• 09/25/2020 3:48 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    From the ACHP:

    The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHI) today recognized the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) for its efforts to connect HBCU architecture students to the field of historic preservation through the Preservation in Practice program.

    During the final day of the HBCU Week Virtual Conference, the WHI premiered the ACHP’s video about Preservation in Practice https://youtu.be/bOqO2DjccNc.

    “We are proud to participate in the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” ACHP Chairman Aimee Jorjani said. “Our work with HBCU students on Preservation in Practice, as well as our partnership with other federal agencies in the Initiative’s Arts, Humanities, and History Cluster contribute greatly to our mission and to our work to build a more inclusive preservation program.”

    Preservation in Practice is a joint program with the ACHP, National Park Service (NPS), and National Trust for Historic Preservation’s HOPE Crew. It is designed to raise awareness about the importance of historic preservation and conservation, bring African American young professionals into preservation-related careers, invite them to experience authentic learning in place at historic sites, and educate about the rich cultural legacy of HBCUs.

    Preservation in Practice is a paid internship program for HBCU architecture students, which strives to model a comprehensive curriculum that directly connects architectural practice to preservation practice and articulates the important and meaningful role architects can play in preserving heritage of all kinds.

    Since 2018, 18 students from Morgan State University and Tuskegee University have participated in Preservation in Practice. Some of those students have since received full scholarships to study historic preservation in graduate school, been awarded preservation-related internships and jobs, and focused their architecture education on historic preservation.

    “I’m a graduate of an HBCU, Huston-Tillotson University, and the White House Initiative’s work has brought to the forefront this great pool of potential historic preservation professionals who can lead the way in telling the full story of our nation’s history,” said Robert Stanton, ACHP expert member and former NPS director. “Preservation in Practice is a wonderful opportunity to both increase awareness about the need for historic preservation among black students and give them marketable skills as they enter the job market.”

    In addition to Preservation in Practice, the ACHP, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Department of Education make up the Arts, Humanities, and History Cluster of the WHI. The Cluster hosted two sessions during the HBCU Week conference: “Applying for Success,” to promote federal funding opportunities that support HBCUs and “Discover Your Place in the Creative Economy,” to advise HBCU leaders about careers and other opportunities for students in the arts, history, and culture space. The September 24 sessions had 240 people participating.

    The Cluster page on the WHI website includes many resources for HBCUs, information from the two conference sessions, and details about each agency in the Cluster.

    You can view this press release and other news on the ACHP website.

  • 09/23/2020 3:13 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    From the ACHP:

    Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) Chairman Aimee Jorjani today welcomed new Expert Member Kristopher B. King of South Carolina, swearing him in to a term ending in June 2024. President Donald J. Trump appointed King to the ACHP.

    “Kristopher is an impassioned advocate for historic preservation within one of the nation’s most historically significant architectural gems. We look forward to him bringing that same passion from South Carolina to the national stage as an expert member of the ACHP,” Chairman Jorjani said. “He has a lifetime of knowledge in many aspects of historic preservation, including development, as well as educating the next generation of preservationists, which will contribute greatly to the ACHP’s mission.”

    “As a preservationist working in Charleston, SC I have seen firsthand the long-term community value created by thoughtful, preservation-minded decisions, as well as the negative effects that growth can have on historic resources and communities,” King said. “I hope to bring my practical, real world experience in development and preservation to support the critically important work of the ACHP. I hope that I can help spur enhanced engagement with federal agencies and a deepened focus on how the work of preservation can better serve the people and communities that need our support. Many historic communities are feeling the pressure of development and growth. I hope that my experience and commitment to collaboration can help advance the work of preservation.”

    King has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Trinity College in Connecticut, and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. He currently serves as executive director of the Preservation Society of Charleston. In addition, he is an adjunct professor in historic preservation at Clemson University and the College of Charleston.

