“The past is not the property of historians; it is a public possession. It belongs to anyone who is aware of it, and it grows by being shared. It sustains the whole society, which always needs the identity that only the past can give.” – William J. Murtagh

You might have guessed by now, but we’re passionate about the preservation of our built history.

Old buildings aren’t just interesting to look at, they serve as the foundation of our culture – time capsules from the past that are just as worthwhile, curious, and interesting as the people who lived, consorted, governed, gathered, and otherwise inhabited those buildings.

Second only to our passion for those grand old buildings that grace our streets is our passion for sharing what we know about preserving the contributions their architecture makes to our sense of place.  As with many things in life, there’s a lot of misinformation out there and wading through the mud and muck can sometimes be overwhelming.

So we do it for you.

It’s our nature to stay informed about all kinds of things preservation related, and we’re more than happy to share.  Our Resource Center is full of educational (and sometimes quirky and entertaining) content to help you learn more about what preservation is (and what it isn’t), how it happens, who’s doing it and where, what techniques artisan craftsman use in the traditional trades, the guidelines for preserving a historic building, how to’s for those who like to tinker, and so much more.

Knowledge is Power, as they so often say.

The dissemination of information is vital to a healthy and thriving culture.  And it’s just as important for healthy and thriving historic buildings.  We believe that the more you know, the more you can do, and as far as we’re concerned there’s no such thing as too many people “doing” historical preservation – the more the better.

Please be sure to stop back often, we’re always adding more information.

Joe McCormick, realtor, joined the Practical Preservation podcast to discuss real estate and historic homes.  

We discussed:

  • Tips for historic home buyers and sellers
  • How to choose a real estate agent for your historic home search or listing
  • Why older properties are good values for real estate taxes
  • Understanding any regulations that may impact your property rights

Contact:

Joe McCormick – 610-637-8598 (text or call) or email: [email protected] serving Chester and Delaware counties in Pennsylvania

After our Practical Preservation event in June at Lancaster History I reached out to our contact to see if they would have someone share their resources for researching house histories on the Practical Preservation Podcast.  Kevin Shue joined the podcast and shared his more than 30 years of experience working with the collection at Lancaster History.

There are many resources to help you find the history of our home.  The two areas of concentration most people are searching for are the year the house was built and/or the history of the people who built and subsequently lived in the house.  

Resource options:

  • Tax records
  • Deed recordings
  • Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County – individual property records from county surveys
  • Census records: population, manufactures schedule to show craftsman and trades, and agricultural schedules to show crops, livestock, and acreage
  • Estate Inventorys
  • Countywide maps
  • Fire Insurance maps
  • Photos

Photos of the Lancaster History Collection:

Bio:

Kevin worked at LancasterHistory for thirty years.  He has helped thousands of researchers over this time period.  He has help authors of numerous books, and given lectures on various topics here in Lancaster;, as well as, Dublin, Ireland, Belfast, Northern Ireland; County Tyrone, Northern Ireland; and Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.

Contact:

Lancaster History – lancasterhistory.org (research) or 717-392-4633

Hours: Monday-Saturday 9:30am-5pm

Matt Barley joined the Practical Preservation podcast to discuss the work of  Lancaster County Preservation Trust and his preservation philosophy.

Some of the highlights of our discussion were:

Contact:

website: https://hptrust.org/

email: [email protected]

https://www.facebook.com/historicpreservationtrust/

https://www.instagram.com/hptrust/

Bio:

Matt Barley grew up working on the farms of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. When he was 16, he spent three months in Kenya building a library from the foundation to the roof with local resources and hand tools. Having this experience early in life radically influenced his perspective on the world and specifically inspired him to become a designer and maker.
For his undergraduate degree Matt studied Industrial Arts, which allowed him to explore traditional means of construction and antique furniture reproduction. After undergraduate studies, he ran a small construction company making and designing bespoke residential and commercial installations and structures. As the years progressed, he was continually approached by creative customers because of his outside the box design solutions. Seeing customers delight in his creative solutions inspired him to have some formal design training.
Matt Barley was accepted to Rhode Island School of Design’s (RISD) Interior Architecture program. It was during this time that he began to leave the world of antique reproduction and began to design his own structures and furniture.
He currently works full-time as an Interior Designer at RLPS Architects in Lancaster. Matt designs and fabricates furniture and art on nights and weekends. Additionally He is a board member of The Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County.

