Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"Preservation Plus" Conference

Preservation Buffalo Niagara will be hosting a week-long conference from September 24-28, focusing on preservation and other themes to better educate both preservationists and community members.

The event is aiming to build off the momentum of last year's incredibly successful National Preservation Conference that was held here in Buffalo. Preservation Buffalo Niagara hosted the Conference, which had a record 2,547 registrants, and many of the features that made it a standout (including field events and tours) are a part of this year's Preservation Plus Conference. PBN hopes to expand the conversation from just preservation to include the related themes of urban planning, sustainability and community revitalization.

The conference, kicking off on Monday September 24th at the Market Arcade Atrium, at 617 Main Street, will feature two days of field sessions, a night of "museums by moonlight," capped off with an all day conference at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

Since a majority of the events are held in the evening (beginning around 5PM each night, and going until 9-9:30), the first four days are easily attended, with the final day, from 8:30AM-3:30PM, featuring a keynote speaker, two education sessions, a lunch included in the cost of registration, and a final closing session.

The Thursday "Museums by Moonlight" event gives conference attendees the choice of visiting the following sites: Buffalo Science Museum, Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Burchfield-Penny Art Center, Richardson-Olmsted Complex, Buffalo State Art Conservation Lab, and Forest Avenue Resource Center. Each site features a self-guided tour, and outside each museum, architectural tours will be available as well.

Preservation Buffalo Niagara was created in 2008 as a collaboration of two existing organizations with strong histories of preservation in the region, the Landmark Society of the Niagara Frontier and the Preservation Coalition of Erie County. PBN seeks to build a strong community based on preservation, by bringing professional preservationists and leadership to preservation efforts throughout Western New York. Their Buffalo Tours, which include daily downtown tours during the summer, cover a wide variety of unique Buffalo sites, including Grain Elevators, historic neighborhoods, and theme tours such as "Crime and Scandal," and "Lockport: Stories in Stone."

One of the Preservation Plus sessions, "Historic Tax Credits: Attracting Investment for Your Rehab Project," will be run by Jason Yots, President and CEO of Preservation Studios. The session will focus on the challenges and benefits of leveraging historic tax credits to "fill the gap" in development budgets, and Mr. Yots' experience with preservation and development projects will make the session both interesting and informative, particularly for any syndicators and investors in attendance. 

Registration for the event can be completed on the event website. The cost of the event is $85 for PBN members, $95 for non-members, and $150 for Patrons, though 50 full scholarships are available for students in fields related to the event or interested in volunteering. The application deadline for scholarships is September 14, 2012.

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