Fresh Perspectives from the Young Voices

The Fresh Perspectives session was a great way to start the conference. It was refreshing to actually get to hear students, in this case high school students, talk about their experience with preservation. The speakers were two students involved in the recent Youth Summit in Washington State that focused on Hispanic heritage. Thirty students spent four days learning and taking part in activities such as cherry picking and trail maintained in areas related to Hispanic heritage.

During the session they were asked what they thought of preservation prior to the program, they responded, “ I didn’t know, and I didn’t care” and “I thought it had to do with ancient Egypt”. However, it was clear that the Summit changed their perspective. The students acted as consultants, and provided partner organizations and experiences with recommendations on making their programs more inclusive, including adding QR codes to apples that would link to worker’s history and adding additional languages to park programs. The students then went on to do some on the fly consultation, giving audience members insight into how to improve their programs. For instance, for naming your volunteer project, “Comprehensive historic resource inventory research” is not appealing to youth, putting a more treasure hunt slant on it would be better. In short, think about your volunteer job titles. For a hands-on work day, consider adding music and brining food. Make it into more something more fun, a party. To encourage work, consider adding a gaming element for students to track hour. They suggested Edmodo which allows student to collect badges based on completing activities.

To learn more about the summit and see a video of the students at the summit go to


Yes, lunch was a highlight because we went to the Market on Main. Its a local/organic co-op market. While eating there I read the rotating screen that said the building was an old good year tire building, it was now LEED gold, and one of the recycling initiatives was incorporating the Goodyear Tire sign into the current signage.

Afternoon – Building Stories Booth

For the first part of the afternoon I was manning the Building Stories booth. Building Stories in an online inventory, were you can crowd source historic places. Anyone can add an historic place and we also have mobile apps. People were so excited about it. It was awesome! Be sure to check it out at - I’ve added a Spokane property.


My thesis topic, if you haven’t gathered by now, is about disasters and heritage buildings, so I went to the disasters session. I liked the first speaker’s four “c” to addressing risk in a neighbourhood/community/city and regional sense. The four “c” are:

  • Commitment
  • Capability – e.g. understanding how to organize and distribute unanticipated resources
  • Capacity
  • Cash

It was interesting to learn that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has many resources that focus on historic resources.

The second speaker talked about research being done in Seattle on unreinforced masonry buildings (urm) and their risk during seismic activity. They developed a URM calculator, where each building was categorized and scored against  use, seismic risk, sitting (detached/semi), number of stories, historic recognition, a higher score means the city or owners should put money toward preservation and also to look at first in recovery. More can be found on their blog.

Candlelight Tour

The tour was one of the things I was looking forward to most. The Summer neighbourhood was a great host. There were 10 houses, and this year I made it to nine. The highlights were the mid-century modern building with a central court yard, where all the windows can be removed in the summer, and also the fire can be taken outside to the courtyard. Another highlight was the tower at Cliff Arnie, were you could see the whole city. The largest house was stunning, with a ballroom on the third floor. The last building on the tour was the mayor’s house. It was nice to see the local mayor so supportive.


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