2021 Sessions and Speakers

All Conference events will take place virtually on zoom​

Tuesday, November 16th

  • Small Developer Virtual Seminar
    Small Developer Virtual Seminar 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

    Presented by Incremental Development Alliance

Small Developer Virtual Seminar

Small scale, incremental development is a tested approach to cost-effectively preserving existing and historic buildings, strengthening neighborhoods, and improving the financial fundamentals of their contexts over time. During this Seminar, participants will get an overview of what incremental development is--the approach, the practice and its application to common NY State building types and neighborhoods. The class will show how an incremental approach of strong urban design and resourceful small real estate developers can build wealth for families and communities.

The four hour class explains the processes and concepts a small developer encounters in a project in a manner accessible to private, public and non-profit audiences. This is considered a baseline training which will be open to the public, and available for those at all levels/professions.

The session will include the following major sections/elements:
- Philosophy: Is it good for the neighborhood?
- Right-sizing: Can I legally & feasibly do this?
- Financials: Is it financially viable?
- The Support Team: Do I have the team to do it well?
- Building Momentum: How does it fit in my flywheel?
- What next? Q&A

[4 AICP CM; 4 AIA LUs]


Cascadilla Boathouse at Stewart Park in Ithaca

Kick off the evening with a short video on the restoration of this 1890s Shingle style boathouse.

Mental Health Matters for Preservation

What specific stressors affect preservation workers as they advance the meaningful work of saving and preserving historic places? Work is our most significant stressor in the United States, so how does stress affect the historic preservation field? Employment precarity, low salaries, overwork, external negativity towards preservation, among other factors can contribute to chronic stress in our workforce that can lead to burnout. The pandemic added a new layer of stress and anxiety on top of our work. This guided talk and conversation will allow attendees to discuss the structural issues in preservation that often leads to emotional, mental, and physical effects on staff, volunteers and leaders. We’ll go beyond the typical conversations around self-care to identify organizational and profession level changes we can implement to cultivate wellbeing within the preservation field.

[1 AIA LU]


Raina Regan is the author and creator of Uplifting Preservation, a monthly newsletter of uplifting ideas on how to improve historic preservation professional practice informed by research from experts in psychology, business, and management. Uplifting Preservation is informed by Raina’s decade of professional experience in the historic preservation field, working for both nonprofit and government organizations in Indiana and Washington, DC.

Lauren Hickland completed her Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Houston in 2016. She currently serves as both a Behavioral Health Case Manager at Project Row Houses (Texas) and as a Therapist in the Medical Field. She has a passion for helping others along with educating her community about the importance of mental health. Lauren’s goal is to fuse her Business and Social Work background to eliminate health disparities. 

Wednesday, November 17th

Identifying and Addressing Racism and Systemic Bias in Preservation Policy

About three-quarters of the professional, paid work of historic preservation is driven by regulatory compliance needs. Advocates for a more people-centered preservation are increasingly showing that preservation policy, and especially rules and regulations, are a significant barrier toward achieving greater diversity, inclusion, and equity in the field. For some marginalized groups, preservation policy appears to create significant social justice issues. This panel will thoughtfully explore these issues, identify specific areas of bias, and ways that community advocacy groups are addressing these issues.



Michelle G. Magalong is a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at University of Maryland. She brings to this role her extensive professional and research experience in community development, historic preservation and public health in underserved communities. She received her BA in Ethnic Studies and Urban Studies and Planning at University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and MA in Urban Planning at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Magalong serves as President of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation (APIAHiP), a national volunteer-run, nonprofit organization. Her research and professional experience focus on community engagement, historic preservation, and social justice. She has served in advisory roles in historic preservation and community development, notably for the National Park Service, California State Office of Historic Preservation, and City of Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources. She was also recognized in 2018 as one of the “40 Under 40: People Saving Places” by National Trust for Historic Preservation.

After seven years as the Assistant Historic Preservation Officer for the City of Tacoma, Lauren is now the Principal Planner leading the Neighborhood Planning Program and serving as your friendly neighborhood planner. She holds an MS in Historic Preservation and an MS in Urban Planning from Columbia University, as well as a BA/BA in Print Journalism and History and a Minor in Business from the University of Southern California. Previously, Lauren was an historic preservation consultant under her own business, Cultural Resources Research and Consulting. She also has received awards for journalism and poetry and has research published by the World Monuments Fund. Lauren grew up in rural Lewis County, WA, but now lives in Tacoma with her husband, two sons, a dog, and a cat.

Lawana Holland-Moore is the Program Officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, a multiyear $50 million initiative dedicated to identifying, elevating and supporting the voices, stories and places of African American activism, achievement and community.
The National Trust’s 2014 Mildred Colodny Scholar, Holland-Moore holds a BA in Journalism and History from The George Washington University and a MA in Historic Preservation from Goucher College, where she wrote her thesis on “Ethnic Minority Heritage Values and U.S. Historic Preservation Significance Policy.” Holland-Moore was a Researcher at the White House Historical Association and served on the National Trust’s Diversity and Inclusion group representing Decatur House. Holland-Moore worked for the Greenbelt Museum and Historic House in Greenbelt, Maryland as their membership and social media manager. A DC native, Holland-Moore is a member of the Landmarks Committee of the DC Preservation League. She loves to talk to the public about preservation, African American history, and marginalized cultural groups.

