Friday, January 20, 2017

Heritage After Trump Award: The WINNER!

From the Desk of
Emily-Kate Hannapel & C. Scott Vann Historic Hillsborough, NC 27278

Dear Mr. King and Selection Committee,

Re: Heritage After Trump (HAT) Competition

As members of the North Carolina Historic Preservation Community, we were excited to learn of your competition. We are Graduate students at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro pursuing MFAs in Interior Architecture with concentrations in Historic Preservation.

We often discuss what we perceive to be relevant issues and contradictions in the world of Historic Preservation; these “radical” discussions over coffee seem ever more pressing in our Post-Trump world. The conversations that we’ve had over the last several years inform our submission. Here for your consideration, we offer an imaginative thought-experiment via Tweets that results in a N.E.W. creed for Cultural Management.

The future that we are both dedicated to creating is values-centered, just, equitable, sustainable, inclusive, and above all, community based.

Looking towards the future,

Emily-Kate Hannapel & C. Scott Vann

CREED for N.E.W. Cultural Heritage
Adopted February 1, 2018


Historic Preservation is old. It is tired. It inspires images of empty house museums, and
conference rooms of white men, lobbyists, corporate interests and real estate developers.
Historic Preservation is leveraging tax credits that can only be used by those who control the
resources. It is bureaucratic and rule focused. It obstructs rather than encourages. It is
concerned with authentic fabric more than with authentic community. It cares more about the
history of suppression, colonization, and domination than the history of human consciousness
endurance, and resistance.

Cultural Heritage is N.E.W. It is Neighborly. It is Environmental. It is Worldly. While heritage
occurs on the local level, it is connected and influenced by global concerns. Cultural Heritage is
about stewardship, building and retaining resources and knowledge for future generations. It is
for the community, by the community. It is intergenerational, looking to the past for future
solutions. Cultural Heritage carefully considers what stories our built environment is telling about
our communities. It encourages diverse stories of human ambition. Cultural Heritage examines
the fabric of the community. Communities decide what their values are and how the built
environment will represent them.

Imagine a beehive. Bees live and work together in an organized hive. Bees aren’t solitary, they
operate as a community. While each individual bee has its role, growth and sustainability are
the responsibility of the entire hive.

The N.E.W. Cultural Heritage system is based on a series of networks. A strong community is
an open system, and both transparent and accessible to all.

Forming Community Boards

The ultimate authority in Cultural Heritage is the Cultural Heritage Board (CHB) formed by the
local community.

Resources from the community, stay in the community. Community is defined by local
voting district.

Every resident within that district is a stakeholder, regardless of whether they own
property or rent in the district.

Each resident casts a vote during local elections to select their CHB.

CHB candidates can be any resident of the district. Young residents, people of color,
women, and residents from diverse backgrounds are especially encouraged to join

CHB’s are consensus driven.

One CHB member will sit on a neighboring CHB, creating a connection between each of
the neighboring boards. This encourages communities to invest in the wellbeing of their
neighbors, and creates a hive-like network between CHB’s.

A regional advisory board will be created to consult local CHB’s. CHB’s in the region will
appoint the advisory board, which will consist of experts, members of the student
population, contractors, and other individuals with relevant experiences and insights.

Identifying Resources

When CHB’s are initially formed, a survey of community resources will be conducted.
These resources may include human knowledge, historic properties, landscapes and
natural resources (as defined by the community).

CHB’s create their own Creed that discusses values, goals, and strategies for their
community’s future. This Creed is continually revisited.

Each Creed will include a conflict resolution strategy.

Case study 1: The community of Tryon, NC has identified singer Nina Simone’s
childhood home as an important resource in need of preservation. The community also
lacks a site for music courses. Using property tax funding, the community decides to
rehabilitate the home, creating practice studios for musical scholars from the region as
well as an educational exhibit on the importance of Nina Simone as a great musician
and an important Black American.

Funding and Local Economies

CHB’s are funded through local property taxes.

A resident may wish to consult the CHB in making repairs, additions, or alterations to
their home or business. Implementing the recommendations is viewed as a community
contribution, therefore, if the resident chooses to implement the recommendations from
the CHB, they will receive a reduction in their property taxes.

If residents contribute their time and service to their local CHB, they too will receive a
reduction in property taxes. CHB’s decide the value of contributions and property tax

Case Study: Christopher lives in a historic farmhouse in Yanceyville, NC. He is in the
process of restoring it, doing much of the work himself. Christopher is considering
replacing his old windows and goes before his local CHB to gather more information.
The CHB recommends repair over replacement and pairs Christopher with a contractor
who specializes in historic window repair. Christopher does the recommended repairs
and receives a property tax reduction.

Community Connections

While each CHB functions on the community level, they are connected to the broader Cultural
Heritage network.

Each community is invested in its neighboring communities and can look to them for
suggestions and support.

When new development is coming to a community, the developer must go before the
CHB for review.

CHB records are documented on an open source network. While anybody can see the
documents, actions, and information pertaining to the local CHB, only residents can
comment. All online commenting is tagged to a specific community member.

This neighborly support sustains and supports a much larger effective network that
stretches across the United States. Because all CHB records are online and transparent,
a national archive is created.

Case study 2: A regional developer wants to redevelop Ayr Mount, a historic home
along the Eno River in Hillsborough, NC as a sports center. A sports center already
exists just two miles away. The developer goes before the CHB. After extensive
discussion and conflict resolution, the CHB denies the developer’s request. The
developer is referred to the Efland CHB, a neighboring town that is seeking new
development. Efland offers the developer a comprehensive property tax package and
the sportsplex is widely success. All parties are happy.

This N.E.W. Creed has been created and supported by communities in every State. We believe
that we are stronger when we work together to create and preserve our built environment. We,
as a unified community of individuals, know that sharing across cultural boundaries creates a
better understanding of the vital source of our well-being. Our heritage will create the bridge
from our past to our future.

We the People

Attachment: A Pseudo-History by Tweet


Anonymous said...

Very funny "Tweets". But seriously folks: does anybody really think something as insignificant as NHPA will have the attention of the Trump administration, or the new Congress ? Remember what Bob Dole said when asked about the possibility of cutting NHPA during the Gingrich-led Contract With America: "Huh? NHPA ? Nah, too small." And that was it.

Anonymous said...

So what do you think about that comment now - in light of the recent hearing by the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation?

Thomas F King said...

I guess Anonymous was asking Anonymous for an anonymous response. Sheesh.