On this week’s episode of the Practical Preservation Podcast, Danielle spoke with Josh Blanc of Clay Squared to Infinity in Minneapolis Minnesota.  From their website, “Clay Squared crafts handmade tiles in many shapes and colors for kitchens, bathrooms, fireplaces, and as art tile. We feature tile by local and national artists and offer the largest selection of historic reproduction tile lines in the US.”

Danielle and Josh discussed matching historic materials and why it is better to preserve and restore than renovate and redesign historic properties and homes. They also discuss why buying from small businesses is better for your historic home.

You can find Clay Squared online at www.claysquared.com, on Instagram @claysquared, and contact them by phone 612-781-6409, or by email [email protected]

On this week’s episode of the Practical Preservation Podcast, Danielle spoke with Jere Gibber, Executive Director of the National Preservation Institute (NPI).

Danielle and Jere discussed the importance of volunteering in addition to for profit work in the field of preservation. Jere also talked about the history of NPI and the trainings available through their organization.  You can find the trainings and NPI’s podcast “Preservation Profiles” on their website at www.npi.org.  

You can contact Jere, and NPI at 703-765-0100, or via email at [email protected] 



Glenn Eldridge ‘The Tinman’ from Chelsea Decorative Metal Co.  joined the Practical Preservation podcast to discuss tin ceilings.  Chelsea Decorative Metal Co. manufactures tin ceiling panels in a variety of patterns and sizes including Art Deco, Victorian, and Turn of the Century.

You can reach Glenn at: Tin Ceilings by The Tinman : Chelsea Decorative Metal Company or Chelsea Decorative Metal Co. | Facebook or [email protected] or Tel: 713-721-9200

Gwen Jones and Karla Pearlstein of Ariel Grace Design joined the Practical Preservation podcast to discuss custom floor cloths, Bolling & Co. (a previous podcast guest – Gwen is a co-owner), and the Preservation Artisans Guild.

You can contact Ariel Grace Designs at: 503-206-2631 or [email protected] or by visiting their website: Custom Floorcloth Makers | Painted Canvas Rugs | Canvas Floorcloths | – Ariel Grace Design

Bo Sullivan joined the Practical Preservation podcast to discuss a long career in preservation and his two companies Bolling & Co.  (period style wallpaper as art) and Arcalus Period Design

Offer for our listeners: 15% off any order from Bolling & Co over $100.00  CODE: PP21

You can reach Bo at either of his websites: Arcalus Period Design and Bolling & Company (bollingco.com)

Amy Heavilin of Vivacious Victorian joined the Practical Preservation podcast to discuss documenting the restoration of multiple homes!  Amy shares her lessons learned from multiple restoration projects including: know your limits, ask questions, and find local people to build your resource list.  If you are looking for inspiration for your project visit Amy’s blog (after you listen to the episode of course).

Contact Amy



John High of Barn Saver joined the Practical Preservation podcast to discuss his work recycling barns.  He shared that 30% of our waste is construction by recycling either through architectural salvage or moving the barn he is helping to keep these pieces of history out of the landfill.

John’s wife, Linda Oatman High, wrote a children’s book about his work you can learn more here: Barn Savers: High, Linda Oatman, Lewin, Ted: 9781590789643: Amazon.com: Books

Contact John at:

THE BARN SAVER: Reclaiming Barns Since 1990 – Home

(1) The Barn Saver | Facebook

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 717-572-1619

Tom Brennan, co-founder of The Green Garage and the El Moore, in Detroit, MI, joined the Practical Preservation Podcast to discuss these properties as innovative examples of sustainable working and living spaces. We covered multiple topics, including:

