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East Tennessee Regional Preservation Conference, September 18 & 19, 2009



Citizens from around the region will learn the tools and practices they need to help protect historic places that matter.In September, the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance (ETPA) is hosting the East Tennessee Regional Preservation Conference, the first since ETPA’s re-formation in January.  The Conference will take place at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend on Friday, September 18, and Saturday, September 19.  Fifteen speakers from four states will cover a wide range of preservation-related topics. Everyone is invited to attend and learn more about historic preservation issues affecting all East Tennesseans. Attendees will also have time to tour the award-winning Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center. 


The full conference schedule and registration information is available below.  You can also regster and find out more by calling Knox Heritage at 865-523-8008.  Early registration is encouraged due to limited capacity.  Conference registration is $30.00 for adults and $20.00 for students.  The registration fee includes all sessions, a Friday afternoon reception, coffee and snacks on Saturday morning, a boxed lunch on Saturday, conference materials, and a year membership to ETPA. 


The conference’s Keynote speaker, J. Myrick Howard, has served as Executive Director of Preservation North Carolina for over thirty years, where he has developed the highly-effective Endangered Properties Program. The program has saved more than 600 endangered historic properties, generating an estimated $200 million in private investment.  The National Park Service called PNC “the premier statewide preservation organization in the South – if not the nation.”  Author of Buying Time for Heritage, Mr. Howard will share his secrets and inspirational stories at the conference.


Other featured speakers include Dr. Carroll Van West, Director of MTSU’s Center for Historic Preservation, who will review a variety of projects around the region, from African American cemeteries to preserving the legacy of the New Deal.     Amy Potts, Field Representative for the Kentucky Crossroads Rural Heritage Development Initiative (RHDI), will explain this demonstration program of the National Trust, which works in collaboration with the Preservation Kentucky to help develop and implement preservation-based economic development strategies in rural areas.  


The 2009 East Tennessee Regional Preservation Conference is funded in part by a grant from the Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation Preservation Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


Conference Schedule

Friday, September 18



10:00 am-12:00 pm

~East Tennessee Preservation Alliance Annual Meeting

ETPA will be conducting a business meeting to begin developing a strategic plan for the new organization.  Other items on the agenda include nominations to the Board, committee designations, and upcoming Preservation Toolbox sessions.  All are welcome to attend.


11:00 am-1:00 pm


~Conference Registration ~ Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center

123 Cromwell Dr

Townsend, TN 37882-4323

(865) 448-0044


Lunch on Your Own

~Timber’s-8123 East Lamar Alexander Parkway (865) 448-6838

~Deadbeat Pete’s Mexican Cantina-7613 Old Highway 73 (865) 448-0900

~Miss Lily’s Cafe-122 Depot Road (865) 865-448-1924


1:10 pm-2:00 pm


FRI1~ Local Historic Zoning-Rob Crawford, Certified Local Government Coordinator Tennessee Historical Commission

Come learn about local zoning ordinances and how they can help protect your historic neighborhoods.  Also, come learn how important it is for your community to become a “Certified Local Government” to participate in certain preservation programs. 

Click here to see Rob's Power Point presentation.

FRI2~Generating Support and Visibility through Membership and Media-Becky Hancock, Assistant Director Knox Heritage

There is strength in numbers, so developing a loyal donor base is crucial to the financial stability of your organization.  The media can also be a powerful partner in spreading the word about your mission or latest project.  This session will review the basics of a membership program, including recruiting new members and maintaining existing support, as well as strategies and practices to inform and engage the local and regional media outlets.


2:10 pm-3:00 pm


FRI3~Context Sensitive Solutions: Working Together in Transportation-Julie Lamb, TN Dept. of Transportation Environment and Planning Bureau

This presentation will focus on the Tennessee Department of Transportation's improved project development process that focuses on working with key stakeholders to identify the context of a project area in order to discover the best solution for the transportation needs.  The historic context of many areas in Tennessee make it vital for historic preservation stakeholders to be a part of the project development process.


FRI4~ From the Government and Here to Help: The Tennessee Historical Commission and its Programs-Patrick McIntyre, Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Officer Tennessee Historical Commission

Come learn how the State Historic Preservation Office assists preservation supporters across the state in promoting the protection and revitalization of Tennessee's historic buildings and neighborhoods.


3:10 pm-4:00 pm


FRI5~ Jonesborough: The Little Town with the Big Story - Bill Kennedy, Chair of the Jonesborough Historic Zoning Commission and an Advisor Emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Deborah Montanti, Executive Director of the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia

As Tennessee’s oldest town, the backdrop for the re-birth of the storytelling tradition and a Preserve America community, Jonesborough’ s claim to the heritage tourism market is strong.   Montanti and Kennedy will discuss Jonesborough’s journey from a small dying town just off the interstate to a vibrant, authentic destination where our past is a cherished and vital part of our future.


FRI6~ I'm From the National Trust and I'm Here To Help You-Nancy Tinker, Senior Program Officer Southern Office of National Trust for Historic Preservation

Nancy Tinker comes armed with the tools of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and will share updates and information on funding programs, outreach initiatives, and Heritage Travel, a new subsidiary of the NTHP that combines social networking with heritage tourism.


4:30 pm-6:30 pm


FRI7~Reception at the Townsend Visitors Center and Pavilion

Featuring live bluegrass music and Jack Neely who will speak about his new book, Market Square: The Most Democratic Place on Earth.  Jack will talk about the connection between the rual lands of East Tennessee and the commercial hub of Market Square.  He will also be on hand to sign copies of the new book.

