Register for the 20th Annual Vermont Preservation Conference

islandpond

Registration is open for Vermont’s 20th Annual Historic Preservation & Downtown Conference, to be held in Island Pond on Friday May 2, 2014.

Highlights of this year’s conference include (see the full program here):

  • Hands on Hammers work day at Christ Church in Island Pond on Thursday May 1. Come volunteer, lend a hand, and help us get this 1875 Gothic style church on the mend.
  • Keynote Speaker Nancy Boone, Federal Preservation Officer, HUD
  • Preservation Awards
  • Four concurrent afternoon session tracks, two of which feature 30 min “TED” style talks about historic preservation, architecture (porches, railroad depots, modern architecture, Vermont architecture), community, funding, history, folklore, and more. The other two tracks offer guided tour of the National Fish & Wildlife Refuge or Brighton State Park Mid-Century Modern Architecture.
  • Closing reception.

Hope to see you there. The presentations will be great, and the shorter tracks will allow you to learn more, hear more and not feel fidgety sitting for a 75 minute presentation. (I’ll be presenting about Vermont’s railroad depots with one of my colleagues.)

Island Pond is a unique town in the Northeast Kingdom. Come see! And pack your snow shoes. (It’ll be May in Vermont, after all. Oh wait, it could be sunny and warm. You never know!)

Vermont Downtown & Historic Preservation Conference

It’s a busy week in preservation and for PiP adventures! Following the SIA conference, it’s time to head to another one, only this is much closer to home.

Tomorrow, Friday June 7, 2013, is the annual Vermont Downtown & Historic Preservation conference, to be held this year in Barre, Vermont. It’s not too late to register – do so online or at the morning registration. Come join us in Vermont for local history, master planning, discussions as to why downtowns are important, good keynote speakers & presenters, inspiring preservation awards, and much more! See the full program here.

This is a good place for all preservationists to meet others, to network and to learn! Students are encouraged to come. If you’re in central Vermont and heading to the conference, let me know. Hope to see you there. VT_DCHP_Program_2013_final
Last year’s HP Conference in Wilmington and the 2011 HP Conference in Poultney with write-ups here and here.

Preservation Photos #178

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Spring and warm, sunny weather make Vermont’s downtowns even more appealing. Shown here is Brattleboro, VT.

In Your Town: Trash Cans & Recycling Bins

Lately we’ve talked a lot about looking at and seeing your town/community/city in more detail than usual, and identifying what you like and possibilities for improvement. See these posts and discussions for starters: What’s Your Community Wish?Small, Public Spaces: Parklets; Street Observations: 10 Questions; On Your Streets: Curbs.

So, what do trash cans and recycling bins have to do with any of this? Well, have you ever found yourself walking around and wanting to throw out or recycle something? You don’t really notice the existence of or lack of such receptacles until you need one, right? Maybe it’s like looking for a bench. You don’t think about it until you really want to sit somewhere.

Do trash and recycling receptacles matter in our built environment, specifically our historic downtowns? Frankly, yes. For one thing, it keeps the environment clean. And secondly, it makes for a more pleasant experience, because our streets and parks feel whole. Meaning, if you have everything you need, you’ll likely to appreciate the place and your time there.

Concord, NH. Note the trash bin at the edge of the sidewalk and crosswalk.

Yet, many of our towns and villages struggle with the issue of trash and recycling receptacles because it can be expensive and labor intensive. And then where do you put them? As mentioned previously, many of our towns are not blessed with wide sidewalks and there is not room for such street furnishings, especially if you are looking for trash and recycling. But, there is no way around this. Trash and recycling bins are important to a healthy community.

Receptacles come in many shapes, sizes and styles, from cast iron boxes like the one below to decorative barrels to open barrels on a post to concrete and hard top plastic. We’ve all seen these, I’m sure. But have you ever thought about them?

One example: zero sort receptacles in Rutland, VT.

So the next time you are out and about, take note of your streets. Are there trash and/or recycling receptacles? Of what style and material? (Meaning, are they barrels, metal, open cans, etc.?) Are there enough? Are your streets clean? Are they necessary where you live?

Trash & recycling in Keene, NH (where there are large sidewalks and pedestrian spaces).

Understanding such a seemingly minute aspect of our built environment allows us, preservationists and beyond, to shape our communities for the better. A well-cared for community is one that people will love, and one that is worthy of people’s pride. And that makes for a better sense of place. Make sense? Can you think of other “minute” details that can make a big impact where you live and visit?

