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Previous Annual Conference Materials

Recaps and Links for the 2020 Conference

Past session titles are linked to the meeting recording on our YouTube Channel. Slides and other materials will be available soon from this page.

Protecting Historic Places in Perpetuity: An Overview of Preservation Easements

Raina Regan, National Trust for Historic Preservation and Ethan Boote, Rethos: Places Reimagined

The easement is one of the strongest protections in your preservation toolkit. Easements can be used to protect a variety of property types and can be individually drafted to reasonably protect a historic resource. This session will include an overview of the legal aspects of preservation easements, including explaining the differences between the legal framework of preservation easements and local preservation laws. It will also give an overview of best practices in holding preservation easements for local organizations, along with how to make an easement from the inquiry stage to closing. Participants will learn how existing easements are stewarded by preservation organizations, including regular easement monitoring, enforcement, and reviewing alterations. A representative from Minnesota will help provide the statewide context on how easements have been used, but also how they might be useful for local organizations. This session will be useful for preservation practitioners looking to identify new ways to protect resources, but also local groups who may be considering accepting easements for the first time.

  • Raina Regan is the senior manager of the easement program at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Her primary responsibilities include evaluating and documenting new easements to be held by the Trust and managing the existing easement portfolio. Prior to joining the National Trust, Raina was a Community Preservation Specialist at Indiana Landmarks and an Architectural Historian for the Indiana Army National Guard. Raina received a B.A. in Art History and Visual Culture from Michigan State University and a M.S. in Historic Preservation from Ball State University.
  • Ethan Boote is the real estate manager at Rethos. In this position, he manages Rethos’ investment partnership program for state historic tax credit rehabilitation projects throughout as well as Rethos’ small portfolio of easements. Ethan received a B.A. in Art History from St. Olaf College and a M.S. in Historic Preservation from Columbia University.

Collaborative Planning for Indian Mounds: An Indigenous Burial Ground

Brenda Williams, Quinn Evans; Bianca Paz, City of Saint Paul Parks & Recreation Department; and Cheyanne St. John, THPO, Lower Sioux Indian Community

Slide presentation

The land we now call Indian Mounds Regional Park, located atop the bluffs of the Mississippi River on the eastern side of downtown Saint Paul, is rich in geological and cultural history and is sacred to many Indigenous Communities. The City of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation staff has been working with representatives of Tribal Nations to build partnership around the protection, messaging and stewardship of the site. A Cultural Landscape study is an initial step to update the City's practice for the preservation, awareness and understanding of the significance of this place. The site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is protected by the Field Archeology Act (MN Statutes 138.40) and Private Cemetery Act (MN Statutes 307.08). The project is guided by collaboration with formal representatives of Dakota and other Indigenous communities and presented to the public, neighbors and current park users to build understanding and awareness of the significance of this place and find common ground for its proper use and care. It also presents an important opportunity to recognize and support current Indigenous connections to the landscape. This presentation will explain how the study documents the historic landscape, evaluates the significance and integrity of the site, and provides a compelling vision and plan for messaging, respect and care of the landscape. It will also describe how the collaborative approach will serve as a model for future protocol and engagement processes, both formal and informal, within and near sacred and culturally sensitive sites in Saint Paul.

  • Brenda Williams is a historical landscape architect who guides collaborative master planning, design, and stewardship projects that are deeply grounded in research, analysis, and vision-driven processes. She focuses on significant heritage sites. Brenda cares deeply about stewardship, resiliency and messaging associated with cultural landscapes and sacred sites. She is dedicated to collaboration with people from diverse backgrounds in co-creation of landscape plans. Her Master of Arts in Landscape Architecture is from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1995) and her Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture is from the University of Kentucky (1988). She is leading the consulting team for the project.
  • Bianca Paz is a graduate of the Landscape Architecture program of the University of Minnesota. Previously she studied Architecture in Ecuador and worked in the public sector focusing on low income historic preservation. Bianca specialized and worked in the intersection of City, Public Space and Culture with private and public firms in Quito, Barcelona and Miami, Florida. Currently she works as project manager for the Indian Mounds Regional Park Cultural Landscape Study & Interpretive Plan Project with the City of Saint Paul Parks & Recreation Department.
  • Cheyanne St. John, the oldest granddaughter of Ernest Wabasha, was born and raised in Minneapolis by her parents, Theresa Wabasha of Lower Sioux Indian Community and Bennie St. John of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. She graduated from Fond du Lac Tribal College in 2002 with an associate of arts degree. Between 2003 and 2006, she attended the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and participated in the museum studies program at Santa Fe’s Institute of American Indian Arts. In 2014 she began to manage the Lower Sioux Agency Historic Site. As of 2018, she is the director of the Cansayapi Cultural Department and the tribal historic preservation officer (THPO) for Lower Sioux Indian Community. Her hobbies include public service work with tribal and local community, traditional art practice, traveling to Wacipi, canoeing, hiking, reading, researching, and visiting.