    King’s past experience includes managing one of the largest preservation easement programs in the country and working in real estate development on projects from Georgia to New York with a focus on historic buildings, green buildings, and infill projects. He has developed energy efficiency programs and measures for historic structures and consulted on numerous preservation projects. He also is a certified Building Analyst with the Building Performance Institute.

    King has served on the board of the Charleston Civic Design Center, and as a member of the Charleston Tourism Committee, Charleston Short Term Rental Committee, and the Charleston Green Committee. He also is a past president of the board of the Preservation Society of Charleston.

    King replaces Luis Hoyos as an expert member on the ACHP. Hoyos, a Los Angeles County architect and professor of architecture at the California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, where he teaches historic preservation and urban design, served on the ACHP from 2016-2020.

    “Luis has been an active and valuable member of the ACHP, contributing greatly over the last four years to our work in historic preservation,” Chairman Jorjani said. “We thank him for his years of distinguished service. We know we will continue our friendship and be able to count on him to serve as a resource for the ACHP.”

    The National Historic Preservation Act provides that appointed expert and general public members shall serve for a term of four years and under that law, may not serve more than two terms.

    You can view this press release and other news on the ACHP website.

  • 09/22/2020 6:00 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    This post is aimed at current registrants for the Virtual 2020 ACRA Conference. If you haven't registered yet, do so now - you don't want to miss out on the sessions this year!

    We are excited to welcome you to the Virtual 2020 ACRA Conference later this week! We are looking forward to informative sessions, lively discussions, and more over the next few days. In order to help you prepare, we have included information on accessing the event and using the conference software below. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions, and see you soon!

    Accessing the Conference

    Each day of the conference will be hosted in the Remo app (more information on the app features is available here). You will receive an email invitation directly from Remo with the link to access the conference. If you are registered for both days, you will receive a separate invitation for each day.

    Remo does not require any downloads, and Chrome and Safari are the preferred browsers. Other browsers will work with the app, but functionality may be affected.

    You should receive your invitation from Remo by tomorrow afternoon. If you do not receive the invitation by that time, please contact us to ensure you receive the correct access.

    Using Remo During Conference

    Attendees will be able to interact directly with each other via both video and traditional web chat. When we are not in presentation mode, you will be able to move between tables and floors (reminder: floor 4 is designated for private conversations!). Each table can have up to six people, all participating in a video discussion together. You can also use the traditional web chat to have conversations with individuals, your table, or all attendees (as part of the general chat). We have built in networking time to the schedule in order for you to fully take advantage of this feature!

    Be sure to visit our sponsors - not only can you view sponsor videos and visit their websites through the app, but representatives will also be present at each sponsor table to answer your questions.

    You will have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in discussions during the presentations. The process for doing so depends on the presentation type:

    During the traditional webinars, please submit all questions and comments using the Q&A box. Moderators will read out the questions to the presenters on behalf of the attendees.

    During the discussion roundtables, you can either use the Q&A box or just simply raise your hand using the provided button. The moderator will then call on you and an administrator will invite you to appear on screen with the panelists. Once you are finished with your question and/or comment, you will turn off your camera and microphone and the administrator will ensure you are marked as an attendee again.

    Technical Troubleshooting

    If you are having issues with your camera, microphone, or audio upon entry, Remo can easily help! At the bottom of the screen on the left side is a button titled "Need help?" The Remo technical team will assist attendees in troubleshooting any technical issues you may be experiencing in the app.

  • 09/18/2020 4:51 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Kerri Barile, President of Dovetail Cultural Resource Group and ACRA's Conference Committee Chair, has been awarded the Woman of the Year Award by the Central Virginia chapter of WTS International. Since 1977, WTS International, then called Women’s Transportation Seminar, has focused on promoting the advancement of women in the transportation industry.

