challenge design history pragmatic historian preservation

From Notre Dame to Yogurt Cups: Toward a Grand Unified Theory of Preservation

This is a post I’ve spent years thinking about. When it comes to historic preservation, the focus tends to be on buildings and structures that are historically or architecturally significant. Through the National Register of Historic Places, there are 4 criteria under which a structure can be nominated: Those … A. That are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or B.That are associated with the…

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A Response to “Representation and The National Register in Minnesota”

This past week I read an interesting analysis of the National Register of Historic Places in regards to ethnic representation of Minnesota sites on the Register. The article appears on the Minnesota Local History blog and was written by Julia Larson. It is called “Representation and The National Register in Minnesota,” hence the title of my blog post. Julia analyzed the Minnesota listings on the National Register to determine which of those listed under the…

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How Can We Improve Nonprofit Governance?

The inimitable Vu Le has written another thought-provoking blog post at Nonprofit AF. The post is called “The default nonprofit board model is archaic and toxic; let’s try some new models.” In it, Vu posits that 1/3 of nonprofit boards are helpful, 1/3 are useless, and 1/3 are harmful. That’s a lot of bad nonprofit boards. Vu suggests this isn’t necessarily about individuals who serve on boards; it’s more about the structure of nonprofit boards.…

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Food for Thought on Independence Day 2020

2020 has been a tumultuous year so far, as many people have pointed out already. We have a pandemic to contend with that has caused 132,000 deaths in the United States, massive unemployment, and economic upheaval. Donald Trump and his White House Administration, with the all-out encouragement of the Republican party at all levels of government, has created chaos by continually dismantling whatever parts of the federal government he can get his hands on. And…

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Becoming a Writer

Several of John Scalzi’s essays/blog posts in his book “Don’t Live for Your Obituary” are sticking with me such that I want to bounce off them with my own blog posts. One such post is called “Imposter Syndrome, or Not” (page 395-401 in the book, dated January 30, 2016 on his Whatever blog). Scalzi opens the post discussing how so many writers suffer from Imposter Syndrome, the feeling that they’re just not good enough at…

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