Engaging in Place: Working with Community to Define and Map its Cultural Assets

Sarina Otaibi and Emily Kurash Casey, Rethos: Places Reimagined

Slide presentation

In 2016, Rethos began a pilot program to engage four Minneapolis neighborhoods to define and map their cultural assets. This approach provided the data essential to the creation and implementation of sustainable development policies and proactive preservation. Communities across the country face rapid change and the prospect of physical and cultural displacement. This moment demands both novel strategies to address these challenges and space for communities to tell their stories in authentic ways that provide meaning behind policies. With a focus on the power of place, preservationists are uniquely equipped to lead this effort. In this session, attendees will learn how Rethos modified the approach to implement in rural Minnesota communities. Through our downtown assessment and cultural asset mapping work, we will share the community engagement methods, case studies and toolkit so that attendees may replicate a similar approach in their communities.

  • Sarina Otaibi is the Rural Programs Manager for Rethos. With her passion for rural communities, she provides program support to Main Street communities, implements a community engagement approach to preservation, and launched Artists on Main Street to establish an arts-based community development approach to address downtown challenges and opportunities. In her home community of Granite Falls, MN, she served on City Council, opened a cooperative public house, and owns and programs a historic church building. Sarina holds a master's degree in historic preservation from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a B.B.A. in marketing from Stetson University in Florida.
  • Emily Kurash Casey provides support and services to Main Street and Artists on Main Street communities and is expanding the Rural Program's educational sessions, downtown assessments, and cultural asset mapping work. Previously, she worked as the Winona Main Street Program Manager, for the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce as Director of Communication & Programming. Emily has spent significant time in working with rural non-profits and arts programs in Iowa and Minnesota, as a board member, facilitator and contractor. She's led programs focused on revitalizing downtowns, activating young professionals, and fostering cross-collaboration between municipalities, businesses, volunteers and artists.

Untangling Preservation Planning: From Context Statements to Conditions Assessments

Ginny Way, National Register Architectural Historian, MN State Historic Preservation Office and Tamara Halvorsen Ludt, New History

Slide presentation

What is the difference between a historic context and a historic resource survey? Is a Historic Structure Report the same thing as a Conditions Assessment? And why do we need all of these reports anyway? Preservation planning documents can be powerful tools when deciding where to invest, construct, rehabilitate, advocate, or redevelop. Understanding the need for planning documents – and how to use them effectively can equip preservationists at all levels to make informed decisions about historic properties. This session provides a basic understanding of the primary preservation planning document types and their uses, including research designs, historic contexts, historic resource surveys, Historic Structure Reports, conditions assessments, and designation documents. You will learn how preservation professionals use these documents to help guide decision making and the benefits of proactive preparation.

  • Ginny Way holds a Master of Science degree in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has been working with the MN SHPO for just over 5 years evaluating Minnesota's historic properties for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. She regularly reviews and comments on preservation planning documents produced through grant and regulatory programs.
  • Tamara Halvorsen Ludt is a consultant with New History, a building reuse firm based in Minneapolis. She holds a Master of Science degree in Heritage Preservation and Conservation from the University of Minnesota. As a historian and preservation consultant, Tamara has prepared and regularly uses preservation planning documents in her work. She and Ginny also co-teach Historic Research and Documentation at the University of Minnesota.

Unseen Significance: Archaeology, Parks and the National Register of Historic Places

David Mather, Minnesota SHPO; Steven Blondo, Blondo Consulting; Lindsey Reiners, Blondo Consulting; Jasmine Koncur, Science Museum of Minnesota; and Kelly Wolf, Blondo Consulting

Listing in the National Register of Historic Places provides a clear recognition of historical significance, but it is important to remember that the nominations do not necessarily tell the full story. This is a common problem for properties that were nominated in the early years of the National Register program, before current standards were developed. This session presents a classic example of unseen historical significance, where an older National Register nomination does not identify all contributing resources. Coney Island of the West was a historic resort on an island in Lake Waconia, in Carver County west of the Twin Cities. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, for the architectural significance of the hotel and other buildings. Unfortunately, the resort was no longer in use by then and over time the buildings fell into disrepair. The island had been privately owned but was recently acquired by Carver County for development and preservation as a park. Archaeological studies since then have identified archaeological remains of the historic resort even though the buildings were now gone, and also identified American Indian presence on the island dating back thousands of years. The National Register documentation is now being updated to recognize the broader period of significance, and areas of significance, with a shift from architecture to archaeology. National Register documentation is intended to be updated, and interdisciplinary review of old nominations is recommended to consider whether they provide adequate information for present-day management.

