Preservation: Fun & Informative

Friday, May 1, 2015 brought not only a beautiful spring day, but also the Nebraska State Historical Society’s Preservation: Plain and Simple Conference, held in Lincoln at the Holiday Inn Downtown. After an opening welcome featuring speeches by our Director, Michael J. Smith, and Lt. Governor Mike Foley, the attendees were introduced to the

Lt. Governor Mike Foley addresses the crowd

morning session speakers, Paul Nelson and Dave Ulferts, who delighted us with tales of the trials and triumphs of rehabilitating Travers Row, a set of eleven rowhouses in Omaha. The men emphasized that preservation was an integral part to making the project financially viable, and stressed that projects such as these should be approached with some creativity and flexibility as every project will likely have different obstacles to overcome.

The luncheon Keynote Speaker was Dr. Randall Cantrell, a professor of rural sociology at

Dr. Randy Cantrell delivers the keynote

the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He and his colleagues have been studying rural Nebraska for decades, and have gathered a wealth of information about our rural communities. The purpose of the talk was to identify demographic trends shaping our communities, and to identify ways that communities could use the built environment to compete for attention, business and residents. Some of the challenges to preservation in these communities is a relatively small number of leaders to draw upon within these smaller towns, and a sense of powerlessness that they could create a meaningful change.

The breakout sessions lent themselves to two different tracks. On the one hand, experts in the hands-on, nitty gritty work of preservation were available to discuss their various areas of expertise. They included Brooks Gentleman of Re-View Historic Windows to discuss repairing versus replacing historic windows, Matt Henderson of PROSOCO, which creates products to gently clean masonry, and Gary Keshner of Cathedral Stone Products, who shared how to sensitively patch masonry.

Gary Keshner of Cathedral Stone Products leads a session on patching stone masonry

The other track included a variety of specialized subjects, including two sessions on brick streets; one a history of the paving material by Robin Williams of SCAD, and a local case study of Tecumseh’s brick streets by Shayne Huxoll and Doug Goracke. There was a session about a form based zoning program that is being established in Omaha, given by Jed Moulton and Trina Westman of Omaha City Planning. Angela Shearer, a tax credit reviewer with the National Park Service, shared her knowledge of mid-century architecture, and attorney David Levy spoke about Nebraska’s new Historic Tax Credit Program.

– Jill Dolberg, Nebraska State Historic Preservation Office

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

The Church Built Top to Bottom – St. Mary Magdalene Church in Omaha

The Church Built Top to Bottom – St. Mary Magdalene Church in Omaha

FDR at the Martin Bomber Plant

FDR at the Martin Bomber Plant

Martin Luther King Jr. Visit to Lincoln

Martin Luther King Jr. Visit to Lincoln

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.
Nebraska Collections
History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.
Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.