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  • 08 Apr 2018 12:00 PM | Christine R Henry

    Welcome to the Spring 2018 issue of VAN.  This issue is full of useful information including calls for papers and panels as well as conference announcements from across the country.  For anyone still waiting to register for the upcoming VAF conference May 2-5, 2018 space is very limited, so don’t delay, register now!

    Featured in this issue is some wonderful financial news from our VAF treasurer.    We also have the new Field School section of the website up and running—so please send any announcements to vaneditor@vafweb.org

    Members continue to share wonderful news of publications, lectures, and honors.  Please send us your good news to share. The Spring bibliography highlights useful resources that span the disciplines that contribute to vernacular architecture studies.  Thanks as always for the contributions to the newsletter, please keep them coming!

    Christine Henry, Newsletter Editor

  • 08 Apr 2018 11:55 AM | Christine R Henry

    by Lisa P. Davidson, VAF Treasurer

    VAF has always been fortunate to have careful financial stewardship and the support of its members. In recent years, our traditionally modest means have been transformed into a position of fiscal strength, due to the support of an extremely generous anonymous donor. Just this spring VAF received another $100,000 donation, the eighth from this amazing benefactor. Several years of well-attended and well-run conferences have also contributed to our financial health.

    The VAF Board, as guided by the Finance Committee, has instituted an Investment Policy Statement with the primary objective of “preserving the long-term, real purchasing power of our assets while providing a relatively predictable and growing stream of annual distributions in support of the VAF operating budget.” In plain language, we want to maintain our nest egg for the future while increasing Board spending in key areas such as student support, conferences, and fieldwork. Currently VAF’s assets are placed in several Vanguard index funds. Starting with VAF’s 2017 budget, 4.5% of the net value of assets, averaged over the previous twelve quarters, is distributed to the operating budget.  For the 2018 budget, this added $31,750 of income to a total operating budget of $106,740.

    The new income stream has allowed VAF to expand its operating budget in important ways. Because VAF conferences are the heart of our organization, our operating budget now includes additional financial support for conference fieldwork and for conference planning services. VAF has also increased the pool of funding for the Ambassador Awards and Simpson Presenter Awards. In recognition of the success of the 2016 Durham conference, VAF made donations to Mendenhall Homeplace and Preservation Durham to support their ongoing work. Similarly, Preservation Utah received a donation after the 2017 Utah conference to create a “VAF Legacy Program” promoting field documentation through workshops for local partners.

    Beyond conferences, initiatives such as the Orlando Ridout V Fieldwork Fellowship, the VAF special book series with University of Tennessee Press, and Buildings & Landscapes have received budget increases. Members with questions about the details of VAF’s operating budget, investment accounts, or any other financial matters are welcome to contact me (treasurer@vafweb.org).  

  • 08 Apr 2018 11:53 AM | Christine R Henry

    Check out the newest section of the VAF website, under the Learning tab drop down menu are announcements for Field Schools.  This new website section will be updated on a regular basis to keep the information fresh. 

    Currently there are only a few announcements, although they are all great opportunities: 

    • Pacific Northwest Field School
    • Poplar Forest Field School
    • The Kentucky Field School
    • Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures Field School, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

    The posts include images, descriptions, and even two blog posts describing student experiences to help potential participants understand the scope of each project.  However, we have plenty of space for more! So please send your announcements (preferably as images and text files rather than as a flier) whenever they are available to vaneditor@vafweb.org 

  • 08 Apr 2018 11:50 AM | Christine R Henry

    Grange Hall in Sebastapool, CA photo courtesy of Patti Brown

    ATTN GRANGE HALL EXPERTS: I write for The New York Times and am working on a story on Grange Halls as fixtures of American vernacular architecture. Looking for anyone who is an expert on Granges or is involved  in preserving them.  Please contact Patti Brown soonest  (pattyb@nytimes.com).  Thanks! 

  • 08 Apr 2018 11:45 AM | Christine R Henry

    Final program for SAHMDR 2018 conference is available

    Astoria Column, photo by Phil GruenThe final program is available and registration is open for the May 18-20, 2018 conference of the Marion Dean Ross Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians. Links to the program and registration information are below. 

    Our conference will be held in Astoria, Oregon this year. Inspired by Astoria’s rich history and the diversity of its traditional ethnic communities, the conference theme is, “Constructing Community: Architecture, Diversity, and Identity in the Pacific Northwest”

    Astoria-Megler Bridge, photo by Marion Dean Ross, 1966The conference will begin on Friday with a visit to the Columbia River Maritime Museum and an opening reception and keynote speaker and will continue on Saturday with eight paper presentations by regional architectural historians, two special invited speakers, a downtown walking tour, and our annual banquet and keynote speaker. Sunday is reserved for a bus tour of regional historic sites.