  • David Mather is the National Register Archaeologist with the Minnesota SHPO. His career has focused on Minnesota archaeology and he has previously served as the Consulting Archaeologist for the Mille Lacs Tribal Historic Preservation Office. David has a M.S. in Environmental Archaeology from Sheffield University in England, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Archaeological Studies from the University of Minnesota.
  • Steven Blondo, Blondo Consulting. In the field of cultural resource management, Mr. Blondo has over twenty years of experience as a field archaeologist and research historian for various consulting firms throughout the United States. In that capacity, he has located, excavated and interpreted historic and precontact sites, researched site history, authored a wide variety of reports and has curated numerous artifact collections. Teaming with tribal liaisons, he has incorporated Native American concerns and interests in the planning process. He established Blondo Consulting LLC in 2009, a company which has grown to become a leading provider of cultural resource compliance in the Upper Midwest.
  • Lindsey Reiners, Blondo Consulting. In the field of cultural resource management, Ms. Reiners has over ten years of experience as a field archaeologist throughout the Midwest and four years’ experience as a Principal Investigator. She received her BA in Anthropology and History from Kansas State University, 2006 and a MS in Cultural Resource Management: Archaeology from St Cloud State University, 2015. She has conducted Phase I, II and III Cultural Resource Inventories, monitoring, site forms and report writing on various projects throughout the Plains. Ms. Reiners was a field supervisor for Coney Island of the West archaeological testing and construction monitoring.
  • Jasmine C. Koncur has her B.S. in Anthropology, M.S. in Applied Anthropology and Graduate Certificates in GIS and Museum Studies from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has been working at the Science Museum of Minnesota for over seven years and has experience working on collections management projects, county wide surveys, field schools, GIS, GPS, paleoethnobotany and public outreach. Her background is focused on the Late-Precontact in the Upper Midwest in the Red Wing Region and the St. Croix Valley.
  • Kelly Wolf, Blondo Consulting. In the field of cultural resource management, Ms. Wolf has over ten years of experience as an archaeologist throughout the Midwest. In that capacity she has located, excavated and interpreted historic and precontact sites, performed burial monitoring and recovery, researched site history, authored a wide variety of reports and has curated numerous artifact collections. She received her BA in Anthropology and History from Hamline University in 2010 and an MA in Anthropology: Cultural Heritage Management from the University of Minnesota in 2016. Ms. Wolf was the Principal Investigator for Historic Archaeology during excavations on Coney Island of the West.

Equity in Preservation Planning: Saint Paul African American Historic and Cultural Context

Nieeta Presley, Aurora Saint Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation and Anne Ketz, the 106 Group

Slide presentation

At the heart of Saint Paul’s African American history is the Rondo neighborhood. Before the construction of I-94, the Rondo community was home to 85 percent of Saint Paul’s African American population. Although there is still strong community cohesion, the fact remains that African American narratives are consistently excluded from mainstream historical and cultural documentation. This prompted the Aurora Saint Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation to create a historic context in order to ensure that history’s focus would be expanded from white-dominated narratives to include narratives of their own. This session will explain the goals and objectives of this groundbreaking project, an important preservation planning tool. The presentation will describe the project’s robust public engagement component, use of standard historic investigation as well as first-person research, and the recommendations that emerged from the community.

  • Nieeta Presley recently retired as Aurora Saint Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation’s (ASANDC) Executive Director, a position she held for nearly 20 years. Ms. Presley has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Metropolitan State University in which she self-designed her degree using her previous University of Minnesota nursing course work, her life experiences, and other business course work. She placed an emphasis on project planning, budget management, policy analysis, community and economic development, and non-profit management. She is a Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Careership graduate and has completed training in housing finance and real estate development, grant writing and fund development.
  • Anne Ketz is the CEO and Services Director of the 106 Group. Anne’s career in cultural resources management and planning extends over 30 years and three continents, including projects in the United States, Great Britain, India, the Middle East, and Canada. Anne’s sensitivity to others and sense of diplomacy have brought successful conclusion to complex and potentially controversial projects. Since founding the 106 Group in 1992, she has worked closely with a broad range of stakeholders, including community activists, planners, and Native American leaders to ensure respect for each community’s heritage within the planning process. Anne’s commitment to the profession is further demonstrated through public speaking, scholarly publications, school programs, and volunteer training.
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