MHPN Annual Conference
Each spring, the Network sponsors the state’s largest annual statewide preservation conference to provide training and networking opportunities geared to both beginners and seasoned preservationists. In addition to offering sessions crammed with the latest news and information from around the state, the conference is known for its keynote speakers, festive evening activities, and annual auction of Michigan items ranging from overnights at historic bed-and-breakfasts, to antiques, books, and gourmet delights. Among the many features of the gathering is the Vendor’s Showcase, which provides and opportunity for the general public to view the latest products and services in the preservation industry.
Michigan Historic Preservation Network Announces its
36th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference
May 12-14, 2016, in the City of Detroit,
headquartered at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center
on the campus of Wayne State University.
“Resolve, Revolve, Evolve” Theme Statement:
In 2016, we celebrate three landmark events: the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act, the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, and the 35th anniversary of the Michigan Historic Preservation Network. We are also celebrating our return to the City of Detroit for the first time since 2001…and how things have changed since then! We see a new energy and determination in the city and in communities around the state of Michigan. We’ve rejoiced in many victories and have even mourned a few losses…but then, like Detroit, we rebuild from the ashes, stronger than ever.
As preservationists, we know that the strong growth of our state is firmly rooted in the resources of its past – in the buildings, landscapes and objects that we work to preserve. We use the tools developed by our predecessors to help us protect and build on those resources, from the documentation methods and standards developed by the National Park Service, to the expertise and stewardship of our State Historic Preservation Office, which was established by the National Historic Preservation Act. And we know that preservation is not about preventing change but about managing it, by finding new uses for historic resources that keep them relevant.
This year’s conference theme – “Resolve, Revolve, Evolve” – brings a fresh lens to what we do as preservationists. It recognizes that one of our most important tools is our Resolve: our determination to restore our historic resources and to revitalize our state’s communities, no matter their size or number of residents. Along the way, we work to resolve the problems facing those communities, whether it is conflicts between neighborhoods and downtowns, between urban centers and rural landscapes, or between those who want to preserve and those who want to build new. It welcomes the opportunity to Revolve: to look at old problems from different angles, to get creative in our solutions, and to keep the clock moving, knowing that the time to get things done is NOW. And it acknowledges that we must continually Evolve: nurturing new preservationists and allies, reaching out to young entrepreneurs and to the new residents who are flocking into Detroit and other communities, and looking for new ways to engage those who are already there.
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: due Sunday, September 13, 2015, midnight
- 2015 Conference Brochure
2015 Conference Compiled Abstracts
35th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference – Always Seeking Modern
Midland, May 13-16, 2015
The City of Midland was home to Alden B. Dow and today offers one of the most impressive concentrations of Modern design in the nation. We confirmed Midland as our host city during “Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America,” the symposium and exhibition at Cranbrook that during the summer of 2013 drew the nation’s attention to the significant role Michigan played in the global development of Modernism. This role was amplified when the exhibition was expanded and opened at the Grand Rapids Art Museum this summer, again with an accompanying symposium.We have thought about how best to focus on Modernism while assuring that architectural historians, preservationists, archaeologists, as well as all their related allies can contribute to the program in their own ways and find their participation worthwhile. We can do this by making the following point: We may be calling mid-twentieth century design “Modern,” but when has anyone designed or built anything to be outdated? Whether prehistoric 17th century Woodland Period cultures constructing shelters, the 18th century French building Fort St. Joseph at Niles, 19th century Victorians abandoning Classicism and experimenting with every building system from framing to plumbing, or Alden Dow perfecting the Unit Block, each sought to be original, inventive, new. Thus springs our working title, “Always Seeking Modern.”
- 2014_MHPN_Brochure FINAL
Conference Sessions and Tour Abstracts
34th Annual Conference – Michigan Places Matter: Discovering how your community’s cultural resources can make placemaking unique
Jackson, May 15-17, 2014When you distill the facts and features that define Michigan to its purest form, it comes down to two things, our residents and our places. Taking this a step further – it is our residents that have made our places important. From our early settlers, to those who were innovators in our industry, arts, education, and even our religious growth, have created places that continue to define the best of our state. While these people who shaped our landscape are no longer with us – the evidence of their activities surrounds us. From our roads, to our cities, the things that define us – are all here because of someone who came before. And, these places matter!
- 2012 Model Change-Over: A new era for historic preservation in Michigan, Flint
- 2011 Just Add Water: The profound influence of Michigan’s lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams on its architecture, land use, and culture, Saugatuck/Douglas
- 2010 Celebrating Sustainable Communities, Ann Arbor
- 2009 The Triple Bottom Line: Balancing Economic, Environmental, and Social Change, Grand Rapids
- 2008 Preserving History, Conserving Energy, Dearborn
- 2007 Distinctive Destinations: Preservation’s Role in Tourism, Mackinac Island