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April 2010

Preservationists Celebrate Earth Day Every Day

“Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” is the call of environmentalists around the world. The same Three Rs are second nature in the world of historic preservation, which is why preservationists can truthfully claim they celebrate Earth Day every day. Reusing buildings keeps materials out of landfills and reduces the need for new materials. Did you know that the UK construction industry is responsible for producing over 36 million tons of landfill waste every year, which is approximately 35% of total waste generated?

George Tettah, advocate for traditional building materialsPreserving a building also conserves the energy embodied in that building, that is, the energy consumed during its original construction. Demolition, the opposite of preservation, takes energy, too, which means demolishing a historic building and rebuilding a new one can be considered two strikes against new construction.

So this Earth Day, April 22, take a look at the history around you, and admire it not only for what it represents historically but how it forms the basis of a sustainable future.

Check out Sustainability by the Numbers from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to learn why preservationists’ mantra is “The greenest building is one that’s already built.”

Students Promote AiP's work on Capitol Hill

Jim Schmidt at work in CairoAntoinette Lettiere and James Schmidt, SIUC architecture students who have played a key role in our Shotgun House Restoration Project, presented a poster about the project as part of the Council on Undergraduate Research’s "Posters-on-the Hill" event on April 13, 2010, in Washington, DC.

Posters on the Hill is intended to help members of Congress understand the importance of, and therefore continue to fund, undergraduate research by talking directly with the students whom these programs impact. Jim and Toni were one of just three teams selected in the Arts & Humanities category. Students from both the SIUC School of Toni Lettiere at work in CairoArchitecture and the Department of History have been working to preserve Cairo’s history and houses since 2007 as part of the Preservation Summer program coordinated by Prof. Robert Swenson and co-taught by Dr. Rachel Malcolm Ensor.

Toni and Jim will be leading work at a second shotgun house in Cairo this summer. We still need $5000 worth of building supplies for the project – can you help? Donate now or email Judith, AiP’s Program Director. A donation in any amount is greatly appreciated.

Restore a Building, Renew a Community this Summer

Walkway restoration galleting work at Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum The summer holiday season is fast approaching, bringing you opportunities to make a difference in the world while meeting new people and immersing yourself in history and culture. How? With AiP, of course. Our hands-on preservation projects put you in touch with history, literally. And, with a variety of projects to support, skills to try and locations to explore, there's bound to be one just right for you!

For planning purposes, note that registration for our workshops in Nevada City, Montana and Gyumri, Armenia closes May 1. If you are in the New York City area, consider our low-cost staycation options at the Jay Heritage Centerand the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum.

Conference Calendar

Housing Washington - 30th Annual Meeting of the Vernacular Architecture Forum - May 19-22, 2010 - Washington, DC, USA
With examples dating from the early nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, the unusually rich and varied array of Washington's housing stock both illustrates regional significance and provides insights into broader national patterns. Tradition and innovation are key parts of the story to be told during two days of in-depth tours and a day of scholarly papers. For information, see

REVITALIZE! Economic Renewal. Quality of Life. Heritage Buildings. - September 30 - October 2, 2010 - St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
The Heritage Canada Foundation's 2010 Annual Conference. Explore how heritage buildings, social innovation, civic engagement and collaboration can work together to create prosperous and liveable communities. For information, see

12th World Conference of Historical Cities - October 12-15, 2010 - Nara, Japan
The conference will examine the future of preserved historic cities and places beyond the mere reproduction of their sights of a certain period. For information, see
Upcoming Workshops

Saving Shotguns: Building a Better Future, Cairo, Illinois

Saving the Best of the West, Nevada City, Montana

City Center Recovery & Conservation, Gyumri, Armenia

Galleting Galore in the Garden, Bronx, New York

Caring for the Carriage House, Rye, New York

Cottage Industry: Saving Slovenia's Architectural and Ethnological Heritage

Keeping Tower Houses from Crumbling, Gjirokastra, Albania

Re-Discovering the Soul of Swahili Tradition, Lamu, Kenya

AiP in the News

Museum Exhibit Focuses on Cairo’s Past, Present

Past Horizons Issue 10: Making Preservation Happen


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