    Updates and further conference information can be found on the SAH MDR website at:


    Updates may also be found on our blog at: 


    We hope to see you in Astoria!

    Diana J. Painter
    President, Marion Dean Ross chapter 
    of the Society of Architectural Historians

  • 08 Apr 2018 11:40 AM | Christine R Henry

    Four Days of Uncommon Tours & Talks, June 13-16, 2018

    The Montana Preservation Alliance (MPA) in partnership with the USDA Forest Service Region 1 is excited to announce the next Montana Preservation Road Show, a touring historic preservation conference to be held June 13-16 at Cedar Creek Lodge in Columbia Falls and around the Flathead/Glacier region.  The Road Show launches from a different small town every other year with the mission to immerse participants in the history and culture of rural Montana, spotlight great local preservation efforts, and raise awareness of the importance of preserving Montana’s historic buildings and cultural landscapes.

    In the Flathead, that means taking the path less traveled to see barns and homesteads, tribal landscapes, industrial buildings, ranger stations, depots, hotels, and more. Along the way, veteran preservationists, local historians, tribal experts, archaeologists, teachers and professors all join in to provide a well-rounded portrait of the historic places that define the Flathead area and her people.

    “By getting people out of the conference room and into the field to experience history first hand, we all gain a better appreciation and deeper understanding of the places in our past,” says MPA Outreach Director Christine Brown. “There are simply remarkable places hidden in the rural corners of Montana, and the Road Show aims to shed a light on the importance of these places – how they played a role in the past, how they’ve been preserved or need to be preserved, and how they continue to be an important factor in our community’s economic and cultural well-being.”

    You don’t have to be an historian or professional preservationist to join this conference – just an enthusiastic traveler, listener, and lover of history. The hardest part of the Road Show is choosing from several concurrent tour and/or talk options during the four days. “The Flathead has such a wealth of architecture, history, and cultural sites to learn about, we’ve really had a hard time narrowing down all the choices to fit into four days,” says Brown. “It will be a tough decision for a lot of folks to choose which all-day and half-day tours they want to take.” For those who can’t attend the full conference, tours on Saturday offer a one-day registration fee.

    Tour Highlights
    • Explore the North Fork Road and its history on a trip to Big Creek Work Center, Polebridge, and other North Fork landmarks with local historians and the Flathead National Forest archaeologist.
    • Head east to Browning and St. Mary Lake to learn Blackfeet history and culture with tribal experts
    • Inside Hungry Horse DamSee the Flathead through the eyes of the merchants and magnates responsible for high-style landmarks like Belton Chalet, Lake McDonald Lodge, the Conrad Mansion and Cemetery and more, with historian Ellen Baumler and architect, Jim McDonald
    • Discover post-World War II industrial architecture at Hungry Horse Dam, and at the ruins of the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company plant with local and national experts.
    • Choose a Saturday tour to learn about Salish-Kootenai history and culture; Spotted Bear Ranger District history; or Lower Valley historic barns.

    Workshop & Tour Highlights
    • Montana’s Small Towns: Then, Now, and Tomorrow with Hal Stearns
    • Preserving historic wood windows -- all day with Forest Service and preservation specialists
    • Historic Preservation Funding short course with the Montana History Foundation
    • Exploring Ice Patch Archaeology with archaeologist, Craig Lee
    • Preserving Montana’s Majestic Fire Lookout Towers with Chuck Manning
    • Interpreting the literary legacy of Flathead writers and authors

    Book Early

    Conference participants are encouraged to book hotel reservations as early as possible due to high demand for rooms near Glacier National Park. Road Show conference headquarters will be at the Cedar Creek Lodge in Columbia Falls with block room rates starting at $179/night until April 14. MPA also has room blocks reserved until May 13 at Belton Chalet in West Glacier (starting at $140/night); Glacier Highland Motel in West Glacier (starting at $105/night until); and the West Glacier Motel (starting at $99/night).

    Online registration for the conference will open on February 5. Registration is $200 for members or $225 for non-members and includes a reception on June 13; all-day tour, lunch, and evening presentation on June 14; and talks, lunch, and half-day tour on June 15. Tours on June 16 are optional/a-la-carte and cost $50 to $100 each.  

    Our Partners

    MPA is proud to announce that the Road Show is supported for the next three years by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Since 2012, our award-winning conference has blazed new pathways with the USDA Forest Service Region 1, Bureau of Land Management, Montana State Parks, Montana History Foundation, Humanities Montana, Bureau of Reclamation, local museums and businesses to offer a traveling preservation conference that transports participants to lesser known, rural historic sites, many of which have been saved through National Historic Preservation Act activities.

    To get the latest information, updates, and registration information about the Road Show, visit PreserveMontana.org/2018-Road-Show or follow Montana Preservation Alliance on Facebook.

