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State Historic Preservation Office

Conference Schedule

Preserve Minnesota
The 33rd Annual Statewide Historic Preservation Conference

Thursday & Friday, September 12-13, 2013
Commonweal Theatre, Lanesboro, Minnesota

Online registration is now closed.

Come to the Commonweal Theatre for the 33rd Annual Statewide Historic Preservation Conference. Join historians, architects, planners, public officials, property owners, preservation commission members and citizen advocates from all across the state in Lanesboro for this annual two-day event. You'll come away inspired and equipped to help you make preservation succeed in your own community.

Sponsored by the State Historic Preservation Office of the Minnesota Historical Society, the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota and the City of Lansboro.

Each year the state preservation conference is held in a different community. This year the setting is Lanesboro, a model community that emerged from decline to strength. In 1998, the city was recognized as a Great American Main Street by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and in 2013 ArtPlace identified Lanesboro as one of American's top 12 ArtPlaces. Lanesboro's comeback as a thriving rural community can be traced to pairing the town's natural and cultural assets to accessibility.

The town is a popular destination for tourists. The Root River flows through it, with a waterfall on the edge of town. The Root River State Trail and other bike paths also serve the town. An Amish community is in the area and the town is home to many unique shops and restaurants, and a new theater.

Wednesday, September 11

5:00-7:00 p.m. Evening Welcome Reception

Location: Sons of Norway Heimbygda Lodge #376, 108 Parkway Ave. South, Lansboro, MN

Hosted by the Lanesboro Heritage Preservation Commission 

Thursday, September 12

7:30-8:30 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast

Location: Commonweal Theatre, 208 Parkway Ave. North

8:45-9:15 a.m. Welcome

Location: Commonweal Theatre

Honorable Steve Rahn, Mayor of Lanesboro

Barbara Mitchell Howard, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, MN Historical Society

Representative Greg Davids, District 28B (invited)

Senator Jeremy Miller, Dist. 28 (invited)

9:15-10:00 a.m.

Keynote Address: Preservation Means “Change” 

Presenter: Noré Winter, principal with Winter & Company, Boulder, Colorado 

Some people assume preservation means freezing a building in time, but many property owners know that restoring a building often requires making changes. This can mean replacing a missing detail, building an addition, or retrofitting for energy conservation. These, and other changes, are essential in maintaining our historic districts and for keeping historic buildings in active service. The key is to make these changes while preserving those features that contribute to a property’s significance. How can property owners make design decisions that will meet new functional needs and preserve our historic properties?  This presentation asks that we refocus the definition of “preservation,” and provides case studies for what that means.

Location: Commonweal Theatre

10-10:30 a.m. Break

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Public Relations & Marketing for Historic Preservationists

Presenters: Erin Hanafin Berg, Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, moderator; Jessica Kohen, Public Relations Specialist, Minnesota Historical Society & Chris Morris, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Chicago, IL

Think fastů Who are the ultimate decision-makers for your preservation causes? Are they commissioners, council members, legislators, mayors, the public? Do you know their top priorities? Do you understand their personal and political ambitions? Do you know what makes them tick?

Answering these questions is at the heart of a successful public preservation advocacy strategy. So is being able to execute that strategy with an effective advocacy toolkit, which includes communications planning, media relations, earned and paid media, and political strategy. Aligning preservation advocacy with the big issues of the day, and effective execution offers the best chance to reach beyond sympathetic allies and garner public support, media attention, and ultimately, a favorable outcome for your cause.
Location:  Commonweal Theatre

Appropriate Signage for Historic Commercial Buildings

Presenter: Joe Lawniczak, Downtown Design Specialist, Wisconsin Main Street Program

Signs in historic districts project an image of the quantity and quality of the businesses located within the buildings. Together, they can portray an image of a unified business district. Well-designed signs reflect the character of the business, blend well with the building, and have continuity in scale, quality, and design to other signs in the district. This is a lot to ask of a sign, which is why many communities establish sign design guidelines and ordinances. This session will discuss appropriate and inappropriate sign types for historic commercial buildings.
Location: St. Mane Theatre, 206 Parkway Ave. North

Mobile Workshop: Masonry: How to Repair Historic Stonework
Part 1 of 3

Location: Cottage House Inn, 209 Parkway Ave. North

Presenter: John Speweik, Speweik Preservation Consultants, Elgin, IL

This session will explore how to prepare a stone wall surface for repairing cracks, resurfacing, and cleaning previous cement smears from the face of the stone. It begins with a PowerPoint presentation in the morning followed by a demonstration workshop in the afternoon during which participants will:

  1. Evaluate a variety of historic stone buildings during a hands-on walking tour
  2. Learn the art of chisel dancing and the lost art of redressing stone to corduroy and hammer point finishes
  3. Learn how to fix cracks in stone masonry using injection techniques from Germany
  4. Mix and measure substitute stone material and apply to severely deteriorated stone

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Lunch

Location: Commonweal Theatre

1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Building Codes & Preservation 

Presenters: Laura Faucher, AIA, Preservation Design Works; Glen Bergstrand, Supervisor, MN State Fire Marshal Division; Dan Callahan, Supervisor, Plan Review, Community Planning & Economic Development, City of Minneapolis; Richard Dana, Commissioner, St. Paul Heritage Preservation Commission

Rehabilitating and adapting historic buildings for new uses can create conflicts between code requirements (and officials) and preservation ordinances and guidelines. This session will provide strategies towards creating a successful collaboration between all the stakeholders including the code official, the preservation commission, the building owner, and the designers. Case studies will be used to illustrate successful projects that met the intent of the applicable codes while still preserving the historic fabric of the buildings.
Location: Commonweal Theatre