    From the WTS Central Virginia:

    Dr. Barile has more than 27 years of experience in the transportation industry- including serving as a Preservation Program Coordinator for VDOT prior to opening Dovetail Cultural Resource Group (Dovetail). Dovetail is a small, woman-owned business/DBE that garners more than 60 percent of its revenues from the transportation industry. Dr. Barile personally has supported the full gamut of surface transportation projects such as new road/alignments, road widening, interchange improvements, bridge/culvert replacements, drainages, bridge rehabilitation, stormwater management facilities, parking areas, bus rapid transit corridors, all forms of rail services, aviation facilities, and space-related launch sites. Dovetail (as a prime or sub) has open-end contracts with numerous transportation agencies (e.g., VDOT, NCDOT, MDOT, DelDOT) and has worked with other federal, state, and local transportation agencies for more than 14 years. She recently completed the nearly 5-year Southeast High Speed Rail project, for which she received commendations from clients and regulators.

    In addition to her commitment to the transportation industry, she is an ardent supporter of community involvement. She volunteers hundreds of hours each year to local, state, and national organizations and offers staff a paid day each year to volunteer. She donates company services pro bono to at least one major preservation project each year- typically between $20,000 and $40,000 of labor annually. This year, she is working with the Fredericksburg Nationals baseball team to develop a history pavilion in their new stadium and associated educational materials. As a result, thousands of patrons and school children will be educated about America’s favorite pastime, from Civil War soldiers playing games together while in camp to America’s first female playing in the minor league. Lastly, Dr. Barile ensures that 10 percent of Dovetail's annual profit goes towards charitable donations - Dovetail has donated almost a quarter million dollars to dozens of very deserving charities.

    Congratulations to Kerri, and you can view all of the award winners on the WTS website. Please add your congratulations to Kerri in the comments below!

  • 09/17/2020 5:44 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    The ACRA Virtual Conference is just a week away! If you haven't had a chance to attend one of our conferences in the past, whether due to scheduling or financial constraints, this is your chance to see how the conference facilitates discussions on industry issues, improves business operations for your firm, and gives attendees the chance to expand partnering opportunities. For students and those just starting in their careers in CRM, this conference gives you the ability to meet with prospective employers across the country.

    Don't miss the premier CRM event of the year - if you haven't registered yet, do so NOW on the event page!

    Session Updates

    We are thrilled to announce that the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Chairman Aimee Jorjani will be joining us at the start of our Thursday session! She will take a few minutes to address attendees before her colleague Blythe Semmer leads a webinar on the use of e-106 systems as documentation and workflows in the Section 106 process move increasingly online.

    Attendees will be encouraged to participate directly in the discussion roundtables that will be held in the latter half of each day. Tackling topics like diversity and inclusion in the industry, strategies for continuing to navigate the ongoing pandemic, and more, you will have the ability to directly participate in the conversations most pertinent to CRM right now.

    Additional Networking Opportunities

    Our conference software allows for increased interaction with other attendees. You can have face-to-face conversations with other attendees at virtual tables, and we have now designated one virtual floor for private conversations! Whether you want to meet with prospective employees or simply chat in private with a colleague, floor 4 will be designated as the floor for these opportunities.

    We will be sending out detailed information on the system to registrants next week, and you will have ample time to utilize all that the system has to offer.

    You can view the full schedule of webinars, roundtables, and more here.Your CRM colleagues will be in attendance - register now so you aren't the one that misses out!

  • 09/16/2020 8:19 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Your Congress in Action is a series that highlights the Capitol Hill news that affects CRM firms the most. This information is sourced from the Coalition for American Heritage, news articles, and more. Be sure to subscribe to the ACRAsphere to ensure you don't miss an update.

    • Discussions on further pandemic relief packages have continued to stall. The President has called for congressional Republicans to support an economic relief bill with higher numbers than previously proposed and stimulus checks for Americans. More information on the latest in the pandemic relief talks is available from the Washington Post.
    • Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Speaker Pelosi have publicly committed to passing a “clean” continuing resolution that will fund the federal government until sometime after the election, therefore avoiding a government shutdown on October 1. More information is in the Washington post here.
    • While the legal fights against the updated NEPA regulations continue, a Virginia court ruled that conservation groups hadn’t met the legal bar for a preliminary injunction that would shelve the updated regulations while their legal challenge against it proceeds. This ruling is likely to be appealed, and more information is available from Bloomberg Law. This legal challenge is among several being considered by the courts and thus is not considered to be the final ruling.