Jamesha Gibson is an alumna of the Historic Preservation and Community Planning graduate programs at the University of Maryland in College Park. Ms. Gibson is the recipient of the Mildred Colodny Diversity Scholarship for Graduate Study in Historic Preservation, sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She has also completed the ARCUS Professional Fellowship in Cultural Heritage and Historic Preservation Leadership.

Dr. Jeremy C. Wells is an associate professor in the Historic Preservation Program in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland, College Park. His research focuses on the psychology of heritage places; making the preservation enterprise more equitable, just, and resilient; and innovative community engagement tools for preservation planners. He runs the web site,, to explore these topics with the goal of making historic preservation more human-centered.

A1 | Sankofa: Our Past is Everyone’s Future

The Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor (“The Corridor”) was once filled with vibrant neighborhoods, shops, restaurants, historical markers, people and institutions. While the Corridor is still a multiracial community with rich black history, the community as a whole is largely disenfranchised from the City due to urban blight, urban renewal, and social equality. This presentation will focus on the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission’s efforts to establish a thriving future filled with historic tourism. The Commission has utilized a unique combination of grassroots efforts and state-level support to mobilize a community that gave up hope long ago and dare to imagine a better future for the Corridor. Presenters will discuss this unique method as a best practice model to build up an underserved community from within, with focus on community based engagement and promoting historic excellence.

[1.25 AICP CM; 1 AIA LU]


Terry Alford is the Executive Director of the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission. Under Alford’s leadership, the Commission has seen immeasurable growth. With his guidance, the Corridor has launched the process to formulate a Strategic Action Plan, developed new partnerships, increased awareness on Corridor issues, and united the Cultural Anchors in ways that have never been accomplished.

Prior to his current role, Alford worked at Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Office of Cancer Health Disparities Research as its Community Relations Coordinator. He is active in several community groups including MANUP, Friends of the Columbia, and Preservation Buffalo Niagara. Alford has a BA in Sociology from SUNY Buffalo State College and a MAOL from Medaille College.

Lillie Wiley-Upshaw, proud mom to three teenagers, is the Chair of the Buffalo Niagara Freedom Station Coalition, a nonprofit formed in 2001. The Buffalo Niagara Freedom Station Coalition gained ownership of the Michigan Street Baptist Church in 2014 and has been working tirelessly to find the funding to save the historic and sacred 175-year-old structure ever since.

Wiley-Upshaw also serves as Co-Chair of the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission. Prior to her involvement in volunteer service, she worked at the University at Buffalo serving as the Vice Dean for Admissions at UB’s Law School for over 16 years and as the Vice Dean for Student Services. A graduate of Canisius College and Penn State, she grew-up in Lockport and always had a love of history.

Laura Quebral is a planner, analyst, communications strategist, and fundraiser with deep experience in project management, grant writing, team construction, consensus building, and organizational development. She provides day-to-day leadership and management for UBRI as it engages in a range of highly-visible projects in regional economic development and sustainability.

Quebral is a project manager in partnership with the WNY Regional Economic Development Council and Empire State Development. Quebral ‘s leadership within the economic development arena advanced to spearheading the East Side Corridor Economic Development Plan and East Side Avenues, a place based economic growth initiative, in collaboration with several local foundations and corporations.

B1 | The Little Brothel That Wants To Be National Register Listed

The National Register of Historic Paces is filled with grand mansions, renowned civic buildings, and religious structures of all faiths, but is there room for a tiny vernacular rowhouse built by and for a woman owned brothel? In this session you’ll learn about 72 Sycamore Street, built by local courtesan Eliza Quirk, a woman known for her eccentricities and “the bold bad life she led,” and take a look at the challenges associated with nominating vernacular buildings and those associated with, lets say, different facets of women’s history.

[1.25 AICP CM; 1 AIA LU]


Christiana Limniatis is the Director of Preservation Services at Preservation Buffalo Niagara (PBN), headquartered in Buffalo NY. At PBN, Christiana oversees all technical and community services which work to expand and strengthen the reach of preservation education and best practices in Western New York. Originally from Albany, NY, Christiana began her preservation career at Historic Albany Foundation and has also worked as a preservation consultant in Louisiana and Tennessee. Christiana holds a BA in History/Political Science from The College of Saint Rose and completed her coursework towards an MA in Historic Preservation Planning at Cornell University.

Tabitha O’Connell completed a BA in Writing, worked as a paralegal at an immigration law firm for seven years, and then went back to school for a master’s degree in Historic Preservation—which she received from the University at Buffalo in December 2019. She dabbles in fiction writing and art and loves exploring, researching, and saying hi to as many dogs as possible.

Barbara is an architect, planner and historian – reinventing and restoring historic and existing buildings. She is the recipient of the National AIA Young Architect of the Year Award 2002 and was elevated to Fellowship in the AIA in 2009 as “the leading national architect and policymaker for the integration of preservation values into green building practices.”

