• Tuskegee University Kicks Off School Year With Hands-On Preservation Training Partnership

    August 22, 2018

    Brick masonry class at Tuskegee University, 1928.

    photo by: Tuskegee University

    Brick masonry class at Tuskegee University, 1928.

    The Tuskegee University Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science, in partnership with the National Trust, National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, Preservation Trades Network, and Alabama Historical Commission, is hosting a two-day historic preservation workshop on Friday, August 24 to Saturday, August 25. The development workshop is intended to teach students, university officials, community members, and preservationists valuable skills, including: photogrammetry (photography and drone technology); documentation workflow; window restoration; brick repointing; and laser scanning.

    Participants working on the school’s historic buildings—many of which were designed by Robert R. Taylor, the first accredited African American architect, and constructed by students almost a century ago—have an opportunity to directly connect to and continue the legacy of Tuskegee University’s architects and builders, while acquiring advanced preservation trade skills that will make them competitive in their professional career paths. Funded in part by the National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, the Historic Preservation Workshop highlights the nationally-significant contributions of Tuskegee University, the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) campus to be designated a National Historic Site.

  • Fort Wadsworth at Gateway National Recreation Area

    August 21, 2018

    HOPE Crew corpsmembers stand at Fort Wadsworth at Gateway National Recreation Area.

    photo by: Citizens Conservation Corps

    Corpsmembers stand at Fort Wadsworth.

    The National Trust’s HOPE Crew (Hands-On Preservation Experience), in partnership with the National Park Service, The Corps Network, and the Citizens Conservation Corps, spent two summers repairing an Overlook wall at Fort Wadsworth at Gateway National Recreation Area.

    Under the leadership of Ken Follett, the HOPE Crew project taught a team of young participants, recruited at the Citizens Conservation Corps, about preservation philosophy, building technology, stonemasonry, and project management skills, as they worked together to save the site’s 2,000-foot stone wall that provides an unrivaled view of New York Harbor.

    Although the Overlook wall is constructed of an assortment of natural stones, cut granite blocks, and paving stones, it is 76 years old and must be entirely repointed to be preserved and enjoyed by future generations. Preserving Fort Wadsworth, the fort with the longest continuous military history in the United States, gives visitors a unique opportunity to learn from its story.

  • HOPE Comes to Philadelphia's Historic Eastern State Penitentiary

    July 25, 2018

    On July 25, the National Trust for Historic Preservation's HOPE Crew unveiled a weeks-long project to help rehabilitate Eastern State Penitentiary with participants from the City of Philadelphia's PowerCorpsPHL.

    "Eastern State Penitentiary is an enormous historic preservation project. The building suffered from years of deterioration between the time it closed as a prison in 1971 and when it reopened for tours in 1994," said Sara Jane (Sally) Elk, president and CEO of Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Inc. "We are grateful to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's HOPE Crew and PowerCorpsPHL for helping us launch a masonry preservation training program that provides hands-on experience while advancing our preservation goals and, in turn, our mission to interpret the legacy of American criminal justice reform."

    Learn more about the project here.

    HOPE Crew participants from PowerCorpsPHL work on preservation projects at Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site

    photo by: Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site

    HOPE Crew participants from PowerCorpsPHL learn masonry skills at Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site.

  • Morgan State University Architecture Students Kickoff National Hands-On Preservation Training Program

    July 10, 2018

    Today the National Trust for Historic Preservation's HOPE Crew piloted a new program to bring future African American professionals into historic preservation and related careers paths by partnering with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Funded in part by the National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, in partnership with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the National Park Service, the new program’s first project consists of a HOPE Crew team of six Morgan State University architecture students training and working to rehabilitate the oldest museum building in the United States—the Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture in Maryland.

    “Through this program, we hope to bring more African American young professionals into historic preservation; American craftsmanship; and related fields, such as architecture, landscape design, and urban, regional, and community planning,” said Milford Wayne Donaldson, chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. “The preservation community should reflect the diversity of our nation as we work together to capture the true stories—from slaves and abolitionists, to soldiers, and entrepreneurs—that should be preserved in historic places and historic parks.”

    You can read the full announcement here.

  • 7 HOPE Crew Projects Honoring African-American History

    June 19, 2017

    Every Juneteenth, we honor the declaration of freedom for enslaved people across North America following the end of the Civil War in 1865, remember the lives of those who fought for liberty, and reflect on both our American history and common humanity.

    To commemorate this incredible American story, the National Trust’s Hands-On Preservation Experience (also known as HOPE Crew) has commissioned its 100th project at Fort Monroe National Monument in Hampton, Virginia. The story of Fort Monroe bookends the slavery experience in America: In 1619, the first enslaved Africans in the New World landed at the future site of the fort, and in 1861, more than 500,000 African-Americans seized their own liberty there, declaring themselves contraband and essentially spurring the beginnings of the Civil War-era freedom movement.

    In celebration of Fort Monroe’s rich history and to secure its place in our future, HOPE Crew, in partnership with the National Park Service and the Fort Monroe Authority, will deploy a team of national experts and young, local participants from The Corps Network’s member corps to rehabilitate Fort Monroe National Monument’s historic quarters this summer.

