book can have your pictures and different fonts and formats. Since I keep a variety of books and blogs, I’m tempted to print my blogs into books someday. In the meantime, I’ll start saving my pennies and keep on with my combination of record keeping.

How do you record your life? Did you at one time keep a hand written diary and turn to a blog (password protected or not)? Do you find it easier to type or hand-write your words, and which would you rather have in the long run? I’d rather have books for posterity, and to read when I’m old and gray, but sometimes I’d rather be typing because it can be faster.

Digital Calendars and Paper Planners

For all of my school years, from middle school to graduate school, I kept meticulous planners that were color coded for exams, assignments, track meets, newspaper deadlines, club meetings, birthdays and more. I religiously wrote my homework each day next to the class name/number in the daily/weekly pages and organized those important dates in the monthly calendar pages. My best friend (hi Landau!) did the same thing. And we’ve kept these planners after all these years. Ah, the memories. Surely, we cannot be the only two organizational dorks out there. Confess? Who else needed planners to survive and loved his/her planners?  Choosing a new planner each year was an important new school year decision. And then decorated the planners — usually with a fun magazine ad and clear mailing tape. The few times I left my planner in the locker room or a classroom, I felt so lost without it! Planners were no joke.

Despite my love for this planning system, in the years between college and graduate school, I did not need such an intensive record keeping/organizational system. Even though my job had many dates to remember and I had other commitments, it was easier and less hectic than my school days. A monthly planner would suffice; those daily/weekly pages were looking empty and lonely. It was difficult to find a calendar system that suited me. Call me crazy or OCD, but this bothered me. After all, my planners were almost works of art, choreographed  with colors and now full of nostalgia. When I look back at those planners, I often wonder how I managed to do everything on there. They seemed so superior to my current planners that represented a less hectic life.

Needing to use a familiar planner once graduate school began gave me more joy than it would should have warranted. However, once I completed school, I found myself in the same predicament. What kind of planner would work for me?

For work I need to keep track of which projects I work on each day or which meetings I attend, etc. My solution has been to use a blank notebook and start  a new page each day to take notes and record my daily work activities. I use a book until it’s full and then choose another small book. It’s my own daily record, but not a calendar, I guess. I use my outlook calendar to keep track of meeting dates and now add them into the trusty iPhone as well.  However, it’s just not as satisfying as my old planners.

Recently, I’ve been pining for my hard copy planners. They are such complete records. I’m tempted to start using a daily/weekly/monthly planner again. The only thing stopping me is that I might not have enough space for each day. I like to keep my notes with the corresponding day.

Maybe this doesn’t seem like such a dilemma to anyone else.  Maybe it’s more information that you can care to know about me. However, it brings up a choice between the digital world — so much of what I do and how I communicate is digital — and the trusted, lovely hard copy records. And you probably know how much preservationists value documentation. My phone is more likely with me than a book (generally speaking) and the calendar can be shared easily. It’s convenient and yes, still a novelty sometimes. But what is more likely to be around in a few years – my electronic calendars or my planner books? Obviously, the books. Is it strange to choose a calendar/planner system in the present based on what I might want to keep in the future? Again, preservationist = documentation. I think I might have to custom make a planner that works for me. Maybe I’ll solve this dilemma in time for 2013.

Who has converted from hard copy planners to electronic means? Who else is this obsessed (or more) with planners and calendars? Do you pine for hard copy planners like you pine for snail mail rather than email? How have you adjusted from school to work, from hard copies to electronic calendars? What do you think is better for documentation and posterity?

Dwell Magazine: Rethinking Preservation

Dwell Magazine (a contemporary magazine devoted to modern design) currently has a digital issue entitled Rethinking Preservation. Be sure to read page 4, “Preservation Recommended.” Paired with this digital issue is a contest of the same name. Anyone was invited to submit a landmark worthy of preservation. All of the entries are now eligible for popular vote and then a panel of judges will select the top ten. Winners receive $10,000 for their chosen preservation organization and the “architectural do-gooder” receives a wine storage unit from the contest sponsor, Sub-Zero.