Barbara has completed the restorations of some of the most significant National Historic Landmarks in the country and is a recognized leader in the preservation and modernization of modern heritage. She ran her own architecture firm for many years in New York City, served as the Regional Preservation Officer for the Northwest Region of the General Services Administration and from 2006-2011 was the Chief Architect for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Barbara’s firm is the preservation consultant for the Eliza Quirk Boarding House in Buffalo.

Challenging Narratives

[1.50 AICP CM; 1 AIA LU]

Elon Cook Lee

Elon Cook Lee is a public historian, educator, curator, and interpreter. She became the Director of Interpretation and Education at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2019 where she leads a variety of initiatives that focus on interpreting historic spaces through frameworks of repair, and equitable collaboration with descendants of slavery, exclusion, and colonization. That work includes creating and leading a new vision for the interpretation of sites with histories of slavery and organizing convenings on interpreting slavery at historic sites throughout the Atlantic world. Before coming to the Trust, she received her bachelors from Spelman College, and both a master’s degree in Public Humanities and the Fellowship for the Study of the Public History of Slavery at Brown University.  

Elon is also a Certified Interpretive Guide Trainer through the National Association for Interpretation. She has trained hundreds of historic site and museum professionals across the country on interpretation theory, dialogue facilitation, interpreting identity groups and the history and legacy of slavery, and how to incorporate liberatory and anti-oppression frameworks into all aspects of museum work. She taught undergraduate courses that covered race, slavery, public history, preservation, coalition building, restituting stolen art and repair-work at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and received the 2018 – 2020 Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowship in the RISD Museum’s Costumes and Textiles Department. Through the fellowship she researched and presented on strategies for the interpretation of offensive and controversial objects. She enjoys engaging the public in loving discussions on challenging topics, and opening hearts, and changing minds one conversation at a time. 

A2 |Clarissa Uprooted: Youth & Elders Uncover the Story of Black Rochester

How did Greater Rochester become the largely segregated, inequitable region we know today? Intergenerational History Ambassadors consisting of Clarissa Street elders and Teen Empowerment youth, unmask and face the harm of racist policies through the Clarissa Street community’s history of resilience and resistance are key to understanding broader trends and inspiring the agency necessary to build a more just and equitable future for all.

[1.25 AICP CM; 1 AIA LU]


I am the Program Director of the Center for Teen Empowerment. My Master’s history thesis at SUNY College at Brockport focuses on the history of structural racism in Rochester’s housing, employment, and educational systems. At every opportunity, I advocate for Youth Voice in policy and systems change and creation in the community and within education. Since 2019, I have been co-facilitating this project focused on the history of Clarissa Street in the city of Rochester which was a part of one of the only two wards where African American people were allowed to live. The project interviewed Elders and activists from across the community which was eventually turned into the award-winning documentary entitled Clarissa Uprooted: Youth and Elders Uncover the Story of Black Rochester.


I am honored to be one of the proud Elders working with the dynamic Teen Empowerment to bring to light the devastation experienced by the gentrification of Clarissa St. – 3rd Ward. My family heritage in Rochester dates back to the early 1800’s. I am proud to have lived, worshipped, attended school, worked, and enjoyed time with our neighbors in the 3rd Ward. My heart now fills with great sadness and pain because my hopes and dreams for our future were taken away from us! I worked at Kodak for over 33 yrs. as a supervisor and then manager in Employee Benefits and International Impatriate Relocation Services. After retiring from Kodak, I joined Nothnagle REALTORS, which is now Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. I am a member of the Women’s Council of REALTORS and previously served as the President of the Rochester Network and Governor for New York State. Over the years, I have volunteered and served on many committees to help our community. I am a board member of the Rochester Education Foundation, an independent, not-for-profit organization, that believes every child deserves a great education.


I am a long-term Youth History Ambassador, and have been a part of this project since the summer of 2019. I will graduate in 2022 from Pittsford Sutherland High School. I encourage my peers to express themselves and pursue their talents through Diversity Club at my school. I was also a facilitator and presenter at Roc2Change informing students about racist policies and structural racism in Rochester. I’ve been a beatboxer for over two years and was featured in Clarissa Uprooted, the documentary.

B2 | Improving Racial Equity through Historic Preservation

The historic challenges of 2020 have brought new meaning to the power of home. As our country battles the COVID-19 pandemic and reckons with structural racism, The Community Builders has renewed its commitment to advancing racial equity in America through the homes they care for, the neighborhoods they strengthen, and the people they connect to opportunity. The federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credit incentive programs have contributed to the retention of traditional lower-income urban neighborhoods, social stability, smaller-scale buildings, and walkable neighborhoods. Their rehabilitation provides opportunities for affordable rents and resident ownership, as well as small business occupancy in a traditional majority-minority historic urban neighborhood. This panel will discuss their recent successful rehabilitation projects in the Mansion Historic District, including challenges and its opportunities.

[1.25 AICP CM; 1 AIA LU/HSW]


Susan McCann directs real estate development activities across New York State and New Jersey for The Community Builders, Inc., leading teams of project managers through all hurdles to project completion. Ms. McCann has overseen the development of thousands of units of affordable and mixed-income housing utilizing a wide range of public and private financing sources, including award-winning neighborhood transformation projects. Her work in revitalizing communities runs the gamut from large scale mixed-tenure new construction developments to preservation of subsidized affordable housing using low income and historic tax credits. Mx. McCann holds a Master’s in City & Regional Planning from Harvard University, Boston, and a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University.

