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.
37th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference
“Imagine the Power of Partnerships”
May 17-20, 2017
North Central Michigan College, Petoskey
Silent Auction Donation Form
2017 Theme “Imagine the Power of Partnerships”
Historic preservation is all about work done in partnership with others.
There’s the large preservation project that makes the news – perhaps the late-19th-century furniture manufactory in West Michigan transformed into unique residential lofts – and there’s the property owner working Up North every summer to reclaim the wood windows of a late-19th-century cottage. In the first project, the property owner is in a dizzying partnership with investors, bankers, accountants, attorneys, consultants, and state and federal agencies. In the second, the cottager forms a simple alliance with the local lumberyard owner who shares the art of re-roping a window’s weights and pulleys.
Then there’s every imaginable form of partnership in between. An adventuresome couple takes some classes, buys an early-20th-century Bungalow, and restores its original wood sheathing, hardwood floors, and leaded-glass cabinetry. An enormous group resonates to a crowd-funding appeal and underwrites production of an architectural history book. A small group refuses to accept a crumbling village center; its like-minded individuals restore key buildings and, with inventive sales and marketing, reclaim a destination soon attracting weekend travelers. And there’s the entire town – from children, to cultural leaders, to local officials – that comes together to save a stunning local opera house.
Placing collaborative efforts at the forefront in 2017, we seek presenters who will provide participants with the skills needed to work in all kinds of partnerships helping to maintain their traditional downtowns and neighborhoods, safeguard Michigan’s architectural treasures of the recent past, understand and protect their pre-historic and historic archaeological resources, counter development pressures on shoreline and agricultural communities, revitalize their Legacy Cities, and more.
The Emmet County Conference will take participants to the stunning Northern Michigan communities of Petoskey, Harbor Springs, and Charlevoix, as well as to the many smaller towns and rural areas of Emmet County. We seek Abstracts for three tracks of our program. Would a session idea of yours have a good fit?
Track One: “Theme” – focuses on the conference theme of “Consider the Power of Partnerships.” Some session ideas might include:
- Tapping collaborative efforts that have safeguarded historic and pre-historic resources – including buildings, structures, sites, objects, features, natural open spaces, and man-made landscapes, either alone or as cultural ensembles.
- Emphasizing preservation’s power to spur economic revitalization, placemaking, destination tourism, the reclamation of traditional downtowns and neighborhoods, and other efforts that require that people work together.
Track Two: “Information” – looks at the laws, policies, designations, incentives, and best practices available to those collaborating on the protection and continued use of historic resources. Session topics could include:
- Studying the various programs of tax credits and loans, assistance, easements, etc., used by those involved in creating the financial packages that make preservation projects succeed.
- Discussing the laws, policies, codes, and procedures needed to effectively energize supporters who’ll advocate for preservation.
Track Three: “Applied Skills” – taps those who participate in the MHPN’s Historic Resource Council and focuses on the traditional trades, crafts, and hands-on techniques that make preservation possible through collaborative efforts. Ideas might include:
- Presenting case studies of historic buildings saved from demolition, adaptively reused, and returned to inventive new uses.
- Demonstrating that by tapping green technologies, historic buildings can be energy efficient.
- Showcasing the people doing hands-on work with historic resources, both trade professionals and those working on their own properties.
36th Annual Statewide Preservation Confernce – Resolve, Revolve, Evolve
Detroit, May 11-14
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.
- 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