With that said, browse through the properties and cast your vote! It’s hard to choose. Just when I thought I could cast my vote, the properties continued to astound me. Such entertainment!

I can’t pick favorites, but here are ten of the many contenders. Keep in mind that the prize of $10,000 will not do much for many of these projects in comparison to the amount of work many need. However, that $10,000 can go a long way in helping a group to get off the ground (especially local community organizations), whether it’s completion of a National Register nomination or a conditions survey or bridging the gap for funds. Many of these projects are submitted by small community groups.  Take the time to read and vote. You’ll learn a lot.

{All images here are from the Dwell contest website. Click each one for the source.}

Grand Army of the Republic Arch in Superior, Wisconsin.

Fort Atkinson Club in Fort Atkinson, WI.

Biff's Coffee Shop in Oakland, CA.

Dallas High School, Dallas, TX.

1933 World's Fair House of Tomorrow.

Open Air Mail - Post Office in St. Petersburg, FL

Wayne Train Station in Wayen, IL.

Chase Stone Barn in Chase, WI.

Belleview Biltmore Hotel in Florida.

Her Majesty on Main Street, Vergennes, VT.

Forest Lodge -- Modern Architecture in Southern Arizona

Amazing, right? And that’s only 10. Check out the entire list.


Now, aside from the contest itself – what do you think of the title, Rethinking Preservation? I’m not sure what I think about it. Initially, the title perplexed me. Are we talking about the term “preservation” or are we talking about the mission of preservation? Or was it something else? Is Dwell reconsidering preservation as a good lifestyle and a good use of buildings? In full disclosure, I am not a regular reader of Dwell, so I do not know the usual topics of conversation.

Based on the digital issue, Dwell seems to be rethinking preservation in terms of bringing historic or old homes back to life, particularly those from the mid 20th century. Score! More people on board with preservation.

Have fun voting and please, share your thoughts.


—– Thank you to Ann Cousins for suggesting this post.

Open Space is a Finite Resource

Open space is not a renewable resource. It is finite.

Open space in Vermont -- view from Mad River Glen in September 2010.

It seems like an obvious statement. Once open space is developed, it likely never will be returned to a natural state. Preservation, as a whole, understands this concept. Master plans often center growth in specific areas. Our National Parks, wildlife refuges, scenic areas, and similar conservation areas work to protect our invaluable, limited open space. Segments of land may be slated for development, but for future generations. After all, it is likely that our population continues to grow and land continues to be developed.

Will we ever run out of space? Hopefully not in our lifetime, right? But what about a few generations after us?

I heard this statement about open space at a workshop this week, the first of seven classes of Road Ecology training, The course is taught by Keeping Track, an organization that provides technical training to a variety of professionals and citizens in order to promote better knowledge of how to monitor, detect and record wildlife. The Vermont Agency of Transportation, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife  work together to coordinate this training and encourage their employees to take the class; it has been a great success.

The purpose of ecology training in relation to transportation brings us back to the fact that everything is connected. Transportation projects can impact the environment and the landscape in many ways, positive or negative, seen or unseen. When people beyond the biologists understand how intertwined the ecosystems are, it allows transportation staff to see projects differently and to develop creative, innovative solutions that allow our roads and transportation systems to be safe for humans and wildlife. In addition, those not in transportation can gain a better understanding of the safety and construction standards that must be met. Collaboration on site, like a planning charrette, brings out the most innovative solutions.

Day one was an introduction to reptiles, animals and wildlife tracking. While it is not historic preservation, it is a unique opportunity to learn more about how decisions are made beyond cultural resources. Designing a bridge or a roadway that is safe for wildlife has the potential to affect cultural resources, and vice versa.

Wildlife, open space, cultural resources, transportation — the connections are clear as a bell. Stay tuned throughout the next few months for course highlights and important lessons.