    For further information, to request high resolution photos and logos, or to become a Road Show sponsor, please email Christine@preservemontana.org.

    Christine Brown

    Outreach & Education Director

    Montana Preservation Alliance

    120 Reeder's Alley

    Helena, MT 59601

  • 08 Apr 2018 11:35 AM | Christine R Henry

    This summer and fall, the Department of Historic Preservation will be offering the largest selection of distance learning courses since initiating the online Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation  in 2016.

    Summer 2018
    • HP 601 Introduction to Historic Preservation (online)
    • HP 772 Adaptive Reuse (hybrid)
    • HP 676 Field Methods in Heritage Conservation (hybrid)

    Fall 2018
    • HP 601 Introduction to Historic Preservation (online)
    • HP 617 Historic Preservation Planning (online)
    • HP 671 Introduction to Cultural Resource Management (online)

    Additional information about the certificate program and individual courses can be found on the Online Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation webpage.

    We are particularly excited to announce the intensive week-long field school portion of HP 676 Field Methods in Heritage Conservation, one of our hybrid courses, will be based this summer at the Pine Mountain Settlement School, a National Historic Landmark located in the heart of the Appalachian Coalfields.

    Frequently asked questions about the Field School, as well as information about how to apply for a limited number of partial tuition scholarships, can be found on the Field School in Heritage Documentation webpage .

    We are also pleased to announce the addition of a new hybrid course, HP 772 Adaptive Reuse. Our hybrid courses combine online instruction with intensive short-term in-person learning experiences. The face-to-face portion of HP 772 Adaptive Reuse gives students the opportunity to get hands-on studio experience. The summer courses are scheduled so students can choose to take one or all three during the summer of 2018. If you have additional questions, please contact:

    Karen Hudson, Ph.D.
    Department of Historic Preservation
    College of Design
    University of Kentucky
    117 Pence Hall
    Lexington, KY 40506

  • 08 Apr 2018 11:30 AM | Christine R Henry

    For more information, please see the SESAH website 

  • 08 Apr 2018 11:25 AM | Christine R Henry

    Investigating Mid-Atlantic Plantations:

    Slavery, Economies, and Space

    Philadelphia, PA

    October 17-19, 2019


    Stenton Museum, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Program in Early American Economy and Society at the Library Company of Philadelphia, Cliveden of the National Trust, and the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at the University of Pennsylvania invite your participation in a two-and-a half-day conference exploring the creation and development of plantations in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century mid-Atlantic region

    A real-world challenge to Thomas Jefferson’s vision of an agrarian republic of (white) smallholders, plantations were sites of concentrated wealth and exploitation. More familiar in a Southern context, mid-Atlantic plantations had their own forms, meanings, and relationships. In the mid-Atlantic – where fertile farmland and deep-water ports provided complementary economic engines – plantations grew in close proximity to urban centers, Northern and Southern interests co-mingled, and boundaries frequently blurred. This conference seeks to understand the unique qualities of plantation complexes in the middle colonies (states) while also comparing these regional phenomena with better-known Southern institutions and situating them within the larger contexts of British North America and the United States.

    This conference is intentionally interdisciplinary. We seek participants from diverse fields including economic, social, and cultural history; African American studies; geography, archeology, and material culture; and museum studies, cultural resource management, and historic preservation. Paper proposals might address economic, familial, and religious networks; enslavement, indenture, and “free” labor; land ownership and land development; agricultural and horticultural practices; architecture, circulation, and spatial relationships; physical and cognitive maps; foodways and music; industry and commerce; and the construction of gendered or racial categories. We look forward to seeing even more ways that applicants might illuminate these mid-Atlantic geographies of privilege, slavery, and forced labor; manifold local and far-reaching economies; and spaces both rural and urban.

    Conference organizers will consider both individual papers and panel submissions. Papers for many of the panels will be pre-circulated. PowerPoint presentations, especially those relating to visual and material culture, may also be pre-circulated. Non-traditional panels and presentations (such as tours, workshops, brief papers, or demonstrations) will be considered.

    If you wish to propose a paper or presentation, please submit an abstract (250 words) and a short curriculum vitae to mceas@ccat.sas.upenn.edu. Proposals for panels should include these materials for each participant, as well as a brief description of the overarching concerns of the panel.

    The deadline for submissions is 15 September 2018. Applicants can expect to hear back from the conference committee by November 2018. Formal papers will be pre-circulated by September 2019. Some funding is available to offset the costs of travel and lodging for conference participants. Details about this support will be available after submissions are reviewed.

  • 08 Apr 2018 11:20 AM | Christine R Henry

    VAF Member Amber Wiley gave a lecture at the National Building Museum on April 3 titled “The People of the Pilot District Project” as part of their new exhibit which opened March 31 titled “Community Policing in the Nation’s Capital: The Pilot District Project, 1968-1973."

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