Smithfield Bridge, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Kris Horvath’s photostream

Tomorrow will see the start of The Statewide Conference on Heritage in Downtown Pittsburgh. Our city has a wealth of well-preserved buildings, historic bridges and a storied industrial past which makes it a perfect setting for a conference which focuses on the preservation of Pennsylvania’s heritage. It’s being held at the historic William Penn Hotel and runs from Tuesday, July 16 through Friday, July 19.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

In 2008, the Heritage Conference was held for the first time as a combination of previously separate ones — a transportation conference on historic byways, Preservation Pennsylvania’s annual conference and a conference on the states’s 14 heritage areas.

“This one brings all these audiences together,” said Jennifer Horn, program director for Preservation Pennsylvania and one of the event planners. “It came out of the challenge to preserve historic resources in the face of development pressure that, in a lot of cases, is also prompted by transportation projects.”

She said the challenges are to protect historic properties while keeping them in the mix of revitalization efforts and to plan new infrastructure with respect for historic resources such as bridges, historic ruins and landmark buildings.

The conference is meant for professionals as well as the general public. Sessions include: Young Voices in Preservation, Preserving 19th and 20th Century Parks with a 21st Century Sensibility, Strategies to Preserve Pennsylvania’s Tourist Rail Lines, and many more. You can see the full schedule here. There are also walking tours and a Gateway Clipper Boat Tour.

Online registration is now over, but you can still register in person at the conference. Single-day and half-day registrations are also available if you can’t make a week of it. The conference website can be found here.


William Penn Hotel, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Dauvit Alexander’s photostream