Dr. Lori joined the Practical Preservation podcast to discuss her passion for helping people discover the treasures within their families. Jonathan and I meet her at a LNP (the Lancaster Newspaper) antique appraisal (you can watch that video here).  When I reached out to Dr. Lori about an interview on the podcast she was so enthusiastic – I can tell she really loves to educate people about antiques and how to care for them.  

Contact:

Website: https://www.drloriv.com/

You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/DrLoriV

Bio:

Dr. Lori is the star antiques appraiser on the History channel’s #1 rated TV show The Curse of Oak Island, Discovery channel’s Auction Kings and appears on FOX Business Network’s Strange Inheritance.

Dr. Lori has shared her expertise with Business Insider, NBC TV’s TODAY show, Anderson LIVE, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, NBC TV’s The Tonight Show, Inside Edition, and Lifetime Television. Dr. Lori is an award-winning TV personality and TV talk show host with the Ph.D. in art history.

Ph.D. antiques appraiser, Dr. Lori Verderame is an internationally syndicated columnist and an author with 30 books to her credit. She has contributed a blog to Lifetime Television and has been an editor of several lifestyle magazines. Dr. Lori is the director of www.DrLoriV.com.

Presenting more than 150 events every year, conducting in-home appraisal visits and appraisals online, Dr. Lori reviews approximately 20,000 items a year.

Offer:

Events

 

Andy deGruchy joined the Practical Preservation podcast to discuss his Craftwork Training Center, the historic masonry contracting and supply business and his philosophy of the body, mind, and spirit working together to create art.  His 35 years of experience as a mason was highlighted as he explained his dive into the material science world and now working to help train the future craftsperson.  

Contact:

Limeworks or Craftwork Training Center: 215-536-1776 Or email Andy at [email protected]

Bio:

Andy deGruchy is a brick and stone mason and historic masonry restoration contractor for 35 years based in Quakertown, Pennsylvania.  Andy does all his work using specialty mortars and plasters that he has imported from France for the last 20 years.  In 1999 he started LimeWorks.us, a specialty supply company that ships custom formulated replacement mortars for historic masonry structures throughout the United States.  LimeWorks.us and deGruchy Masonry Restoration employs approximately 21 people.  Andy also, operates a Craftwork Training Center, based in Telford, Pennsylvania, that teaches participants how to use LimeWorks.us mortar, plaster, and stone patching material called Lithomex. Andy is married to Audrey and they have four children.

Offer: 

Veterans Discounts (call for details) and 50% off Craftwork Training Center courses for Buck’s County Community College students plus 1.5 prior learning units toward program requirements (offer extended to all other students)

 

 

 

William Woys Weaver joined the Practical Preservation podcast to discuss his research into food history and how it lead him back to his grandparents garden and forgotten heirloom seeds.  This episode combines my love of food and history.  The intersection of the two tells our collective stories and reflects the values of the time period (it is interesting to me that during the time we began eating lots of processed, easy foods that our building methods also changed to a more assembly line mentality).  

Contact:

Website  email or call with any heirloom seed questions you might have.  