Historic Preservation and the Final Frontier

All of a sudden, it seems, the discussion of historic preservation, cultural conservation and archaeological protection on the moon and in space, is making the news. If you glance over space preservation or moon preservation or similar subjects, it could sound a bit strange, yes? Some people (the pessimists) might even think, oh great, now the preservationists want to prevent change on the moon and in outer space. Or maybe you thought that. I’ll admit, I had never given thought to preservation in space until a recent few articles.

From the New York Times article, “To Preserve History on the Moon, Visitors Are Asked to Tread Lightly,” to the post on HISTPRES, “Space Preservation: Proposing a Lunar Protection Agency,” preservationists, archaeologists, and others are abuzz with what this might for our related fields. For those who have worked toward preservation in space, some (such as Dr. Beth O’Leary of New Mexico State University) since 1999) this recognition and widespread discussion must be a long time coming.

Read the above articles for the full story (both are worth your time). In brief: as space travels moves closer to reality, people are starting to consider what cultural significance there is on the moon (Tranquility Base – on the moon – is where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. Their footprints remain). Artifacts from the space expedition in 1969 are stored in California and cataloged in the archives in the states California and New Mexico. In other words, the objects are protected.

However, what about the footprints? The famous footprints of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin? These footprints and Tranquility Base could be considered a worldwide cultural landscape (called a World Heritage Site).

Buzz Aldrin's boot print on the moon. Photograph via Wikipedia through NASA (this photograph is in the public domain).

As the articles point out, lunar tourism – even just one group or spaceship – could destroy this landscape. How do we (collectively, as an entire population) protect such a place? Who will curate the space? Who visits the landscape? How do you protect something in space? Chloe Castro’s HISTPRES post (based on her thesis) discusses the current lack of measures for protecting the landscape and the footprints. She makes suggestions for a Lunar Protection Agency and explores need for international, cooperative involvement.

What’s the bottom line right now? Why is this an issue and not some ridiculous preservation idea? Simply put, many people are keen believers in space travel for the future. People – and not just scientists or preservationists – will walk on the moon again. That puts the significant landscape at risk. Fortunately, one nation does not own the moon. And while the footprints may be those of United States citizens, they represent the world and new beginnings. Losing the very beginning – the physical evidence on the landscape – of human contact with the moon because we had not considered its importance and its preservation, would be a tragic loss for the world’s heritage. In other words, we need to act now in order to preserve our heritage on the moon and in space.

National Park Service’s Teaching With Historic Places: USS Arizona

The US Military wears the flag flying this way ("backwards" most of us would say) so it always looks like they are moving forward.

December 7 is the remembrance of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

USS Arizona. Image source: NPS Teaching with Place. Click for source link.

To learn about Pearl Harbor, try visiting the National Park Service’s webpage called, “Teaching with Places Historic Lessons Plans:  Remembering Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona Memorial.” You find maps, a brief history lesson, and historic images. Start here with the historical context:

The attack on Pearl Harbor thrust the United States into World War II. The attack had significant and far-reaching political effects on the United States, changing the minds of many who had been philosophically opposed to war or who had taken a passive stance towards the war in Europe. The increasing diplomatic confrontations and economic sanctions against Japan by the United States and others, compounded by Japan’s undeclared war in China and the weakening of European control in Asian colonies, precipitated the war in the Pacific. The Japanese felt that the time was opportune to conquer British, American, French, Chinese, and Dutch territories in Southeast Asia. This belief pushed militaristic factions in Japan to provoke war with the United States. Fearing that the United States Pacific Fleet would pose a formidable obstacle to Japanese conquest of Southeast Asia, Admiral Isoruko Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet, visualized a bold attack on the Pacific Fleet while it lay at anchor at Pearl Harbor. Such a surprise strategical attack, bold and daring in its execution, would, he believed, secure the Pacific.

Teaching with Historic Places is a part of the NPS’ Heritage Education Services. In a nutshell, “Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) uses properties listed in the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places to enliven history, social studies, geography, civics, and other subjects. TwHP has created a variety of products and activities that help teachers bring historic places into the classroom.”

Browse for lesson plans and interesting information, even if you are simply teaching yourself. Thanks for the resource, NPS!