Janis Stewart serves as the Project Manager for The Community Builders, Inc., a position she has held since February 2021. In this role Ms. Stewart identifies all external partners best suited for the specific development. In addition, Janis coordinates all internal and external partners in meeting all milestones from acquisition to project completion. Prior to joining The Community Builders, Janis worked for Simon Property Group, a leading international mall management company, as an Assistant Property Manager. Janis coordinated capital improvements, on-budget maintenance, and coordinated with contractors for on-time store openings. Ms. Stewart earned a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and has a Master’s in Planning from The University of Southern California.

Weston Davey is a Historic Site Restoration Coordinator at the New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation. In this role he works with government agencies, developers, and the public on historic preservation environmental consultation, and review of state and federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit applications. His work prior to NYS Parks includes managing preservation at Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz, NY as well as the Jane Addams Hull House Museum in Chicago, IL. He also worked in the Collections Department at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY. Weston holds a MS in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and BA in Anthropology from Hartwick College.

Susan Lawson is a Historic Preservation Project Manager with EDR. She has had extensive training and experience in the National Register of Historic Places nomination process, historic building rehabilitations, administration of the state and federal historic rehabilitation tax incentive program, existing conditions assessments, preservation planning, cultural resource surveys, Historic American Building Survey/Historic American Engineering Record documentation and historic structure reports. Ms. Lawson is a past trustee of the Historical Society of the Town of Colonie, in Albany County. She holds a Master of Arts in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University, and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia.

Niyati Shetty joined Spring Line Design as a Project Designer in July 2018. Prior to earning her Masters of Architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Insitute in Troy, New York, Ms. Shetty worked as an intern architect in Mumbai, India. At the Mansions Historic District, she was tasked with the preservation of the exterior skeleton and interior historic fabric of six urban rowhouses while creating plans for modern two-bedroom and three-bedroom units. Ms. Shetty’s strength is providing creative solutions to the challenges of structurally enhancing older, neglected buildings while still preserving their character defining features.

B3 | A Legacy Deferred: The Architecture of Thomas W. Boyde, Jr.

During the 1930s-70s, architect Thomas W. Boyde Jr. designed hundreds of buildings in the Rochester area that were instrumental in shaping the mid-century city and suburbs at a time when he, the first African-American architect in Rochester, would not have been welcome as a resident of many suburban neighborhoods where he worked. Boyde’s body of work has yet to be fully appreciated, as debates over the extent of his involvement in a handful of prominent projects have overshadowed his real contributions to the built environment. This presentation explores Boyde’s life and his prolific career, challenges in documenting the work of African-American architects practicing in the mid-twentieth century, and ways to bring new appreciation to the work of this supremely talented architect who left a remarkable legacy in the greater Rochester area.

[1.25 AICP CM; 1 AIA LU]


Chris is a project architect at Bero Architecture with experience in multiple facets of historic preservation practice including design and construction administration, building evaluation, research, and advocacy.

He received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture at the University at Buffalo SUNY, School of Architecture and Planning in 2011, a Master of Architecture and Certificate in Historic Preservation at the University of Virginia, School of Architecture in 2013 and obtained his architectural licensure in 2018. He is the Education & Advocacy Coordinator for the Young Urban Preservationists; a member of the LSWNY Board of Trustees, and the Chair of the Town of Irondequoit Historic Preservation Commission.

Katie is the new Vice President for Policy and Preservation at the Preservation League of New York State. From 2010 until October 2021, she was on the staff of Bero Architecture as the firm’s architectural historian, where in addition to the Thomas W. Boyde Jr. Survey Project, some favorite recent projects included an expanded NR nomination for Thousand Island Park and a survey of the work of architect James H. Johnson.

Katie received her Bachelor of Arts in the Humanities from Yale University in 1995 and her Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania in 1998. She is a member of the Olmsted Parks Alliance and sits on the Five to Revive Committee of The Landmark Society of Western New York.

Jeffrey A. “Free” Harris is a Hampton, VA-based independent historian and preservation consultant who works with historic sites, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions on issues related to diversity and historic site interpretation.

Free was the first Director for Diversity at the National Trust, and has been a featured speaker at national, statewide and local historic preservation conferences on diversity in the preservation movement. He is a member of VA’s Board of Historic Resources, and serves as the Board Chair of the national Rainbow Heritage Network, which advocates for the preservation of sites related to LGBTQ history. He contributed a chapter on African American LGBTQ historic places to the National Park Service’s LGBTQ Heritage Theme Study.

National Register Listings: How impactful are they for sharing the history of marginalized communities?

As preservationists we understand the importance of National Register listed properties. We hope that they bring positive attention to historic sites and help in their preservation. We also acknowledge that properties that reflect underrepresented communities are not only a small percentage of the properties listed on the National Register but also that the NR criteria and the concept of integrity make it difficult to write many nominations for these properties. This session would discuss this conundrum as well as examine other grass roots options to sharing the history of underrepresented communities with the cities, towns, and villages where they exist.