Event: The National Heirloom Seed Expo – with book signing and lectures

Bio:

Described as the “Merlin of American regional cookery,” William Woys Weaver is an internationally known food historian and the author of 17 books. He is a rare four-time winner of the prestigious IACP/Julia Child Cookbook Awards, his most recent gold medal going to Culinary Ephemera, a beautifully illustrated survey of old food advertising materials. His 1993 award winning cookbook Pennsylvania Dutch Country Cooking has been included in the anthology: 100 Great American Cookbooks of the 20th Century. Weaver’s Dutch Treats: Heirloom Recipes from Farmhouse Kitchens was published by St. Lynn’s Press of Pittsburgh in September 2016 and a new edition of his classic Heirloom Vegetable Gardening has been published by the Quarto Press with new photos and expanded text. In May he received the 2019 Award of Excellence from the American Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries. Dr. Weaver received his PhD in food ethnography from University College, Dublin (Ireland) – the first degree of its kind to be awarded by that university — and is now Curator Emeritus of the Roughwood Seed Collection of heirloom food plants at the historic Lamb Tavern in Devon, Pennsylvania. Called “the Waldon Pond of heirloom seeds,” the Roughwood Seed Collection provides rare limited edition seeds online at www.TheRoughwoodTable.org and through the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company at www.Rareseeds.com Dr. Weaver is presently working on a two-volume study of the medieval foods of Cyprus. His book on pickling with heirloom vegetables called The Roughwood Book of Pickling will be published by Rizzoli this coming September 24th. It is now available for preorders online at Amazon.com.

For further information:
www.WilliamWoysWeaver.com
www.FaceBook.com/ William Woys Weaver: Epicure with Hoe

 

 

Gina Douty joined the Practical Preservation podcast to share with us her over 30 years of historic preservation experience.  Having worked in both the public and private sectors she brings a variety of experiences and knowledge to the discussion (we had a great conversation after we finished the recording about her early experiences as a young, female architect – I wished I had kept the recorder going).

Gina Douty offers historic preservation consulting in Central Pennsylvania (and beyond) her services include:

  • Federal and State Historical Rehabilitation Tax Credit applications and submissions
  • PA Historic Resource Survey Form preparation and submissions
  • National Register Nominations
  • Rehabilitation Proposals
  • Section 106 Reviews as an Architectural Historian (36 CFR Part 61)
  • Grant Writing
  • Historic Building Research, Documentation, Assessment, and General Design Guidance

Contact:

Gina M Douty, Historic Preservation Consulting, LLC 717-512-1032 or email: [email protected]

Conference: PA Statewide Conference on Heritage – No Norm Dorm Case Study 

Bio:

Gina M. Douty is a historic preservation consultant who lives and works in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.  Her undergraduate degree is from Penn State University in Architecture with a Special Studies in Historic Preservation.  She began pursuing a Masters in American Studies at Penn State Harrisburg, while working full-time as a Historic Preservation Specialist, then later, an Architectural Designer II with the PA Historical and Museum Commission in Harrisburg.  Gina became a mom, and she took some quality time off from my career to raise her family.  Eventually, she began to work part-time at the office and part-time at a home office, with an architectural firm in Harrisburg.  For over ten years, she was the firm’s preservationist, then later, an Associate.  In 2012, with nearly 25 years in the Historic Preservation field, she created Gina M. Douty, Historic Preservation Consulting, LCC, a certified woman-owned, small business, to assist those who desire, need, or have a passion for historic preservation consulting services.  Gina later completed her Masters degree in Historic Preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and was fortunate to receive the Graduate Achievement award as Preservationist of the Year for her graduating class.

 

Sharon Hanby-Robie joined the Practical Preservation podcast to discuss her interior design philosophy, her new brand of home furnishings “Home by SHR“, how color influences our emotions (it is the second strongest emotional trigger with scent being the first).

Throughout her over forty year career in interior design Sharon has ‘reinvented’ herself many times (successfully) from resident home décor expert for QVC, Inc, wallpaper industry spokesperson, and best-selling author Sharon has found ways to serve her audience and empower people to feel confident in their own decorating skills.

Contact Info:

Website 

Offers:

Christmas in July on QVC

Mention you heard the Practical Preservation podcast for a discounted Color Consulation

Bio:

Sharon has been an interior designer and member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) for more than forty years. She works on projects in many fields including residential, hospitality, and health care, and is a regular speaker for business and women’s organizations. She also continues to write for many magazines and web publications as well as a regular interviewee on radio.
Since 2003, Sharon has been the resident home décor expert for QVC Inc., showcasing the latest in interior design and home fashion to millions of television viewers.
In March 2019 Sharon launched her own brand of home furnishings, “Home by SHR,” on the QVC Television Network. It was very well received and will be expanding in 2020 with accessory and lighting in addition to bedding and area rugs.