      Please continue to let us know what you are seeing in the field. This includes when you see agencies using the revised NEPA regulations or recent Executive Orders to waive preservation requirements on projects on which you work, or even projects you hear about.

    • The US Army Corps of Engineers is planning to re-issue their nationwide permits according to a notice in the Federal Register. ACRA and its partners at the Coalition for American Heritage are working to analyze the changes and put together comments for submittal.
    • REMINDER: ACRA has created resources to help you take action for historic preservation in your state as state budgets are considered this fall. Many states are facing budgets cuts due to decreased tax revenue, and both SHPO offices and infrastructure projects could be affected as a result. Because the budget discussions in each state vary widely, the best place to start is to meet with your state's SHPO and/or state archaeologist. ACRA has compiled a list of resources to make requesting and holding these meetings as fast as possible, including a sample meeting request and a list of suggested questions. If you are having trouble finding the contact information for your SHPO or state archaeologist, let us know and we can easily provide that for you.

      Once you have a clear picture of the historic preservation budget discussions in your state, you can reach out to your state legislators to tell them about the importance of this funding to both businesses and the larger community. If you do hold a meeting with your SHPO or state archaeologist, please submit a brief summary of the meeting in this report back form.

    • Representatives Will Hurd (R-TX) and Filemon Vela (D-TX) introduced a bill to make a three-room adobe schoolhouse in southwestern Texas into National Historic Site. Because of de facto segregation in Texas, the school was the only educational facility for Mexican-Americans in the state for 50 years. The National Parks Conservation Association has already endorsed the bill.
    • Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL) introduced a bill, REFUSE Confederate Principles Act, would direct the Secretary of the Interior to establish a grant program to provide funds for the removal of Confederate symbols.
    • The Coalition for American Heritage is conducting a survey of current candidates for federal office to identify where they stand on our biggest issues. Please encourage candidates in your district to answer the survey (found here), and you can see the results from those that have already completed it on the Coalition website.
  • 09/14/2020 5:31 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    From the ACHP:

    Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) Chairman Aimee Jorjani today announced the issuance of a Program Comment that provides the Department of the Army with an alternate way to comply with its responsibilities under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). This Program Comment specifically addresses the Army’s inventory of housing, associated buildings and structures, and landscape features constructed on Army installations nationwide during the Inter-War period from 1919-1940.

    The Program Comment went into effect on September 4, 2020, after ACHP members voted in favor of its issuance.

    In February 2019, the Secretary of the Army declared a housing crisis in response to widespread reports of historic housing containing hazardous materials, such as lead-based paint, and other conditions affecting military families living in this housing. In response, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy, and Environment Alex Beehler issued an Army NHPA Strategy in July 2019, directing the Army Federal Preservation Officer (FPO) to pursue a programmatic NHPA compliance solution for historic Army housing.

    The Army consulted with State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs), Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations (NHOs), and others to develop the Program Comment that establishes procedures for the management of the Army’s nationwide inventory of more than 3,200 housing units from this era, which are located in 16 states on 23 Army or joint installations. The ACHP consulted these parties further in considering whether to issue the Program Comment.

    “ACHP members support the Army’s intent to more efficiently manage this historic housing, so it can continue to be safely occupied by our nation’s soldiers and their families,” Chairman Jorjani said. “The comment was the result of much discussion and cooperation and will streamline the Section 106 review process while protecting and maintaining historic properties.”

    “The magnitude of this challenge requires that we shape our historic preservation compliance actions in new and innovative ways,” Hon. Beehler said. “This Program Comment establishes a new paradigm for integration of historic preservation as part of the answer to Army historic housing issues.”