Larry Francer joined the Landmark Society as the Associate Director of Preservation in September of 2012 with 20 years of preservation experience, much in small towns and villages. Francer was promoted to Associate Director of The Landmark Society in 2019 as his responsibilities had grown from a strictly preservation focus to a full organizational level. Grass roots preservationist, courthouse activist, business owner, religious leader, Zumba enthusiast, filmmaker and actor – Larry Francer is a true renaissance man. Before moving to Rochester, Larry and his husband, Jerome Herron, lived in Farmland, Indiana for over two decades where they worked tirelessly to help turn that tiny town into a true destination. Francer was Co-Executive Producer of the documentary “Courthouse Girls of Farmland,” which, among other honors, won 1st place Audience award at the Breckinridge Festival of Film.

Patricia Garcia has served in the Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians for over 15 years. As the Tribe’s THPO, Ms. Garcia is charged with preserving, protecting, documenting and managing the cultural heritage within the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation and the Agua Caliente Traditional Use Area (TUA). Ms. Garcia consults with a variety of local, state and federal agencies on Section 106 review, California Environmental Quality Act review, and other historic preservation laws. Ms. Garcia oversees project review, consultation and cultural monitoring to reduce potential impacts to resources within the TUA. Additionally, Garcia is tasked with Tribal Register, national Register and Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act responsibilities for the Tribe. Ms. Garcia is a founding member of the Indigenous Archaeology Collective, a board member and recent recipient of the excellence in cultural resource management award of the Society for California Archaeology, a former board member of the Society for American Archaeology, a member of the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and many other historic preservation organizations.

Victoria Munro b. 1975, Wellington, New Zealand, has been a resident of New York for over 2 decades and is the Executive Director of the Alice Austen House, a nationally designated site of LGBTQ+ history and the only museum in America to represent the work of one women photographer, Alice Austen. Victoria is an Art and Art History Educator, Maker and Curator. Victoria consults and speaks on LGBTQ+ curriculum development, historical and current LGBTQ+ interpretations in public and private institutions. Victoria represents the Alice Austen House Museum in the Stonewall 50 Consortium, an organization of institutions and organizations committed to producing programming, exhibitions, and educational materials related to the Stonewall uprising and/or the history of the LGBTQ civil rights movement. She has been the lead interpretation and project manager of the Alice Austen house updated permanent installation and LGBTQ+ programs director. Victoria serves as the board president of the Museums Council of New York City.

Kathleen LaFrank has an M.A. in architecture and design criticism from Parsons School of Design. She is a Historic Preservation Program Coordinator for the New York State Historic Preservation Office with many years of experience in both the National Register and preservation tax credit programs. She has expertise in rural cultural landscapes, state parks, parkways, modern architecture, and cultural resources. She has guided the preparation of hundreds of National Register nominations, including those for nine properties in New York associated with LGBT themes.

Paul R. Lusignan is senior historian with the National Register of Historic Places program at the National Park Service in Washington, DC. With the Park Service since 1992, Paul is responsible for evaluating historic properties nominated by state, tribal and federal agencies for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. In this capacity, he assures the technical and scientific accuracy of documentation, evaluates resources for eligibility under the National Register and National Historic Landmark program criteria, and reviews requests for determinations of eligibility from federal agencies and for tax act projects. His position entails working directly with federal agencies, state and tribal historic preservation offices, and the public, providing technical advice and guidance on National Register evaluation procedures, administrative policies, and implementation strategies. A graduate of the University of Vermont’s historic preservation program Paul previously worked as Survey and Register Coordinator for the Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Office in Madison, Wisconsin and as a private preservation consultant. His current areas of geographical responsibility include the western United States. Paul’s particular areas of specialty including Cold War history, public housing, industrial resources, tribal preservation issues, modernist architecture, and economic incentives for preservation.

Jeffrey A. “Free” Harris is a Hampton, VA-based independent historian and preservation consultant who works with historic sites, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions on issues related to diversity and historic site interpretation.

Free was the first Director for Diversity at the National Trust, and has been a featured speaker at national, statewide and local historic preservation conferences on diversity in the preservation movement. He is a member of VA’s Board of Historic Resources, and serves as the Board Chair of the national Rainbow Heritage Network, which advocates for the preservation of sites related to LGBTQ history. He contributed a chapter on African American LGBTQ historic places to the National Park Service’s LGBTQ Heritage Theme Study.

Thursday, November 18th

C1 | Oral History Documentation and Historic Preservation

Although it is clear that conducting oral history interviews and collaborating with grassroots entities are key parts of practicing responsible, progressive, and inclusive historic preservation, many preservationists remain untrained in oral history interview methods and best practices. This workshop will equip attendees with basic oral history documentation methods. Under the guidance of Hannah Davis (founding director of Flower City Folk and professor of practice in RIT’s School of Individualized Study) and Dr. Juilee Decker (director of RIT’s Museum Studies program), participants will learn how to identify community collaborators, record interviews, organize resulting documentation, and incorporate interviews into their work.

