Preservation Pennsylvania

Helping people protect and preserve the historic places that matter to them

Harrisburg, PA   |  www.preservationpa.org

Mission

Preservation Pennsylvania, through creative partnerships, targeted educational and advocacy programs, advisory assistance, and special projects, assists Pennsylvania communities to protect and utilize the historic resources they want to preserve for the future.

Ruling year info

1983

Executive Director

Melinda Gulden Crawford

Main address

257 North Street

Harrisburg, PA 17101 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-2219097

NTEE code info

Other Art, Culture, Humanities Organizations/Services N.E.C. (A99)

Other Art, Culture, Humanities Organizations/Services N.E.C. (A99)

Other Art, Culture, Humanities Organizations/Services N.E.C. (A99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Pennsylvania is rich in historic resources of all ages and types..from early Colonial-era buildings involved with the founding of America to quirky icons like a giant shoe-shaped building that was built as an advertising gimmick by a shoe retailer. Unfortunately, many of these important resources are lost on an almost daily basis. Even though people value their history and don't want to lose it, demolition, deterioration, and the pressure of development threaten many historic places. More education, good policy, and a greater understanding of the importance of these historic resources is the only way to mitigate the tragic loss of our built environment and historic resources.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Pennsylvania At Risk

The list draws statewide attention to the plight of Pennsylvania’s historic resources, promotes and supports local action to protect historic properties, and encourages funding and legislation that supports preservation activities. Preservation Pennsylvania will waive field service fees for At Risk Properties for the year, and provide additional services and support (e.g. letters of support for the Keystone Grant).

Population(s) Served

Presented annually by Preservation Pennsylvania, the Awards recognize significant contributions in the field of historic preservation made by both individuals and organizations. Recognition encompasses the categories of preservation initiatives, construction and archaeology projects. Pennsylvania's highest honor, the F. Otto Haas Award, is given in recognition of outstanding contributions to preservation made by an individual or group.

Population(s) Served

Bringing together historic preservation professionals, state agencies, and private companies from around the state, this conference explores the rich past, present, and future of the heritage movement. The conference usually attracts 250+ attendants and spans 3 days. Past conferences have been centered at historic venues, with all sessions spaces in the same building or in a non-traditional open-air conference with several sites in a downtown. The conference is an opportunity to showcase the historic character of a town, and bring heritage tourism to the community. Attendees enjoy patronizing local businesses and touring downtowns. This relationship between the community and conference goers is what makes the Conference on Heritage truly unique!

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Preservation Pennsylvania seeks to change the outcome on as many of these threatened historic resources as possible. To accomplish that, we must use a multi-pronged approach: 1. Educate everyone (individuals, groups, elected officials, developers, and planners) on the importance of protecting our rich architectural and archaeological heritage. 2. Advocate for good policy at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure that funding and incentive programs are strong and that each community has a plan to protect their historic places. 3. Help others to effectively make the case for protecting their most important historic assets, and stepping in to provide technical assistance, creative ideas, and moral support. We must ensure that the state's most important historic resources are preserved and have a secure future while still allowing room for smart development that complements the historic assets.

Preservation Pennsylvania offers an annual conference that brings together those working on preserving historic resources to learn new techniques, share successes, and losses, and provide networking for stronger collaboration. The annual Pennsylvania At Risk listing calls attention to the resources that are most threatened. This list of resources sets the priority for our grassroots advocacy work for that year and allows the staff to "deep-dive" into a few projects to seek a better outcome that is more friendly to historic resources. Also annually, great projects are highlighted at the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards event. The best outcome is seeing a former "At Risk" property not only saved but thriving with a new use and new life. Preservation Pennsylvania continually monitors changes in local, state, or national policy that might make it more difficult to preserve historic recourse and works to improve it. When preservation-friendly initiatives are proposed, staff and board mobilize supporters to make calls and send written comments in support of those programs. In all ways, Preservation Pennsylvania seeks to help people protect and preserve the historic places that matter to them.

Preservation Pennsylvania has a full-time staff of 4, supported by a Board of Directors of 12, working together to advance the mission of the organization. The three main programs (Pennsylvania At Risk, Statewide Conference on Heritage, and the Historic Preservation Awards) are successful and well-supported. The organization maintains a reserve that can cover three years of operating expenses. Work continues to increase that reserve. The organization is located in a building that it owns with no mortgage and an income-producing apartment that covers much of the building overhead. The staff is professional and has extensive experience in the field.

There are many good policies and legislation in place that help protect and preserve Pennsylvania's historic resources. Programs such as the Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit at the federal level and the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Tax Credit at the state level have made it more attractive for investors and developers to rehabilitate historic buildings instead of demolishing and buildings new. The positive economic return on projects using this tool is impressive and has acted as a catalyst for additional rehabilitation in historic neighborhoods, towns, and cities across Pennsylvania. More communities are empowered to advocate for the places they care about and have worked to get protections in place in their own municipalities. Our work on At Risk properties has been very successful and has proven that patience and negotiation do make a difference in many cases.

There is still much work to be done. Almost every day a historic building demolished or threated with inappropriate alteration, often because no one knows what else to do. Some perceive is it easier to start with a blank canvas and demolish the existing buildings and build new. Our continued vigilance and willingness to step in when no one else can or will has been very effective so far and there is every reason to expect that will continue to be true. Work will continue to ensure that every municipality had a plan in place to protect its historic resources. Educational workshops and conference will educate every new group of folks interested in doing this important work. As people become more knowledgable about the value of protecting historic resources, the easier it will be to preserve the most important places.

Financials

Preservation Pennsylvania
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Preservation Pennsylvania

Board of directors
as of 03/23/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Nathaniel Guest

Colebrookdale Railroad

Term: 2017 - 2021


Board co-chair

Jane Sheffield

Allegheny Ridge Corporation

Term: 2019 - 2021