Virtual Sessions Series

Preserving Historic Places Virtual Series

In addition to the annual conference, Preserving Historic Places offers an ongoing series of free sessions on a variety of preservation topics.

Avriel Shull Thornhurst

Past Events

May 24, 2022
That Exceptional One: Indiana’s Early Female Architects & Builders

In 1955, Pietro Belluschi, Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology gave the following advice to women aspiring to join the field: “If she insisted on becoming an architect, I would try to dissuade her. If then, she was still determined, I would give her my blessing—she could be that exceptional one.” If this was expert advice in 1955, imagine the challenges for young women in the late 1800s who wanted to take mechanical drawing classes or become apprentices. Amy Borland, architectural historian with the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, presents a look at Indiana’s early female architects and builders and the adversities they faced.

June 24, 2021
Behind the Curtain of Wabash’s Eagles Theatre

Attendees of the 2017 Preserving Historic Places Conference enjoyed a “before” tour of the long-vacant upper floors of Wabash’s Eagles Theatre owned by the Honeywell Foundation. Recently, a dedicated team of architects, engineers, and contractors transformed the underused space into music rooms, recording studios, and a grand ballroom. Experts from R.E. Dimond and Associates, a mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and technology consulting engineering firm; and krM Architecture take us behind the curtain to reveal their creative approach to critical, but often invisible, mechanical systems that make the spaces function.

May 13, 2021
Mining Your Community Wealth

The thought of wealth may conjure images of cash, fast cars, and private planes, but in the context of communities, economic resources take many forms, including human, cultural, social, and natural. Brian Blackford of Ball State’s Indiana Communities Institute discusses how the Comprehensive Community Wealth Approach can help you get to know the types of wealth in your community and create people-first, place-based economic development.

View or download the Mining Your Community Wealth slide presentation (PDF).

April 23, 2021
Structure from Motion: 3D documentation in Indiana and beyond

Structure from motion—or the ability to create three-dimensional scenes or objects from two-dimensional images—is one of archaeology’s most exciting advancements. Using case studies from Indiana, Mexico, and Peru, Dr. Alex Elvis Badillo, director of Indiana State University’s Geospatial and Virtual Archaeology Laboratory and Studio, explores how this technology brings archaeological investigations to life and its implications for the twenty-first century toolkit.

February 25, 2021
Gone But Not Forgotten: Identifying Unmarked Graves in Bethel Cemetery

When a 2018 expansion of Indianapolis International Airport called for relocation of Bethel Cemetery, archaeologists faced a huge challenge. Early surveys of the cemetery, established in 1838, indicated stones bearing 196 names, but ground penetrating radar and archaeology revealed 543 graves.

Dr. Brooke Drew of Indiana State University uncovers the methodology a team of experts and students used to name unmarked burials and respectfully relocate them. Bone studies that revealed age and gender, archival records, and artifacts found within the graves all combine to tell a fascinating history of a community and the largest cemetery archaeologically relocated in Indiana.

January 28, 2021
It’s the Real Thing: Bottleworks District Terra Cotta Restoration

Celebrate the opening of Hendricks Commercial Properties’ new Bottleworks District in Indianapolis during a virtual talk about restoration of the former Coca-Cola bottling plant’s radiant terra cotta facades. Emily Byl of ARSEE Engineers discusses the creative methods artisans used to match and repair historic terra cotta and the difficulties crews had to overcome to restore an iconic Indianapolis landmark.

View Bottleworks Terra Cotta Resources.

November 19, 2020
Digging Up the Underground Railroad

Participants in the Underground Railroad (1835-1865) faced significant risks because they were breaking the law. As a result, this widespread and clandestine network is underreported in the literature. Yet material traces of Underground Railroad activity can be located through the systematic efforts and discerning tactics of historical archaeologists. Dr. Michael Nassaney of Western Michigan University highlights how his team of archaeologists identified evidence of the Underground Railroad in southwest Michigan and the routes of their arrival from the Hoosier State and beyond.

October 29, 2020
Our Fair House

Ambitious, optimistic, passionate, crazy — all terms that have been used to describe restorers of Beverly Shores’ famed Century of Progress houses, moved to Indiana by barge after the conclusion of the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Join Todd Zeiger, Indiana Landmarks Northern Regional Office director, for a conversation with lessees Bill and Lisa Beatty of the Florida Tropical House, and Ross Gambril of the Rostone House as they share the laughs and headaches endured converting temporary show houses into weekend retreats. Discover the motivation it takes to pour money into a National Park Service property you don’t own and what you do when tourists make themselves at home on your rooftop patio.

September 24, 2020
A Shot in the Arm for Main Street

Following a year of evaluation—and months of quarantine—Indiana Main Street Council and the Office of Community and Rural Affairs will announce an improved Main Street program in November 2020 that will add value for new and existing community members. Join Jackie Swihart for a preview of program improvements including that will better support Indiana participants; OCRA’s new Main Street goals; and recent initiatives aimed at supporting local Main Street programs.

View Main Street Resources.

August 20, 2020
Code Enforcement during COVID (or how I learned to live in a Prius)

Steve Szaday, housing inspector with the City of South Bend offers his suggestions on dealing with the five stages of code enforcement during the pandemic: denial, anger, bargaining, empathy, and hope.

View Code Enforcement Resources.

July 30, 2020
Preservation Action

Russ Carnahan, president of national grassroots lobbying group Preservation Action, and Marsh Davis, president of Indiana Landmarks, share the latest in historic preservation legislation and answer your questions about federal and state legislative issues. 

View Preservation Action Resources.

July 9, 2020
The Mod Squad

Archivists Jordan Ryan and Maire Gurevitz give a virtual talk diving into the cool Mid-Century Modern collections of the William Henry Smith Library at the Indiana Historical Society. Using the collections of the Irwin-Sweeney-Miller Family, Woollen, Molzan, and Partners, and Avriel Shull, they consider the ways in which modern architecture is inherently Midwestern and how our culture may have influenced a propensity for modernistic projects in Central Indiana. Who knew Hoosiers were so hip?

View Mid-Century Modern Resources.