Expertise

EXPERTISE

From our how-to and why-to guides to a link library of helpful resources and experts, we've got you covered!

Also check out our Partners page for more resources and to build alliances.

(Have a suggestion for a resource or topic we don't have listed? Use our contact form and let us know.)


Preservation Pennsylvania Guides

Preservation Pennsylvania (with support from members and donors like you) creates publications designed to be helpful resources for preservation work or exploring heritage in Pennsylvania.

Legacy love

LEgacy BUsinesses

We love  exploring Pennsylvania's wonderful legacy businesses, generally defined as family-owned for at least three generations and/or operating in the same location more than 50 years.

Our first edition featured places like the Lincoln Motor Court, the soda counter at Adams & Bright Pharmacy, and loads of diners, shops and more that will make you smile!

The fabulous Mod Betty of Retro Roadmap curated our second edition. Click the covers to download a pdf version for your next road trip.

As Mod Betty says, love them or lose them! (Promote your favorites on social with #LegacyLovePA so we can all find them and support them.)

MOD BETTY

HOW-TO

Learn to make informed decisions about your historic preservation project with a series of steps to help evaluate feasibility, build partnerships and more. Click here to download the pdf version.

This project was supported by the National Park Service's Challenge Cost Share Program. The points of view in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the position of the Department of the Interior.

State TAX CREDITS

To explore the economic benefits of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Tax Credit (PA HPTC), Preservation Pennsylvania commissioned this study: "The Missing Key: A Study of the Impact and Potential of the PA HPTC."

Click for the Executive Summary or Full Study.

This study was partially supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

WINDOWS

Provides useful information to advocate for saving historic windows rather than replacing them. Helpful for HARBS and CLGs. Click here to download.

This project was supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office via the Certified Local Government program, and is made possible by cooperation of the Boroughs and HARBs of Gettysburg, Bellefonte and Mercersburg.

CRISIS GUIDE

Published in 1990, this has remained an important guide to managing a preservation crisis. Click here to download a copy.

Produced with funds from the Philadelphia Intervention Fund—a Preservation Pennsylvania grant program funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts—this handbook was reprinted in its entirety as a National Trust for Historic Preservation Information series publication.

PreserveLIST

PreserveList helps connect property owners and project managers with service providers who understand historic buildings and will get the project done right.

(Preservation Pennsylvania Business-level memberships include listing to help network your business to new clients.)


LINK LIBRARY

Sometimes special challenges require specialized information. Check out the topics below to find tools and organizations. (Know of other resources you found helpful? Let us know and we'll consider adding them.) Follow us on Facebook for time-sensitive postings such as job openings, internships, or workshops. Sign up for our monthly  e-news for grant opportunities and other news you can use.

Need more information? See a topic or resource you think ought to be listed here? Use our Contact Us form to reach out. (Find it under the "About Us" tab.)

AGRICULTURAL HERITAGE

Historic Gettysburg–Adams County Barn Preservation Project: Get involved or tap their expertise.

National Barn Alliance: seeks to provide national leadership for the preservation of America's historic barns and rural heritage through education, documentation, conservation, and networking. Lots of great resources on their website.

ARCHAEOLOGY

If you live near Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum  offers lectures and activities that highlight the amazing history under your feet! Their website also features great resources, from The Boghouse Podcast to the PAF Burial Ground Map and Database.

The Pennsylvania Archaeological Council actively promotes best practices in the field across the commonwealth. They regularly offer education opportunities and work to represent legislative interests of archaeologists as well as sharing information and resources.

Did you know...?  October is Archaeology Month, so check and see if there are local activities offered in your area.

Burial Grounds/CEMETERIES

Pennsylvania Hallowed Ground Project: a small group dedicated to conserving and honoring the burial sites of Pennsylvania’s United States Colored Troops (USCT). Their annual meeting is a great way to learn from others and be inspired about all aspects of preserving any burial ground and its monuments and history. Follow their Facebook page for alerts.