Vermont Historic Preservation & Downtown Conference 2012

Friday June 8 was the much anticipated Vermont Historic Preservation & Downtown Conference, held in Wilmington, VT. Wilmington was one of the Vermont towns most damaged from the flooding of Tropical Storm Irene on August 28, 2011, and the theme of the conference “Resiliency” fit Wilmington perfectly. Wilmington is a beautiful Vermont village, filled with an array of historic architecture, concrete bridges, local retail, eateries and lodging among residential, civic and religious buildings.

Wilmington: Where Amazing Happens. Seen at morning registration.

Luckily, the day was graced with beautiful Vermont weather: blue skies, white clouds, warm sunshine and green mountains in the background. The morning began with registration followed by the welcome, keynote speaker and preservation awards in Memorial Hall. How wonderful it is to see so many preservation-loving people in one place and to hear inspiring stories. The keynote speaker, Stuart Comstock-Gay of the Vermont Community Foundation, gave an excellent speech, acknowledging the hard work that has defined Vermonters (particularly since Irene), but also the fact that we have to keep going and keep up our motivation and momentum. Before the afternoon sessions began, everyone broke for lunch and enjoyed the local places in town.

Preservation in Pink (Flamingos): How Historic Preservation Relates to You, was slotted in the first afternoon session, 1:30-2:30, and held in the St. Mary’s in the Mountains Episcopal Church. My attention throughout the conference was focused on this presentation and not taking photographs, which is my explanation for the lack of images. (Sorry!)

Preservation in Pink set up in the church!

Opening slide for Preservation in Pink (Flamingos)

To all who attended the PiP session, thank you! I had the best time presenting, sharing the Preservation in Pink story with you and talking about how historic preservation and our built environment relate to each other. How nice it was to meet readers and those new to Preservation in Pink. This was the debut of PiP outside of the blog and newsletter, and I couldn’t have hoped for a better experience. I hope the attendees enjoyed themselves as well. And thank you for laughing when I unknowingly said “preaching to the choir.” I did not plan it! Of course, thank you to the Preservation Trust of Vermont for inviting me to speak.

During the presentation. Photo sent by reader and Vermont author Beth Kanell. Thank you Beth!

The conference continued with a second round of afternoon sessions and then an afternoon barbecue held at North Star Bowl on Route 100. This locally owned business suffered greatly from the flood, but with a dedicated community behind it, recovered and rebuilt. Wilmington is full of inspiring people, from residents to business owners to second home-owners. They have come a long way since the August flooding, but still have a long way to go. If you are traveling on Route 9 or Route 100, stop in for a visit. Hope to see you next year!

Preservation Photos #132

Merchants Row in historic downtown Rutland, VT. From Route 7, Rutland looks like strip mall city of Vermont save for the beautiful residences sandwiched in between the sprawl. However, head west from Route 7 to downtown and you’ll see beautiful commercial blocks and a strong effort at economic revitalization. Trust me, walk around downtown Rutland and you’ll be impressed.

Buy Local Advertisements

Yesterday’s image, “You Can’t Buy Happiness, But You Can Buy Local and that’s Kind of the Same Thing,” was well liked, so I thought you might like additional graphics. Who doesn’t love a good design, right? These “Buy Local” advertisements have probably been floating around the internet for a while, but some are so creative and fu that they warrant sharing with as many people as possible. Does your town or city have a similar poster or logo?

via Seed Designs. Click for source and original.

Infographic by elocal.com. Click for source and original.

Buy Local First Utah. Click for source.

Brookhaven, MS. Click for original source and additional images.

Clinton County, OH. Click for source.

Marshfield, WI. Click for source.

A nice main street block with such potential! BUY LOCAL so this doesn’t happen to you. Click for source.

Infographic via Columnfive Media and Intuit and Mind Body Green. Click for source.

Clearly, this could go on forever. Point being, the next time you are looking for some local shopping inspiration, take a look at these images. Share them (with proper credit to their original sites, of course) and get out to support those local businesses in whatever way you can. Have an image to share? Send it along. Enjoy!

Preservation Photos #117

A clock in historic downtown Springfield, VT.

Yes, this clock still functioned. Anyone have a guess to its age?

Preservation Photos #109

A rare snowfall in Southern Pines, NC, as seen from the streets of the historic downtown in January 2009.