[1.25 AICP CM; 1 AIA LU]


Dr. Juilee Decker (she/her) is a faculty member in Rochester Institute of Technology’s Department of History and Director of the Museum Studies program in the College of Liberal Arts. Trained as an art historian, Dr. Decker’s research and scholarship are at the intersection of museum studies, public history, and public art. She is an author, scholar, facilitator, and collaborator in the academy as well as in cultural institutions and communities.

Hannah Davis (she/her) is founding director of Flower City Folk and a professor of practice in Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Individualized Study. She has worked in collaboration with community organizations to document folklife and organize related public programming throughout Upstate New York.

D1 | Codeswitch: The Ordeal of Ordinance

In the minutia of Long Island’s vast governmental infrastructure of historic preservation there is a lack of enforcement, training, and community knowledge and participation. We examine the challenges and differences between 10 certified local governments. The ever changing geo-political landscape has exposed local municipalities lack of preservation laws and clear cultural/historic updated resource management plans to preserve their districts. While municipal boards are volunteers there is a lack of diversity, representation and a lack of professional balance. Recent migrations to the East End of Long Island due to Covid-19 has refocused the conversation. The Community Preservation Fund (CPF), a 2% real estate transfer property tax on Five East End Towns amass to more than $189 million dollars. CPF funds are often used to purchase conservation, open space, and preservation land and or buildings that may be under threatened by either real estate speculation or neglect.

[1.25 AICP CM; 1 AIA LU]


Dr. Georgette Grier-Key- Eastville Community Historical Society/ Medgar Evers College
Dr. Grier- Key is affiliated with CUNY Medgar Evers College and the director of the Long Island History Institute at SUNY Nassau Community College. Dr. Georgette Lovette Grier-Key is the executive director and chief curator of Eastville Community Historical Society of Sag Harbor and has worked in various museums, historical societies, and service organizations with a focus on organizational sustainability. Dr. Grier-Key is a historian, preservationist, and curator, using her skills and experience as an organizer and activist to further the agenda of inclusion in traditional frameworks that have practiced institutional and structural exclusion. She is a not-for-profit management specialist and practitioner with more than 20 years of experience in both business and non-profit organizations. She provides consultant services from small to mid-sized organizations including several municipalities.

Sarah Kautz is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at the University of Chicago and holds a master’s degree in Anthropology with a graduate certificate in Museum Management from the University of South Carolina. Since 2016 she has served as the Preservation Director at Preservation Long Island, formerly the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, where she supports local preservation initiatives in communities throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties. In that role, Sarah develops and delivers preservation advocacy initiatives, oversees cultural and historic resource surveys and studies, advises and supports the preservation projects of local groups, municipalities, and individuals, manages the Endangered Places List, Preservation Awards, and restrictive covenants programs, and develops and edits original content for the organization’s Preservation Notes newsletter, website, social media, and blog.

David A. Barnes is a Registered Landscape Architect (NY, SC and NJ) and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. An Adjunct Assistant Professor at SUNY Farmingdale State College, Department of Architecture and Construction Management he instructs Site Design and Sustainability. With over 30 years of experience in historic park preservation and environmental protection, he has been integral to expanding historic districts. His experience in park restoration and preservation including Hamilton/Burr Duel Memorial site at Hamilton Park and Boulevard East Promenade, Weehawken, NJ; Central Park Restoration and Three Bears Playground NY, NY; Forest Park Master Plan, St. Louis, MO site of the 1904 World’s Fair; and Riverside Park/Eleanor Roosevelt Memorial, New York, NY.   As a Suffolk County Parks Trustee and member of the Suffolk County Farmland Committee, David makes policy decisions on public parkland and the preservation and management of preserved farmland throughout Suffolk County. David holds a degree in Environmental Planning and Design from Rutgers University. David currently serves as the Director of Environmental Protection at the Town of Smithtown, NY.

C2 | True Community Development: Creative Solutions to Financing Small Deals Through the Crowd

Our presentation examines the difficulties small historic preservation projects face, and looks at how non-profits, small developers, and municipalities can leverage community support for a project into financial backing. We'll explore how Springville Center for the Arts (SCA) mobilized neighbors and patrons to renovate a local church into their new center; we'll provide an introduction into Regulation Crowdfunding, and how it allows projects to emulate the success SCA had with their project, as well as other creative solutions now possible with recent changes to Federal Securities laws; lastly we'll discuss how this model can help create more equitable development by opening up opportunities for neighbors to invest in projects (big or small) in their communities. We promise we'll keep the Securities discussions light and focus primarily on how they enable various community funded possibilities.

[1.25 AICP CM; 1 AIA LU]


Richard Rogers is an attorney and urban planner who concentrates his practice at Borrelli & Yots PLLC on real estate development, especially projects utilizing various tax credits and incentives. He has a strong interest in land-use planning and municipal law, especially using conservation tools to fight suburban sprawl. He is also interested in federal and State securities laws and regulations and how recent changes laws may aid small business formation and fight income inequality. These interests have led Richard to co-found Urban Vantage, an urban planning and economic development consulting firm and Common Owner, a collection of online real-estate oriented equity crowdfunding portals. He is also co-developing the former Record Theatre properties in Buffalo with partners.

