Among Preservation50’s five goals is to educate policymakers about the impacts of the National Historic Preservation Act. On January 5, 2016, supporters of preservation in the United States gathered on Capitol Hill to formally launch Preservation50. 180 Congressional staff members and preservationists attended the reception held in the beautiful Kennedy Caucus Room, in the Russell Senate Office Building.
Below are photos and transcripts of remarks by speakers. Highlights of the evening included remarks by Society of Historical Archaeology President, Charlie Ewen; Honorary Preservation50 Chair and President of the American Express Foundation, Timothy McClimon; EVP/Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute of Architects, Robert Ivy; and Principal Archaeologist at AECOM, Daniel Cassedy.
The Register of Professional Archaeologists awarded Senator Martin Heinrich and Congressman Chris Gibson with the 2016 Seiberling Award, with awards presented by SHA Government Affairs Committee Chair Terry Klein. The John F. Seiberling Award was established in 1986 in the name of Ohio Congressman Seiberling, for his many legislative efforts in support of historic preservation. The award recognizes significant and sustained efforts in historic preservation and the conservation of archaeological resources by an individual or group. It was a wonderful evening to kick off the exciting array of initiatives coming to Preservation50 in 2016!
Transcript of Remarks of Charlie Ewen, President, Society for Historical Archaeology
Kennedy Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building
Hello, I am Charlie Ewen, President of the Society for Historical Archaeology. On behalf of SHA, I want to thank you all for being here tonight. This is the first event in what will be a yearlong commemoration throughout 2016 of the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act and 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The National Historic Preservation Act is important to historical archaeology because it created a federal framework for historic preservation. The framework requires the federal government to take into account the effects of its undertakings on significant archaeological sites. Many of our members help the federal government meet this obligation every day and help all Americans learn more about our history and what it can also teach us about where we are going.
In keeping with this mission, we’re pleased to be joined tonight by many of the leaders of partner agencies, organizations, and businesses who are collaborating under the banner of Preservation50. Preservation50 is the United States’ effort to celebrate, learn from, and leverage the National Historic Preservation Act’s first five decades to assure historic preservation’s vibrant future in America. Preservation50 is creating the nation’s largest coalition of preservation organizations to support the mission of historic and cultural preservation. We invite all of you to join us in this important mission.
Allow me to thank the sponsors of tonight’s reception and key contributors to Preservation50. They include American Institute of Architects, AECOM, the Registrar of Professional Archaeologists, the American Cultural Resource Association, VERSAR, American Express Foundation, Suzann W. Matthews, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation, and Cultural Heritage Partners.
Allow me also to thank the many members of Congress and their staff who are attending this evening. We recognize that serving in the Congress requires you to be familiar with hundreds of substantive issues. We cannot say enough how deeply we appreciate your attention to preservation issues. Learning from the past is the only way to improve our society in the future. That you share this core value is important to our members and the public we all serve.
Tonight, in addition to kicking off what will be a great year of reflection, commemoration, and planning, the Register of Professional Archaeologists will be presenting its prestigious Seiberling Award. This year’s recipients are Senator Martin Heinrich and Congressman Chris Gibson for their significant and sustained efforts in the conservation of archaeological resources. Before we present those awards, we are honored to be joined by leaders of the preservation movement who will speak about the importance of historic preservation and archaeology.
Transcript of Remarks of Tim McClimon, President, American Express Foundation
Chair, Honorary Board, Preservation50
Kennedy Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building
Good evening everyone. And, Happy New Year!
I’m glad to be here at this important kickoff – the first Preservation50 event of 2016. It is a pleasure to serve as Honorary Chair of Preservation50 and help celebrate the Preservation Act’s 50th year. I want to thank Greg Werkheiser as well as Charlie Ewen and the Society for Historical Archaeology for inviting me to speak here this evening.
Historic preservation has long been the hallmark of American Express’ involvement in the community. We recognize the importance of cultural sites and monuments as symbols of national and local identity, and believe in the role that their preservation can play in attracting visitors and revitalizing neighborhoods.