  • Background information about Tom and his wife and co-founder Peggy, and how they came to initiate and complete these sustainable adaptive reuse projects
  • How Tom’s retirement plans changed significantly after he and Peggy were inspired by a sustainability project in Monroe Michigan
  • How the Green Garage embodies working sustainably in action, functioning as a coworking space while also existing as an excellent example of combined adaptive reuse and sustainability.The sustainability, however, depends on proper maintenance and repair, which can be accessed on their website.
  • The rebirth of the El Moore – a true example of sustainable living – and how the current inception pays homage to its innovative 1898 roots
  • Details of each of the 2 projects’ novel approaches to making sure each building was as sustainable as possible
  • Information on how the Brennan’s plan on addressing the third part of sustainability – eating and playing – via the El Moore Gardens and the in-progress El Moore Seasons Market
  • The ways in which each project pays deference to Detroit’s history



Websites – Green Garage and the El Moore

Facebook – here and here

Twitter – here and here

Instagram – here and here

Contact information – here and here

Tom believes that while pure preservation certainly has an important place in the landscape, projects like Green Garage and El Moore are just as essential to keep preservation vital and relevant. Read more about their story in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s feature article.

Tom also shared two pieces of advice to listeners who care about preservation, history, and sustainability: learn as much as you can from others by staying connected to a community of like-minded people, and take time to get a project right, as sustainability especially is a journey. Essentially, be practical.

As COVID restrictions lessen in the future, Tom encourages interested parties to come to the El Moore and take a tour and learn more about its fascinating history!

John O’Brien, Director of West Chester, PA’s Business Improvement District, and Jim Brown, Vice-President of Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County, in Lancaster, PA, joined the Practical Preservation Podcast to discuss their organization’s respective responses to COVID-19. We covered multiple topics, including:

  • Background information about John and Jim, and on both West Chester PA Business Improvement District (BID) and Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County (HPT)
  • The heritage of West Chester – including notables, historic streetscapes, and a thriving local business community – and how the BID functions to serve downtown businesses in a way that supports the community as a whole
  • The history and mission of the HPT – and how it was conceived as part of a grassroots movement to save one of Lancaster’s most historically-significant homes
  • Tactics both BID and HPT have utilized in order to navigate the challenges of COVID-19 – including increased outdoor events and services and heavy use of social media to reach the public
  • Tips for downtowns and the general public to support – and hopefully, help to save – local business, downtown communities, and places of historic and cultural significance 




Website – notably, the website will be under construction and officially relaunch early 2021






General contact information








General contact information

Please consider following West Chester BID and HPT of Lancaster County on social media links listed above to keep yourself apprised of special events and updates, even in the time of COVID.


Susan Dippre from Susan Dippre Designs joined the Practical Preservation podcast to discuss how working at Colonial Williamsburg combined her love of history and landscaping. She has recently begun her own company to provide the general public with Williamsburg inspired designs from natural materials.

Contact information:

[email protected]

Williamsburg Farmers Market


Susan Dippre began her career in Colonial Williamsburg’s gardens in April of 1980. Her first assignment as a Gardener was at Carter’s Grove Plantation, at it’s beautiful location on the James River. She assisted with the holiday decorations there and fell in love with the beauty and creativity.

In 1990 she was promoted to Foreman, responsible for the maintenance of the gardens and grounds at the Williamsburg Inn and Lodge, and later, Merchant Square. During this time she renovated the rooftop garden at the DeWitt Wallace Museum.

She became a Supervisor in the Historic Area in 1995; inheriting the responisiblity of decorating the whole area for the holidays. She, with the assistance of a dozen Gardeners and a half dozen Carpenters, were decorating well over 100 buildings in the Historic Area, Merchant Square, and a majority of the Hotel Holiday decorations, including all interior and exterior trees and the front of the Williamsburg Inn, streets, and parking lots for over 20 years.

The favorite parts of her job were the demonstrations and workshops also working with all the designers to create the beautiful and original designs that graces the many buildings throughout. Recently she has begun a business so she can continue the design processes throughout the year.


Colonial Williamsburg Decorates for Christmas

Christmas Decorating for Williamsburg

Christmas Decorations Walking Tours