    Since its inception in 2014, HOPE Crew has engaged young people in diverse communities around the country by teaching the tools and techniques of preservation trades and offering opportunities to rehabilitate historic places in need. Many of HOPE Crew's project sites reflect the often-neglected history of African-Americans in the United States. Here's a look back at some of the incredible projects corpsmembers have completed over the past two years that help tell the story of African-Americans' legacy.

    HOPE Crew at African House

    photo by: Jamie Orillon

    African House—Natchitoches, Louisiana

    In Louisiana, partnering with the Texas Conservation Corps, HOPE Crew repaired the African House. This site is part of Melrose Plantation, a Creole site in Natchitoches, Louisiana. With the help of timber framing experts, six corpsmembers rehabilitated the African House’s roof, prepping and installing fresh Louisiana cypress timber. The plantation was first established by Louis Metoyer, a freed slave, in 1796. Now, African House is one of the Trust’s National Treasures.

    Jefferson-Chalmers District—Detroit, Michigan

    Detroit’s Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood once served as a haven for African-Americans and immigrants. The neighborhood even housed Vanity Ballroom, which hosted both the legendary Duke Ellington and local acts. After decades of declining population and loss of manufacturing jobs, many properties in the neighborhood were deteriorating or vacant. In 2016, HOPE Crew, in partnership with the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, worked with professional craftspeople to repair five building' exteriors in the historic neighborhood. Jefferson-Chalmers is one of the Trust's National Treasures.

    photo by: Duncan Kendall

    Hinchliffe Stadium—Paterson, New Jersey

    In Paterson, generations of enthusiasts repaired a historic New Jersey stadium. First built in 1931, the landmark 10,000-seat municipal stadium is one of the last surviving Negro League baseball stadiums from the Jim Crow era. The stadium served as the home field for the New York Black Yankees and the Newark Eagles and started off the careers of Hall of Fame-inductees like Larry Doby and Josh Gibson. In April 2014, a team of 700 volunteers from HOPE Crew, Youth Corps, and other affiliations joined together to repaint decades of vandalized and deteriorated walls at historic Hinchliffe Stadium. The National Trust declared the stadium one of the 11 Most Endangered Places in 2010, and it is now one of our National Treasures.

    HOPE Crew at Raleigh National Cemetery

    photo by: Nancy Pierce

    Raleigh National Cemetery—Raleigh, North Carolina

    Created as a burial ground for fallen Union soldiers in 1865, Raleigh National Cemetery houses thousands of veterans and their families in the heart North Carolina’s capital. The cemetery’s brick wall has stood since 1875, and decades of neglect left miles of brick and mortar in need of repair. In 2014, a HOPE Crew project, partnering with the Northwest Piedmont Service Corps, repaired 40,000 bricks and restored 114 panel sections. Volunteers were aided by the crew of preservationists who started the project four years prior.

    HOPE Crew works to rehabilitate the Petersburg National Battlefield in Virignia

    photo by: National Trust for Historic Preservation

    Petersburg National Battlefield—Prince George County, Virginia

    For 10 months of the Civil War, General Ulysses S. Grant laid siege on Petersburg, causing General Robert E. Lee’s Northern Virginia Army to collapse; cutting Petersburg’s supply lines to trigger the fall of Richmond; and, ultimately, forcing Lee to surrender. Between 9,000 and 16,000 U.S. Colored Troops served in the Union Army during the Petersburg Campaign. At Petersburg National Battlefield, HOPE Crew, partnering with the Citizens Conservation Corps, worked to preserve the site’s historic Civil War fortifications by replanting grass on-site and conducting routine preventative maintenance.

    HOPE Crew in Atlanta

    photo by: Virginie Kippelen

    Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site—Atlanta, Georgia

    The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site includes the activist’s boyhood home, the Ebenezer Baptist Church, the shotgun homes, and other related properties. In 2014 and 2016, partnering with Greening Youth Foundation, corpsmembers repaired and repainted the exteriors of two shotgun homes from 1909 and five buildings along Dr. King’s birth home block. Experts trained corpsmembers on preservation trade skills, helping them restore some of Atlanta’s most treasured historic sites. In 2016, Deputy Secretary Michael Connor of the Department of the Interior joined the crew to paint house exteriors at the site.

    Chalmette National Cemetery Volunteers

    photo by: A. J. Sisco

    Chalmette National Cemetery—Chalmette, Louisiana

    Managed by the National Park Service, the Chalmette National Cemetery was the site of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans. Since 1864, the Cemetery has served as the final resting place for soldiers from the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, and Vietnam War. The cemetery houses over 14,000 headstones, including those of Louisiana Union soldiers and the United States Colored troops, who fought in the Civil War. In a two-year effort, over 1,400 HOPE Crew volunteers documented, realigned, and restored headstones in the cemetery, gaining preservation skills as they helped connect New Orleans, local preservationists, and the National Park Service. Chalmette National Cemetery sits outside New Orleans as a unit of the Jean Laffite National Park and Preserve.

    Tell Us Your Story

    African-American history has too often been a neglected chapter in our American story. Let’s change that. Tell us what African-American historic places have made an impact on American history— and how your family history has helped shaped you—using #savingplaces.

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