From January 2000 – 2005 The Wallpaper Council selected Sharon as the wallpaper industry spokesperson. She used her professional expertise and knowledge as an interior designer and decorating expert to deliver important messages about wallpaper to consumers nationwide.

Sharon was the host of Scripps DIY Network’s Ask DIY show and has been featured on The Today Show; Later Today; QVC, Inc., shopping network; PBS’s Handy Ma’am, HGTV’s Mission Organization, Decorating with Style, Interiors by Design, Smart Solutions; Discovery Channel’s Home Matters, Interior Motives; as well as The Maurey Povich Show, and The Gale King Show.

Sharon is also a best-selling author. The My Name Isn’t Martha series of books include My Name Isn’t Martha But I Can Decorate My Home, and My Name Isn’t Martha, But I can Renovate My Home: The Real Person’s Guide to Home Improvement and Beautiful Places, Spiritual Spaces. Her latest books, titles in The Spirit of Simple LivingTM series, are from Guideposts Books. The Simple Home was released in October 2006. A Simple Wedding was released in the spring of 2007. Sharon’s most recent book is Decorating Without Fear, from Rutledge Hill Press.

Specialties: Media Spokesperson for all areas of the home industry, Media Satellite Tours, Speaking for Business and Women’s groups, Interior Designer, Author.

Wes Swanson joined the Practical Preservation podcast to discuss historic brick making, lime based mortar, and his journey to preservation through his love of history. We discussed a variety of topics related to historic masonry including:

  • The difference between modern and historic bricks, how they get their color, and what they are made of
  • His research of Lancaster City brickmaking 1700’s through the modern era (he has presented the History of Brickmaking and worked with Rockford Plantation to plan STEM lessons based on historic masonry and the masonry trade)
  • The Chicago fire and it’s effect on the Lancaster City building code (no more frame buildings)

Resources discussed:

Mortar analysis: LimeWorks or Lancaster Lime Works 

Tools to remove mortar: Trow & Holden

Bio:

Wes Swanson is an American History teacher at Hempfield school district and also a mason. He has been working in the masonry trade since he was 16. He is currently the owner of Wes Swanson Masonry. After earning a graduate degree in American studies from Penn State he began researching the history of brick making in Lancaster county and has given several lectures on the topic. He has also consulted with Rockford Plantation to plan STEM lessons involving historic brick making and the masonry trade. Syncing his passion for history and masonry he focuses a lot of his masonry work in the summer on brick and stone preservation.

Contact Info:

email: [email protected]

phone: 717-419-5706

Presentation: Brick Making in Lancaster County, July 15th, 7PM at the Mount Joy Historical Society 

 

Michael Cuba from the Timber Framers Guild  joined the Practical Preservation podcast to discuss:

  • Timber framing, of course, but also the differences between modern and repair/preservation techniques.  I had never thought about building timber frames in earthquake prone areas…they have the engineering figured out for that!
  • Learning using hand tools to insure you understand how wood works and reacts before using power tools – learn the classics first as your foundation.
  • How the timber framing can be reconstructed after the fire at Notre Dame
  • The Timber Framers Guild’s almost 40 year mission as a repository of timber frame knowledge and development of future talent

Contact information:

Timber Framers Guild  email: [email protected]

Bio:

Michael Cuba is a preservation joiner and co-founder of Knobb Hill Joinery in northern Vermont. He also runs a consulting and dendrochronology business under the name Transom HPC, located in Stockton, NJ. Michael has recently finished two consecutive terms on the board of directors of the Timber Framers Guild, serving as president and interim executive director for 2018. He remains active on several Guild councils and committees. Along with Adam Miller, Michael now serves as editor of TIMBER FRAMING, the journal of the Timber Framers Guild.