Inclusivity in historic preservation: telling the full story

Listen to the episode

Sharing the lesser-known stories of historic buildings

During National Preservation Month, we celebrate the importance of some of the lesser-known stories of underserved communities. Our historic preservation specialists Vance Kelley and Nancy Goldenberg join this episode to share stories about some of the special places they’ve worked on that define our history.

From a community center built by Chinese pioneers to a church pastored by Oliver Brown of Brown v. Board of Education, buildings are amazing recordkeepers of our past. When taken care of, their structures and their stories can last far into the future.

For Nancy, it’s important to remind people that we preserve more than just well-known monuments. “It’s expansive. There are less-told stories in our history that are part of our past, part of our present, and will continue to be part of our future.”

“I believe history does repeat itself. So it’s important for all stories, even the difficult stories, to be told, so that we don’t forget about what has happened in the past.”

Vance Kelley, Principal, Treanor

More than just a historic structure—a place to serve the community

Our preservation architects have worked on several projects with unique backgrounds and contexts. They share more about a few of those projects in this episode, focusing on those that serve communities whose stories are not often told.

One such structure, built in the ‘20s in Isleton, California, was an integral community center for Chinese Americans who, at the time, were not well integrated into American society. Their community center, called a tong, offered language schooling and social services. The tong, called Bing Kong Tong, eventually began to degrade over time and became vacant in the ‘70s. A group of local citizens approached our team in the early 2000’s to help preserve the building.

“They wanted to see something good happen with this building, but they had no funds. So our first task was to help them with grand writing to get the money that was needed.”

Nancy Goldenberg, Principal, Treanor

Nancy shares her experience first entering and assessing the building, along with ways we worked with the community to take a grass-roots passion for saving an important structure and turn it into a successful preservation project.

Listen to the full episode to learn about more unique projects like Bing Kong Tong and their fascinating histories.

Voices in this episode

Megan Cooper

Communications Manager

Stay on the leading edge

Stay up to date on emerging trends, research, hot topics, and more delivered conveniently to your inbox.

"*" indicates required fields

Treanor specialties I'm interested in
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.