7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway

Saturday, September 19


8:00 am-9:00 am-Coffee and Baked Goods- Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center


~Conference Registration


9:00 am-10:00 am


Amy Potts

SAT1~ Opening Session:  Preserving Our Rural Heritage – Lessons from Kentucky’s Rural Heritage Development Initiative -Amy Potts, Field Representative for the Kentucky Crossroads Rural Heritage Development Initiative

Amy Potts will explain this innovative demonstration program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Preservation Kentucky.  Topics will include structuring a rural heritage program through historic preservation, heritage tourism and small town development; building partnerships; and lessons learned.  


10:10 am-11:00 am


SAT2~ A look at downtown. . . What stories will our children tell?-Kimberly Nyberg, Statewide Program Manager for the Tennessee Main Street Program

Kimberly Nyberg will address a variety of topics which relate to the revitalization of traditional downtowns and illustrating how communities are successfully reviving and striving to maintain livable downtown environments which appeal to all ages. Topics of the presentation will include: clever case studies and examples of great downtowns, importance of saving downtown, the National Main Street movement and its principals; reinvestment statistics and the statewide Main Street movement in Tennessee.


SAT3~ Burkhart Dairy Farm: Taking Pride in Preservation -Rachel Burkhart

Burkhart Dairy prides itself on being one of the few remaining dairy farms in Blount County.  For them farming is not something to make money at or to do simply as a hobby.  It is as important to our everyday lives as the air we breathe and the land we cultivate.  Being able to preserve this land for agricultural use is a tremendous step towards planning for the future. 


11:10 am-12:00 pm


C. Van West

SAT4~Next Steps for Heritage Development in Tennessee's Appalachia- C. Van West, Director, MTSU Center for Historic Preservation

Dr. West will speak about the Encyclopedia of Appalachia and go into new agendas, from the African America resource evaluation in Cocke County, to continued work on the New Deal, to the Getty survey for University of Tennessee, to the new Civil War Sesquicentennial projects, to the new African American cemetery project in Knox, Jefferson, and Greene Counties, and conclude with updates from Bradley County on its Trail of Tears resources.


12:00 pm-12:45 pm-Lunch & Self-Guided Tour of the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center Grounds


1:00 pm-1:50 pm


J. Myrick Howard

SAT5~Keynote: Turning Troubled Historic Buildings into Economic Development Assets-J. Myrick Howard, President Preservation North Carolina

Preservation North Carolina is noted nationally for its work to find buyers for neglected and endangered historic properties across the state.  Many of these properties have been in rural areas and small towns.  Not only do the new buyers renovate the buildings, they bring fresh blood, energy and resources to their new communities.  Myrick Howard, executive director for more than thirty years, will discuss how Preservation North Carolina’s endangered properties program has leveraged more than $200 million in private investment in once-abandoned properties.


2:00 pm-3:00 pm


SAT6~ Getting Down to Business and Making it Work: A Preservationist Turned Mayor’s Perspective

Ted Alexander, Mayor of City of Shelby, NC and Director of the SW Regional Office of Preservation North Carolina

This session will intersperse humor and real life experiences from a small town Mayor to discuss how preservation and “Main Street” proponents must learn to present their case for preservation and downtown revitalization by appealing to the best interests of political leaders who so often are in the decision-making role. From the irrational, to the rational, to the political, this session will delve into the motivating forces behind  elected government officials and how preservationists can utilize these forces so that the two camps can mutually benefit.


SAT7~ The Smokies Biodiversity Inventory-Todd Witcher, Executive Director Discover Life in America

Every aspect of life in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is being studied extensively by scientists. The goal is to discover and catalog every type of living organism in the park from bacteria and slime molds to black bears and elk. This project is called the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (or ATBI), it is being coordinated by Discover Life in America (DLIA).  Almost 900 species new to science and nearly 6500 species new to the park have been documented by the DLIA teams of scientists and volunteers.


3:10 pm-4:00 pm


SAT8~An Archaeological Perspective on Historic Cemetery Studies-Patrick H. Garrow, MACTEC Engineering and Consulting, Inc.


Archaeological studies of historic cemeteries became much more common in the South in the 1990s. One reason for this was the passage of the Abandoned Cemetery and Burial Grounds Act in Georgia in 1991, which required that professional archaeologists be involved with locating and delineating human graves on property proposed for a change of land use. This presentation discusses the approaches that have been used on historic cemeteries by archaeologists to find and delineate graves and to relocate them when preservation in place was not an option.


SAT9~ Saving Historic Rosenwald Schools, a Case Study in TN of a Grant and Rehabilitation-Dan Brown, Tennessee Preservation Trust Executive Director

Join Dan as he discusses the in and outs of a National Trust Grant project and focus on the recent rehabilitation of the 1923 Cairo Rosenwald School by the Tennessee Preservation Trust in 2009.  A thorough discussion of the project will be presented with photographs outlining the step by step process of the physical rehabilitation and the potential pitfalls of this project and grant projects in general will be discussed, and questions will follow. 


All sessions are subject to change.






2009 East TN Regional Preservation Conference Schedule and Registration Form.pdf949.63 KB

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Knox Heritage, Inc.
P.O. Box 1242
Knoxville, TN 37901

Tele: (865)523-8008
Fax: (865)523-0938