Seth Wochensky serves as Executive Director of Springville Center for the Arts, a rural multi-arts organization which takes an active role in community revitalization. He has overseen the implementation of several million in capital projects on historic buildings. As director of the Center, he spearheaded Art’s Cafe, a project to convert a collapsed Main Street building into a performance space, art workshop, artist residences and public green roof centered around a bakery cafe. The renovation utilized a new model of financing that included a direct public offering of historic tax credits with over 100 community members as partners.

Derek King is the Director of Operations and one of the principals at Preservation Studios, a historic preservation consulting firm based in Buffalo, NY that specializes in securing historic tax credits for adaptive reuse projects. Through this work, some patterns became clear: larger projects were able to leverage higher HTC totals in a way small projects couldn’t; experienced developers had access to financing and investors that small developers didn’t; neighbors of projects seldom benefited directly from projects in their communities. It was after discussing these obstacles that he, Richard Rogers, and several others formed Common Owner to develop a tool to combat those issues.

D2 | Joining the CR0WD: Creating a Coalition of Preservationists, Planners, and Architects to Promote Circularity and Reuse

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States generated 600 million tons of construction and demolition debris in 2018, making it the largest single component of landfill waste (40%). Sadly, the vast majority of construction debris (90%) results from demolition rather than new construction. As preservationists, our primary efforts are directed at saving buildings and promoting adaptive reuse. But what role can we play in advocating for a more sustainable future when it comes to demolition? How can we address the issue of demolition debris and waste through deconstruction and reuse? The panelists, all members of the recently created working group known as CR0WD (Circularity, Reuse and Zero Waste Development), will discuss their collaboration and goals along with their research and advocacy efforts.

[1.25 AICP CM; 1 AIA HSW]


Christine O’Malley serves as Preservation Services Coordinator at Historic Ithaca. She is a former member of the Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Commission, a former board member of the Vernacular Architecture Forum, and has worked on several local, state and national register listings. At Historic Ithaca, she is a founding member of CR0WD.

Luis Aguirre-Torre is the Director of Sustainability for the City of Ithaca, where he leads the implementation of the Ithaca Green New Deal. Prior to joining the City of Ithaca, he spent 12 years assisting Latin American countries develop innovation and climate change legislation, sponsored by USAID and the US State Department. In 2012, he was recognized as Champion of Change by President Obama and by the White House Office of Science and Technology in 2016.

He is the founder of GreenMomentum, Cleantech Challenge and Cleantech Labs; and is currently the co-chair of the NYS Climate Impacts Assessment, Society and Economy technical working group.

Felix Heisel is an architect and academic working towards the systematic redesign of the built environment as a material depot of endless use and reconfiguration. Felix is an Assistant Professor of Architecture and the Director the Circular Construction Lab at Cornell University, and the founding co-principal of 2hs Architects and Engineers in Germany.

Bryan McCracken holds a Master of Arts in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University. He has worked in economic development and has witnessed the successful use of historic preservation tools to transform the economies of struggling downtowns. He currently works as the Historic Preservation and Neighborhood Planner for the City of Ithaca, a community working to save its historic resources while facing considerable development pressures. Bryan is also a partner in a small real estate management company that focuses on rehabilitating distressed historic properties and providing quality housing in Norwich, NY.

Jennifer Minner, PhD is an Associate Professor in Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University. She directs the Just Places Lab, a platform for multi-disciplinary research and creative action related to place and the built environment.

Gretchen Worth is the director of the Susan Christopherson Center for Community Planning, which works with communities across New York State on issues of climate resilience, equity and the built environment. She serves on the board of the Southeast Asian Cultural Heritage Alliance and Restoration Works International.

C3 | Evolving Preservation: Practitioners and Practices For a Just Field

This presentation and Q&A session will touch on the evolution of preservation for practitioners. Long-time practitioners in the preservation field have a responsibility to practice preservation equitably and equally, hire for diversity and perspective, maintain inclusive workplaces, and collaborate with communities justly and sustainably. At the root of these responsibilities is a basic understanding of the inequality that lies at the heart of our field, and the desire to actively work towards equality. For practitioners and practices to truly call themselves equitable, we must understand, identify, and dismantle the aspects that contribute to inequity and inequality. This session will show how and why practitioners can evolve their own work and practices to contribute to the broader preservation evolution. Eduardo Ruas & Taylor Kabeary of the project Preservation Side B will lead this presentation and Q&A.

[1.25 AICP CM; 1 AIA LU]


Taylor Kabeary developed her passion for historic preservation and social justice advocacy working in Student Affairs at higher education institutions. Her thesis work and internships (at Prudon & Partners, the Municipal Arts Society, and Green-Wood Cemetery) have ranged from the identification of white supremacy in preservation, the preservation of historically black/latinx neighborhoods, the impact of zoning proposals in new york, and educating high school students on conservation practices. She began Side B, a historic preservation project about the intangible and tangible heritage of marginalized communities, with Eduardo Ruas in Spring 2020.

Eduardo Duarte Ruas is a Brazilian architect and urban planner drawing from cultural geography to dismantle colonial approaches to historic preservation. Since the beginning of his career as an architect, Eduardo has dedicated himself to the landscape’s social analysis. His holistic approach has allowed him to publish articles and present lectures in Brazil and internationally. Eduardo joined Taylor in creating Side B, intending to promote academic research combining creativity with activism on social issues surrounding historic preservation, urban spaces, and urban design.