Byways and Brown Signs

Presenters: Kristen Zschomler, Archaeologist/Historian, Cultural Resources Unit Supervisor, MN Dept. of Transportation & Heather Lott, P.E., Signing Engineer, MN Dept. of Transportation Office of Traffic Safety & Technology

Preserving historic resources means the public has access to the building. While many think of access as entry and use inside of the building, access is also being able to discover, locate, and identify the resource along with its physical setting and context. Byways and Brown Signs are two transportation tools that improve access to historic resources. Kristen Zschomler of Mn/DOT's cultural resources unit will discuss the significant changes to the federal scenic byways program that enables multimodal exploration of the historic environment. Heather Lott, state highway signing engineer (Mn/DOT), will highlight the new guidelines for brown signs for historic districts that assist the traveling public in safely locating the state's cultural heritage.
Location:  St. Mane Theatre

Mobile Workshop: Masonry: How to Repair Historic Stonework
Part 2 of 3

Location: Cottage House Inn, 209 Parkway Ave. North

3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Break

3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

How to Approach Local Officials

Panel: Ben Vander Kooi, Luverne City Attorney, moderator; Rita Albrecht, Mayor, City of Bemidji; Mark Peterson, Mayor, City of Winona; Carl Colwell, Mayor, City of Morton

A panel presentation featuring elected officials from four cities. Look at techniques for approaching elected officials on issues related to preservation that will help garner and keep attention of those public officials.
Location: Commonweal Theatre

Tackling White Elephants

Panel: Doug Gasek, Executive Director, Preservation Alliance of Minnesota; Alan Zemek, Echopoint Design & Development, LLC, Park Rapids, MN; Stephanie Atwood, Architectural Historian, Hess, Roise & Co., Minneapolis, MN

It sometimes takes a combination of incentives and a dedicated group of advocates to transform a white elephant into a community gem.
Location: St. Mane Theatre

Mobile Workshop: Designing for Compatibility

Location: Cottage House Inn, 209 Parkway Ave. North

Presenter: Noré Winter, principal with Winter & Company, Boulder, Colorado

How can a new building be designed to fit within a historic context? Preservationists promote an approach that is compatible, but contemporary, in that a new building respects its historic neighbors, but also reflects its own time. This means understanding the context for infill, and identifying the key features that are important to honor in new construction. How do designers identify those features, and how would a design emerge that uses them?

This on-site workshop will use a real site in downtown Lanesboro. Participants will first view an orientation to compatibility in design in a classroom setting, and then move out to the field to inspect a model site. They will use simple recording forms to identify key features of the context, and then brainstorm design approaches that respond to them.


Shopping and Entertainment: Special activities and exclusive offers in downtown for conference attendees,  planned by the Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.

Friday, September 13

8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast

Location: Commonweal Theatre

8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Concurrent Sessions

Preserving Civic Legacy: A Guide to Rehabilitating & Reusing Local Government Properties

Presenters: Erin Hanafin Berg, Field Representative, Preservation Alliance of MN; Kimmy Tanaka, Intern, Preservation Alliance of MN; Carolyn Holje, Director, Dassel History Center & Ergot Museum

In 2012, the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota conducted a research project to learn about the preservation of our state's civic legacy - publicly owned buildings that have been rehabilitated and reused. Learn about these case studies from PAM staff and local participants, and get ideas as to how you can preserve your own community's civic landmarks.
Location: Commonweal Theatre

8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Legacy Grants Program Update

Presenters: David Grabitske, Catherine Sandlund, John Fulton and Joe Hoover

Featuring select preservation projects, trends in program, etc.
Location: St. Mane Theatre

10:00-10:30 a.m. Break

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

The Archaeology of Architecture

Presenter: Michelle Terrell, Two Pines Resource Group, Shafer, MN

With brushes and backhoes, archaeologists document the locations of former buildings. What can their work tell us about structures that were once part of our communities? How can archaeology inform our understanding and interpretation of existing historic buildings? Using examples from Minnesota excavations, this presentation will demonstrate the preservation benefits of doing the archaeology of architecture.
Location: Commonweal Theatre

The “How-to’s” of Rehabilitation Tax Credits

Presenters: Karen Brandt, Historian, National Park Service, Washington D.C.; Natascha Weiner, Historic Preservation Specialist, Sr. Design Review, MN State Historic Preservation Office; Denis Gardner, National Register Historian, MN State Historic Preservation Office

See how proper planning and documentation can help you save time and money, and learn about the most common mistakes made when utilizing either Minnesota's state or the federal historic tax credits.
Location: St. Mane Theatre

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch

Location: Commonweal Theatre

1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Concurrent Tours

Buses will depart from and return to the Commonweal Theatre

Amish Country

Visit and observe the largest Old Order Amish community in Minnesota and experience their unique Christian lifestyle of “Living in the World, but not Being of the World.” Stops include: a basket maker, a small furniture maker with a consignment shop, and a farm with a sawmill.

Fish Hatcheries, Grain Elevators, and Stagecoach Stops

This tour will stop at the Lanesboro State Fish Hatchery, Minnesota's largest coldwater production hatchery (opened in 1925); Preston's 1902 Milwaukee Elevator Co. grain structure, which is being restored as an interpretive center; and Forestville, which developed as a pioneer town in the mid-1850s and is now operated as a historic site by the Minnesota Historical Society.

Dams, B & Bs, and Scenic Byways

Visit the Lanesboro Stone Dam (1868), with its 25-foot-high spillway, and learn about efforts by the City and SHPO to preserve this pivotal structure. See four of Lanesboro’s bed and breakfast homes, all of which have a preservation story to tell. Learn about the Historic Bluff Country National Scenic Byway and the Root River Trail, southeastern Minnesota's premier recreational trail that meanders along the Root River amid 300-foot bluffs.