    The management actions covered by this Program Comment include maintenance, repair, rehabilitation, renovation, abatement, mothballing, demolition, replacement construction, new construction, lease, and conveyance. The Army regards all Inter-War Era housing as historic properties and acknowledges that these actions present a potential for adverse effects to them.

    For most undertakings covered by the Program Comment, the Army will not have to go through individual, case-by-case Section 106 review, but will follow procedures for decision making and materials selection included in the Program Comment, as well as two companion documents appended to the Program Comment: the Design Guidelines and Building Materials Catalog. These documents will be followed by the Army or its housing partners where housing has been privatized.

    In the case of demolition, the Army will follow a procedure to identify housing condition, its vacancy or underutilization, and evaluate alternatives to its demolition. Each demolition proposal will be accompanied by a report for SHPO, Indian tribe, NHO, ACHP, and public review prior to a final decision at the Army Headquarters level.

    The ACHP will soon be submitting the Program Comment to the Federal Register for publication.

    While Inter-War Era housing represents only a subset of the Army’s overall portfolio of more than 100,000 total housing units, it is the largest remaining single category of Army historic housing that has not previously been addressed on a nationwide NHPA programmatic basis. The Army’s decision to pursue this programmatic solution follows on the success of a prior Program Comment for its large inventory of Capehart-Wherry Era (1949-1962) historic housing in 2002.

    A Program Comment is one among a number of administrative tools the ACHP can use to provide greater flexibility and tailored approaches for federal agencies as they work to ensure historic preservation interests are balanced with development needs.

    You can also view this press release on the ACHP website.

  • 09/14/2020 1:23 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Advances in Archaeological Practice, a quarterly digital journal published on behalf of the Society for American Archaeology, is devoted to sharing creative solutions to challenges in the practice of archaeology. Their latest issue is focused on creative mitigation, and contains articles and input from employees of many ACRA member firms.

    Sarah Herr of ACRA member firm Desert Archaeology, Inc. is co-editor of the journal, and John Douglass of Statistical Research, Inc. (SRI) serves as one of the guest editors for the issue. From a piece on sustainable neighborhood public outreach from AECOM's Stephen Tull to an article on the role of modeling and synthesis in creative mitigation, this issue highlights the expertise of ACRA member firms and their employees.

    The entire issue is open access, so there is no paywall or password requirements for reading any of the articles. Check it out now!

  • 09/11/2020 12:59 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    The Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab (MAC Lab) has recently published a guide to x-radiography. MAC Lab is a state-of-the-art archaeological research, conservation, and curation facility located at Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum, the State Museum of Archaeology, in southern Maryland. It serves as a clearinghouse for archaeological collections recovered from land-based and underwater projects conducted by State and Federal agencies throughout Maryland.

    Of particular interest to CRM practitioners is that the guide includes a section on incorporating x-radiography in the lab workflow to allow responsible documentation and sampling of corroded metals that are not a conservation priority (and will therefore turn to dust over time).

    This is in the Maryland standards that took effect in 2019, and the main point of the x-ray guide is to walk people through the reasoning and logistics of the process.

    The guide is available here.

  • 09/10/2020 5:44 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Due to technical issues, Technical Writing for CRM: Developing More Efficient Communication, originally scheduled for today, has been rescheduled for October 22, 2020 at 2:00 pm Eastern.

    All current registrations have been transferred to that date, so no further action is needed on your part if you registered for today's session and are still able to attend on the new date. ACRA would be happy to provide a refund to those that can no longer attend on that date. 

    If you were unable to get a space for today's session, please add yourself to the wait list. Offers will be made if and when cancellations come in.

    Ms. Moreno has also graciously offered to provide extra resources regarding this topic to not just attendees, but all ACRA members are no additional cost. These will be posted on the ACRAsphere in the coming weeks.

    We apologize again for any inconvenience this has caused, and we sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding.

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