For the past two decades, we have partnered with a number of leading preservation organizations, including the World Monuments Fund and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, to help preserve sites in need, build awareness and engage the public in preservation efforts around the world. Through these partnerships and other individual grants, American Express has invested more than $60 million to support hundreds of preservation projects throughout the last 20 years.
2016 is primed to be a great year for the preservation movement — especially for historic sites in our National Parks — as we embark on the National Park Service’s Centennial.
As part of our commitment to historic preservation, American Express is making additional investments to ensure important historic sites in National Parks are preserved for current and future generations. In celebration of the 2016 Centennial, the National Parks will be the focus of the ninth, and first-ever national, Partners in Preservation program.
Partners in Preservation is a public engagement campaign, created by the National Trust and American Express, that invites community members to vote on which historic sites are selected to receive preservation funding to ensure their continued vitality and relevancy.
Taking place this June, a number of National Park sites will compete for a share of $2 million in funding, with winners selected by popular vote. Projects will be managed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and promoted by National Geographic Society in partnership with the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Campaign.
In addition to historic preservation and engaging communities in service, American Express is also committed to developing the leaders of tomorrow.
We are excited about Preservation50’s goal to better prepare emerging leaders of our nation’s preservation movement. To ensure the movement continues, we need to cultivate the next generation of champions who can be the voice of the places that history cannot afford to forget.
We too are working towards this goal, and I am pleased to announce that the next American Express Leadership Academy — a marquis leadership development program we created for emerging leaders from nonprofit, social sector and non-governmental organizations — will be entirely devoted to up-and-coming leaders from organizations serving our parks. Through this program, we hope to help train high-potential emerging leaders to tackle the most pressing challenges our national and local parks face.
We are pleased to support — and look forward to working with — the Preservation50 Team during this anniversary year to craft the strategies and initiatives that ensure that the investments in historic preservation being made now, by everyone here in this room, will be sustained and strengthened over the next 50 years.
But to make Preservation50 a real, lasting success, we need support from everyone – to talk up the importance of historic preservation for communities, the significance of National Historic Preservation Act, and Preservation50’s goals with friends, families, colleagues, and here on Capitol Hill. We need to make the economic case for preservation, and show that it creates jobs and supports local economies. And, we will need to do a better job of showing that preservation is better for our planet and our environment.
I look forward to working with all of you to make Preservation50 a long-lasting success. Thank you for your support of this important cause.
Transcript of Remarks by Robert Ivy, FAIA, CEO of American Institute of Architects
Kennedy Caucus Room, Senate Office Building
Let me begin with a thank you to our Congressional champions and our friends at the Society for Historical Archeology. I’d also like to commend our allies in the Historic Preservation community – the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Preservation Action, and all the other organizations who have helped to elevate preservation.
The American Institute of Architects is proud to be a partner in this special commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. For more than fifty years, this law has enabled crucial preservation work on the state, local, and tribal levels.
With our own 150 year legacy, the American Institute of Architects has always held historic preservation as a key priority. It is one of the most effective ways to honor the work of great architects. In fact, in 1898, when the Institute was planning its move from New York to Washington, we selected the historic Octagon House to serve as a new headquarters. Designed by William Thornton, the first Architect of the Capitol, the Octagon House was home to President Madison and his wife Dolly following the burning of the White House in the War of 1812. We are proud of this legacy, and just completed a restoration of the Octagon that is maintained as a museum and office by our philanthropic arm, the Architects Foundation.
But historic preservation is not just about the past. It’s about the future, with the revitalization of historic downtowns bringing economic vitality back to communities in need of a boost. That’s why in addition to celebrating this landmark anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act, AIA continues to advocate for the Historic Tax Credit. Since its inception the Historic Tax Credit has helped rehabilitate more than 40,000 buildings and created nearly 2.5 million jobs. These jobs employ skilled workers who see preservation as more than an honoring of the historic past but as a commitment to sustainability of buildings in the future by reducing the demand of resource-intensive building materials.
From small towns to big cities, preservation is creating new hope for the future. On behalf of AIA’s nearly 88,000 members, I want to say that we look forward to opportunities this year to celebrate the successes of the National Historic Preservation Act and to help carry the momentum forward into the future.
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