The Philadelphia Archaeological Forum (PAF) shares their database and map of Philadephia Burial Grounds

CLIMATE CHANGE

The National Park Service Technical Preservation Services website has many resources that may be of interest, including Guidelines on Flood Adaptation for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has a range of resources that address this topic on a national, local and homeowner level. Click here for their climate page.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Historic New England uses their historic properties to test new (and old) approaches to challenges facing old house owners. Check out their resources on weatherization, maintenance and management of vintage homes.

This publication pdf is an oldie (1982) but a goodie from the National Park Service to help homeowners "understand and utilize existing architectural features in older homes to achieve energy conservation."

Historic preservation

The Local Preservation School,  an open learning environment where preservation advocates and volunteers share how we can work together to save and sustain historic places in our communities.

HOMEOWNER

Looking for specialized help for your old house? Check PreserveList, a directory partnership with Preservation Maryland featuring tradesman and services throughout the mid-Atlantic area.

Historic New England uses their historic properties to test new (and old) approaches to challenges facing old house owners. Check out their resources on weatherization, maintenance and management of vintage homes.

From preparing for natural disasters to fire or flood recovery, the National Trust has a series of climate and disaster-related toolkits that offer helpful guidance. Click here to read more.

LANDSCAPE

Natural Lands is a non-profit organization that saves open space, cares for nature, and connects people to the outdoors in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.

PA Heritage Areas: Heritage areas are defined as community led conservation and development. It's a technique that aims to manage economic revitalization with preservation of historic resources, natural landscapes and recreational opportunities.

Living Landscape Observer: With a global perspective, Brenda Barrett covers issues related to the emerging fields of landscape scale conservation, heritage preservation, and sustainable community development. For example, learn more about Pennsylvania's Conservation Landscapes.

NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES

The National Register of Historic Places was created by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. It is managed by the National Park Service, in cooperation with each State's Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Visit the National Park Service website for useful information about the National Register, the process of listing a property, and resources for finding places that are already listed on the register.

The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office is a bureau within the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in Harrisburg. Visit their website for information on their role in the listing process, forms and contact information and helpful theme studies and context statements. According to their website "Historic contexts help assess the significance of a property by determining if a property represents a significant part of history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or culture of a geographical area."

Our FAQ on the main Resources page offers some information about the National Register for homeowners. 

neighborhoods

Neighborhood Preservation Toolkit from PennPraxis at the University of Pennsylvania. Winner of a Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Award. It is published in English, Chinese, and Spanish, and is available for download as the full version or as individual chapters.

Philadelphia Rowhouse Manual, from the Philadelphia City Planning Commission to help residents learn about their rowhomes and what they can do to maintain and update them. Useful whether you live in Philadelphia or elsewhere.

Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is the official history agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is a bureau within the PHMC. It is responsible for the collection, conservation, and interpretation of Pennsylvania's historic heritage. The Pennsylvania State Archives, the State Museum of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Trails of History (historic sites and museums), the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office, and the Bureau of Management Services are all part of the PHMC. Visit their website for information, research and resources. 

RELIGIOUS PROPERTIES

Partners for Sacred Places helps active congregations in older sacred places plan for the future.  They assist with programming planning, capital campaign training and fundraising strategies, along with technical assistance, and grants. Grant funding is available through the National Fund for Historic Places.

(For cemeteries and burial grounds, see above.)

Research

American Memory at the Library of Congress: "Administered since 1933 through cooperative agreements with the National Park Service, the Library of Congress, and the private sector, ongoing programs of the National Park Service have recorded America's built environment in multi-format surveys comprising more than 581,000 measured drawings, large-format photographs, and written histories for more than 43,000 historic structures and sites dating from Pre-Columbian times to the twentieth century. This online presentation of the HABS/HAER/HALS collections includes digitized images of measured drawings, black-and-white photographs, color transparencies, photo captions, written history pages, and supplemental materials." Access the Historic American Building Survey, the Historic American Engineering Record and the Historic American Landscape Survey records at this link.

National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks: The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 created the National Register, which now lists more than 95,000 properties considered worthy of preservation. The documentation holds information on more than 1.4 million individual resources--buildings, sites, districts, structures, and objects. Click here for more information on how to use the database via the National Park Service or search the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission CGIS database.