Beyond Historic Listing: Preserving Underrepresented Histories

Course Details

This is a case study of efforts in Kansas City and Philadelphia to identify and preserve historic and cultural resources related to minority communities. Kansas City focused on identifying sites related to the African American community. Planners involved in the project describe the process, lessons learned, and outcomes of the public meeting. They discuss how the digital African American Heritage Trail has evolved into a tool for economic development, education, activism, and programming, concluding with ways that this experience will aid future projects.

The Philadelphia presentation focuses on broadening tools for historic and cultural preservation, including tangible and intangible resources, to make local preservation more accessible and inclusive. The discussion touches on the ongoing Cultural Resource Survey Plan and Pilot Project and efforts to create a new type of local historic district that bridges the gap between zoning overlays and traditional historic districts.

Planning efforts in both cities reveal that simply expanding the current system of preservation for identification, designation, and regulation is neither sustainable nor equitable. Presenters urge participants to look for preservation solutions firmly rooted in community.

Learning Outcomes

  • Engage underrepresented communities in identifying significant historic and cultural sites.
  • Learn novel approaches for using tools to protect, document, and recognize overlooked historic and cultural resources.
  • Improve equitable outcomes in preservation by reducing barriers to participation.