D3 | The Enduring Impact of Urban Renewal and Flood Waters in Binghamton’s “Center City”

Positioned just southeast of Binghamton’s downtown urban core, Center City has served as one of the city’s oldest and most diverse residential neighborhoods. Over the course of the 20th century it frequently found itself at the confluence of natural and manmade destruction. Center City has repeatedly been subjected to devastating floods given its proximity to the Susquehanna River. Beginning in the late 1940s, the neighborhood was targeted by successive urban renewal campaigns that spanned a thirty-year period. Among the earliest urban renewal projects was the creation of Columbus Park in the heart of Center City. A product of “slum clearance,” plans to renew Columbus Park are underway again. This session will explore the convergence of flood waters and urban renewal in Center City, and their continuing, conflicting, and often compounding effects upon neighborhood preservation, displacement, environmental justice, and sustainability.

[1.25 AICP CM; 1 AIA HSW]


Sean P. McGee serves as the Historic Preservation & Neighborhood Planner for the City of Binghamton and as the Deputy Broome County Historian. He provides technical assistance and administrative support to the City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission and to the Commission on Architecture and Urban Design (CAUD). Sean is also an adjunct lecturer with the Environmental Studies Department at Binghamton University. He received his Master’s degree from the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning in Historic Preservation Planning (HPP) at Cornell University. Sean also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in the History of Architecture and Urban Development from the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning at Cornell University.

​​George C. Homsy directs the Environmental Studies program and is an associate professor in the Department of Public Administration at Binghamton University. He was the founding director of the university’s Sustainable Communities master’s degree program. Homsy researches the factors that shape sustainability policies at the municipal level, especially in small- to medium-sized cities and towns across the nation. Homsy links his research to practice through collaborations with professional organizations, such as the International City / County Management Association and the American Planning Association as well as with local government agencies and non-profit organizations.

D4 | From Redlining to Green Lighting: Restoring Place on Buffalo’s East Side

Many people think of redlining as something that happened in the past, and is a shame, but isn't something that we need to think about today. However, historical redlining has had ongoing impacts on our communities up to and including the present day. For example, Preservation Buffalo Niagara estimates that the Ellicott District, the heart of Buffalo's black community when the HOLC maps came out in the 1930s, lost 22% of its building stock between 2012 and 2017 as a direct result of the ongoing impacts of these racist disinvestment policies. In 2019, New York State and the University of Buffalo Regional Institute came together to try to change the narrative of disinvestment in Buffalo's East Side (home to 85% of Western New York's African American population), with a place based investment strategy. Chiwuike Owunwanne served as the first Project Manager for what would become the East Side Avenues Initiative, and will speak to the unique process undertaken, and the five key programmatic areas the ESA sought to make investments in, and his current work with Key Bank as they work to use their Community Reinvestment Act funding to further this work. Jessie Fisher, Executive Director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara, will take a deep dive into one the the ESA's programs: a unique building stabilization fund that will invest $5,000,000 in the next five years to ensure that no more demolitions of important neighborhood fabric.

[1.25 AICP CM; 1 AIA LU]


Jessie Fisher brings a wide background to her role as the Executive Director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara. An Urban Planner with a Master’s degree from the University of Washington in Seattle, Jessie has worked as an historic preservation and neighborhood planning consultant, owned and developed at-risk and abandoned buildings, and served as the Director of Planning at Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper. These experiences have combined to give her a unique sense of how promoting our region’s heritage can unlock a brighter, more equitable, more sustainable future.

When she’s not working on strengthening WNY communities, Jessie can be found producing copious amounts of baked goods and hanging out with her husband, four children, and three cats in their historic Buffalo home.

Chiwuike “Chi-Chi” Owunwanne is the Corporate Responsibility Officer and Community Relations Manager Key Bank’s Buffalo and Rochester markets.

Owunwanne has more than 17 years of economic development and management experience and will oversee KeyBank’s broad community engagement strategy. This includes CRA compliance and execution of KeyBank’s $40 billion National Community Benefits Plan in Western New York. Since 2017, KeyBank has made more than $729 million of investments in the Buffalo Market and more than $499 million of investments in Rochester through this plan, supporting small business and home lending in low- and-moderate income communities, affordable housing and community development projects, and philanthropic efforts targeted toward education, workforce development, and safe, vital neighborhoods.

Most recently, Owunwanne was Program Director of the University at Buffalo Regional Institute’s East Side Avenues Initiative. During his time at UB, he helped coordinate disbursement of $8.4 million in pooled funds from Western New York foundations and banks, including KeyBank, that funded this program that is providing targeted support and economic benefits to people working and living in this neighborhood. He has also spent time as a Loan Officer for the U.S. Small Business Administration in Buffalo, Economic Development Analyst for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, and as a Policy Reporting Specialist with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion, and Small Business Opportunity.

Owunwanne holds a Master of Public Administration and a Certificate in Economic Development and Growth from the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from SUNY at Geneseo. Born and raised in Nigeria, he considers Buffalo his home and is happy to be making a positive impact in Western New York where he lives with his wife and their two young children.